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People Analytics Consulting – Strengthening Employee Engagement with Systemic Data Analysis
Human Resources and Big Data – How do they fit together? Do employees need to be analyzed down to the smallest detail to determine their value to the company? Or are resumes and behaviors of new talents scrutinized with algorithms to find out if and how these employees will progress in their careers? The reality is not quite as drastic, yet the use of data and analytics can assist HR teams in deploying a company’s personnel as efficiently as possible following professional consulting.
The foundation of People Analytics, also referred to as HR Analytics, is person-based data, which includes employee satisfaction, workforce structures, required skills (hard and soft skills), or data on turnover. From this, the HR department derives optimization potentials or future forecasts for corporate development. Additionally, connections can be established between turnover, employee development and potential, as well as collaboration within individual departments and teams. Sounds like personnel controlling? That’s correct, with personnel controlling here serving the function of data collection, as it collects the current state of personnel data, even over an extended period. People Analytics further processes this collected data and combines it with data from other areas of the company to identify correlations that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Data-Based Insights Support Decision-Making Processes
The focus of People Analytics is to create working conditions that cater to the needs of employees. Because, just as in any case, when employees feel comfortable in a company, they work motivated and productively, driving the company’s success forward.
Other goals of this specific data analysis and consulting can include process optimization, early recognition of specific developments in various areas, as well as the definition and implementation of necessary action measures. However, specific objectives must be clearly defined at the beginning of the process. This is a prerequisite for being able to collect the relevant data in a focused manner.
Where Does HR Analytics Come Into Play? Especially where cross-departmental insights are required. A common area of application is recruiting, especially when it comes to acquiring talents to build a talent pool. In addition to application documents and personal interviews, data from public profiles on Facebook, Xing, or LinkedIn can provide insight into how well the respective candidates fit the company culture.
In addition to workforce planning, People Analytics can also act as a barometer of sentiment. Through the collected data and its analysis, corporate crises can be detected early and countermeasures can be taken accordingly. From messages and reactions on the intranet to regular employee surveys, the mood in different departments and teams can be discerned, as well as who responsibly carries out tasks, drives projects forward, or which teams collaborate particularly effectively. The analysis of this data provides important insights that can influence not only personnel decisions but also the performance of entire departments or the entire company.
The People Analytics Process: What to Consider? As with any process that is to be successfully implemented, targeted planning is also necessary for People Analytics. The following six steps form the basis but can be adjusted and expanded depending on the goal.
Step 1: Define a specific goal. What is to be achieved with the analysis, or what results should be available after the evaluation?
Step 2: Determine the data source. What data is needed, where does the data come from, what time frame will data collection take place, and which departments or employees will be involved?
Step 3: Collect data.
Step 4: Analyze data. Which analysis methods will be used, and how can data be processed meaningfully? Are there possibly other questions to investigate?
Step 5: Derive insights and present them. What results does the analysis yield, where is action required?
Step 6: Develop and implement measures. How can the analyzed developments be countered or optimized?
People Analytics and Data Protection
While systematic data analysis within HR Analytics offers a great deal of potential, it is important to consider that these are highly sensitive data. German data protection laws regulate how employee data should be handled. Only data for a specific purpose may be collected, and only data relevant to the specified purpose may be collected. In addition, employees must consent to data collection and have the right to be informed transparently at all times about what is happening with their data.
Frightened off by these strict rules, German HR Analytics departments tend to formulate only unobjectionable and non-critical questions, thereby missing out on much potential that lies within Big Data. Even in line with German data protection laws, numerous data can be collected that, when evaluated correctly, provide insights into the mood and development opportunities of a company.
PHR provides data-driven decision support for in-house HR processes. As insightful as extensive data analysis is, the resulting findings should be seen solely as support for important personnel decisions. No employee wants to receive a promotion or, in the worst case, even a termination based on data. In the end, the HR professional decides with their knowledge of people and experience. Professional, factual, but above all, human.