PEOPLE, HR & WORKFORCE ANALYTICS
Analytics of the people, by the people, for the people
69% of large organisations now have a people analytics team
I don't believe in survey fatigue. I believe in survey inaction fatigue
PEOPLE, HR & WORKFORCE ANALYTICS
Don't forget the 'H' in HR: Ethics & People Analytics
“We do not start any project without approval from legal and compliance. Furthermore we show legal our results before going to our business”
FUTURE OF WORK & TECHNOLOGY
Human Centred Being: When Human Centred Design isn’t Enough
The rise of human centred design
Are we just human centred doing?
Introducing human centred being
Encouraging human centred being
Beyond self-service to #HR service delivery: the new frontier in HR?
HR leaders are in a position to be innovative leaders in their organisations, and Mark Souter explains that HR service delivery is a perfect way to make a truly meaningful impact to the future of your business
Innovation in HR is exploding. As a result, the HR function is extending beyond core activities like recruitment or talent management systems, and increasingly exploring the service delivery space – addressing the people ‘interaction’ before the HR ‘transaction’ occurs. This is transforming the experience of employees and HR professionals, and increasing the strategic value HR can bring.
HR service delivery is about how HR service and information are delivered to employees, via omni-channel experiences (like using telephones calls/ SMS, chat functionality & other ways we interact in our consumer-world). Often, the standard “self-service” options of HR departments don’t meet the evolving needs of employees today. Employees, who have become accustomed to streamlined, user-friendly experiences delivered by consumer technology, are not very tolerant of a poor service experience and will make decisions to change companies quicker than ever before. Employees expect and deserve a terrific service experience at work; one that looks more like the consumer services they experience every day.
HR departments need to look at some of their standard HR processes and ask whether they are delivering for the future. Consider the heart of HR service delivery – employee enquiries. This is a simple concept but is often one of the last things that HR teams address as a priority. Managers and employees have questions and they need answers. In most organisations, email is still the most common way for employees to ask questions, followed by phone calls and visits to the HR office. When I talk to HR professionals, few can tell me how many enquiries their teams field in a day and they do not have a good understanding of the nature of the questions coming in.
“HR departments need to look at some of their standard HR processes and ask whether they are delivering for the future”
To stay relevant in the era of digital transformation, HR professionals should be focusing on building the workplaces of the future. Yet when they are spending 60% or more of their work week answering emails, responding to the same questions, or manually processing forms, there simply isn’t enough time to dedicate to innovating. HR leaders should have a clear HR service delivery strategy. Most are delivering HR services via email and spreadsheets on a daily basis. These methods don’t provide information about how many enquiries are coming in and what types of questions employees are asking.
Moving towards or automating a HR service delivery model makes a lot of sense. Here are some simple steps that will help:
- Automate workflow: –Minimising manual work is critical. Wherever there is manual work, there is greater opportunity for errors, delays and missed deliverables. Enabling technology to move work through your organisation from requestor to fulfiller is at the heart of an effective service delivery strategy. Without automation, you cannot free up your HR resources to focus on more strategic initiatives.
- Sophisticated cross-departmental case management: The best way to minimise or eliminate email as the primary communication method between employees and HR, is to implement case management functionality with workflow capabilities. Cases are auto-routed to the appropriate person or team for follow-up and response, and everyone, including the requestor, has visibility to the status of all requests.
- Develop a comprehensive HR knowledgebase: Empowering your employees to get answers to their questions without being dependent on HR is at the heart a good service delivery strategy. The best type of HR case, is no HR case! Without a knowledgebase, HR will continue to spend a significant part of their day answering basic questions. Knowledge bases build over time, but once in place, they save organisations huge amounts of time and money.
- HR service delivery platform: To fully automate your processes, you must consider your current HR technology and the gaps in service delivery you are experiencing. Missing from many organisations and HR initiatives is a service delivery platform designed to manage how work gets done across an organisation.
“Enabling technology to move work through your organisation from requestor to fulfiller is at the heart of an effective service delivery strategy”
I recently met with the senior vice president of HR shared services for a leading healthcare organisation. They had just implemented a new service delivery strategy and were already reaping the benefits. Instead of simply relying on phones & email, employees were directed to their new HR service centre to get answers and get the right level of HR support, at the right time. In the first month alone, there were 50,000 knowledge base searches and employee experience rocketed.
As you look to the future: considering the workplace and employee environment you want to create, you have to begin by developing an overall HR service delivery strategy & how people experience the workplace services offered. HR leaders are in a position to be innovative leaders in their organisations, and HR service delivery is a perfect way to make a truly meaningful impact to the future of your business.
PEOPLE, HR & WORKFORCE ANALYTICS
Is HR In Europe Ready For Analytics?
At HR Tech World in San Francisco, Josh Bersin stated that the discipline of workforce analytics has grown up and progressed from doing ‘cool experiments’ on the fringes of HR to something that is far more embedded and valuable to organisations.
Undoubtedly, workforce analytics is central to the future of HR, as it lies at the heart of initiatives to personalise the employee experience, optimise organisational design and improve team collaboration and effectiveness.
Interest in workforce analytics continues to rise and I expect the Smart Data track I am moderating at HR Tech World in Amsterdam this week to once again see standing room only. There is a sense though that whilst adoption is also rising (though not as quickly) many HR functions are struggling to get to grips with analytics.
Partly in response to this, HR Tech World teamed up with researchers the IBM Smarter Workforce Instituteto investigate the workforce analytics readiness of organisations in and outside Europe. Of 347 participants, 177 (51%) reported working for companies headquartered in Europe.
The results, which I will be presenting at HR Tech World, were telling in that they indicated that practitioners working for European headquartered companies feel significantly less prepared than their peers working for organisations headquartered elsewhere in the world. This is despite HR practitioners in Europe facing similar demand to use analytics and enjoying similar support from the CHRO and business stakeholders.
About the research
The research was based on the foundational steps required to successfully bring analytics to the HR function. These steps are outlined in the book, The Power of People: Learn How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics To Improve Business Performance. The book, written by Nigel Guenole, Jonathan Ferrar and Sheri Feinzig, is a must-read for CHROs as well as anyone working or interested in the field of workforce analytics.
Three foundational steps to workforce analytics success
The authors’ advice on how to establish, develop and then sustain analytical capability in HR, broadly fall into the three categories below, with the sub-headings being the specific areas covered in the HR Tech World/IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study:
1) Getting started
- Vision and mission
- Clear governance, accountability and privacy standards
- Stakeholders who want to solve problems analytically*
- Strategy for prioritising projects
- Senior sponsors to champion analytics*
- Sponsorship and involvement of the CHRO*
2) Building your analytics capability
- Skilled workforce analytics leader
- The right mix of skills
- Clear guidance on the use of external vendors
- Right analytics technology
- Right data
3) Establishing an analytics culture
- Succession strategy for core roles
- Ability to show ROI
- HR analytics embedded through the organisation
- Standardised approach to projects
Key research findings
In all but the three asterisked (*) areas in the ‘Getting started’ category above, the research revealed that practitioners working for European headquartered companies rated themselves at least five percentage points lower in each area than their peers in the rest of the world. Indeed, in eight of the fifteen areas covered by the research, Europe was at least ten percentage points behind the rest of the world.
Not surprisingly and irrespective of geography, the state of readiness of practitioners reduces for each foundational step. For “Getting started’ I used the data in the white paper to calculate that the overall global readiness is 59% (Europe 57%, rest of the world 61%). This tallies with my experience of speaking to practitioners and attending conferences around the globe – the conversation has moved on from the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ to the ‘how’ – at long last!
However, the state of readiness lessens significantly in the second two categories, with the gap between Europe and the rest of the world widening. For ‘Building your analytics capability’ the global readiness is 39% (Europe 31%, rest of the world 46%), whilst for ‘Establishing an analytics culture’ the global readiness level is 30% (Europe 23%, rest of the world 36%).
Organisations that have successfully established an analytics culture, whereby decisions with respect to people are habitually data driven, are the companies that are able to sustain momentum and provide regular insights that lead to better business and employee outcomes. This represents a cultural change in most organisations, both within HR and also in how the function is perceived by the rest of the business. As such, it is perhaps the biggest challenge (along with ethics and privacy) facing the discipline in the coming years.
Why is Europe behind?
The reasons why Europe is behind the rest of the world are not clear from the research, but we can speculate. Undoubtedly, the relative maturity of workforce analytics in European headquartered companies is behind that of those headquartered in North America. The delta between Europe and the rest of the world can in part (though not wholly), be explained by the volume of North American firms in the rest of the world sample.
The level of uncertainty currently in Europe is also perhaps higher in light of Brexit and the pending EU General Data Protection Regulations. Legislation and attitudes to data privacy are also more stringent in Europe, which means that many organisations will pilot and perfect workforce analytics projects elsewhere in the world before they consider implementing them in Europe.
Further possible reasons for the relative differences between Europe and the rest of the world are described in the white paper, which you can download here.
Reasons for optimism
While this research presents a generalised picture of a lack of European readiness, there are some clear examples of excellence that should act as inspiration to other European firms. Four of these – Shell, ABN AMRO, ING and EY – are speaking in the Smart Data track at HR Tech World in Amsterdam this week.
Get a copy of the white paper
Download the white paper HR analytics readiness: How does Europe compare to the rest of the world? for full results and commentary on the research.