People Analytics: What It Is and Which are the Benefits of Using It

People analytics is a method of analytics that is very helpful for managers and executives. With its help, they can easily make decisions about their workforce or employees. Today we are going to find out more about what people analytics is and why would you need to use it.

People Analytics Definition

Also called talent analytics or HR analytics, people analytics refers to applying statistics, expertise, and technology to big sets of talent data. This offers better management and business decisions for a company. It’s a new field for many HR departments, while many companies are interested in driving better the return on the investments they make in people.

Why Should You Care about People Analytics?

Even though it’s a relatively new field, it has plenty of benefits for organizations and not only. Here you have a brief list of the people analytics benefits:

1. It Strengthens the Decision-Making Process

The first thing we can notice is that people analytics offers you more information, which, of course, eases up your decision-making process. Traditionally, HR relied more on subjective information, so this new technique helps with objectivity. Statistically, the decisions you make by using it will be more likely to bring you success, at least from a statistical point of view.

2. It Improves Retention

Most likely, you already know that employee acquisition costs you more than employee retention. It will cost your business more if you lose an employee than to make the effort of finding a new one. People analytics helps with identifying flight-risk employee even before they think of leaving. In this sense, you can take some proactive measures to make them stay.

3. It Drives Accountability

This new field is an epitome for the age of transparency we are living in. Previously, employees didn’t know much about their performance. Reports on this topic are often dense and hard to understand. Luckily, with people analytics, you can give your employees valuable insight into their results. Make them understand the larger context of your strategic business objectives and you will boost accountability.

4. It Explodes Your Silos

Silos are used worldwide to organize the activity in a company. However, they can be a killer for enthusiasm and creativity. People analytics offers accessible and relevant data for the entire organization. You can encourage cross-departmental interaction and sharing, which will ease everybody’s work as they learn to communicate better with their peers.

5. Boosts Employee Satisfaction

Every HR professional knows that one of the biggest problems nowadays is workforce engagement. A happy employee is a more productive, efficient, and loyal one. At the end of the day, this can make a huge difference between a successful and a failing company. With people analytics, you can identify people’s feelings about working with you. You can see what are the consequences of certain policies and programs, especially when it comes to employee satisfaction. As such, you can use your resources to impact the work experience.

6. Hire Better Professionals

This is perhaps the benefit people appreciate the most when it comes to this strategy. With this type of analytics, you can create predictive assessments regarding performance, depending on your company’s current good employees. Then, you can leverage what you know while you assess potential new employees. Thus, you can make sure you hire the people who are most likely to perform well in your business. Compared to the typical HR hiring process, it’s a big step forward.

7. Find More Sourcing Pools

This is tightly related to the previous benefit since it’s harder to hire better professionals if you don’t have good sourcing pools. On average, it takes 52 days to hire a new person and fill an open position. One of the obstacles is finding the right source. For example, an Asian bank focused all their efforts on hiring people from top universities. With people analytics, you can see what are the best sources for getting your employees.

8. It Replaces HR

Though there are plenty of companies that use people analytics, most of them still rely on HR, despite hating it. The new field changed how everybody perceived HR in the sense that it offered a more strategic role to it. The HR professionals manage to establish themselves as business leaders, being keen on developing new ideas for the company.

9. It Saves Time

Just as we exposed until now, this new strategy helps with sourcing, hiring, training, as well as nurturing talents. Under different circumstances, all these would take up a huge amount of time. Often, the time allotted to this is wasted on details or problems that arise as you go. With the new approach, you can centralize all the information and processes and become more efficient. Thus, the entire company saves time, which means you are also saving money.

Case Study: Google

Google is a great example when it comes to people analytics. They changed the HR approach and started relying more on surveys provided by managers and employees alike. One of the most relevant examples from inside the company is Project Oxygen. The project consisted of company leaders offering surveys to employees, an occasion on which they found out most workers dislike hierarchy. The leaders even asked themselves if a management level is needed at all.

However, they kept asking workers to complete different surveys, and thus they saw that a good manager leads to teams that are more engaged and productive. The people analytics team at Google went even further and identified what characteristics made a great manager. To find out this information, they combined data from surveys, great-manager nominations, and performance evaluations. Finally, they discovered that mid-level managers are essential to help employees thrive.

To draw a conclusion, people analytics is a relatively new branch of business, which helps companies organize their efforts better when it comes to staff. There are plenty of benefits to it, as you could see above, and Google is the perfect example to show how you can turn a bad HR situation to your advantage.

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