Increasing HR Data’s Impact
According to global research conducted by PwC, only 4% of CEOs recognize the value of predictive people analytics in their talent strategy.
One of the key reasons behind this can be found in the low maturity of people analytics in HR functions. Consequently, business leaders often complain that they are unable to get a return on their talent analytics investment.
Criticisms against HR
It is not unusual to hear senior leaders express their disappointment. The Analytics Era, a CEB report released in 2015, found that 85% of senior leaders have failed to leverage people analytics to make or influence business decisions throughout the past year.
Experts say the problem is not a lack of data, but that organizations are misinterpreting or misapplying it.
Another area of concern is HR’s lack of experience and willingness to leverage data. HR professionals sometimes display an aversion to information and data – which has not worked well for the function, as it is constantly viewed as not keeping up with other functions across the business.
Convincing the C-suite
Board members and CEOs now see talent management and human capital as the number one barrier to their growth strategy.
What they’re looking for is information to help them make decisions about that talent, and if HR presents this data in the right way, they become a strategic partner in the true sense.
For example, if turnover rates are restricting an organization’s ability to grow and be profitable, then HR needs to understand why that problem exists and access the data that can help; boards are not looking for the data itself, but what that information means and what changes need to be made.
Increasing the impact
Here are the three Cs for HR professionals to focus on while improving the impact of their data:
- Criticality– Focus on what’s most important to the business in terms of driving performance. This allows the function to carefully equip business leaders with the most appropriate talent data.
- Capability– Not many people start a career in HR because they love math or stats, but clearly there is a need to upskill HR teams on understanding and applying the numbers. HR needs to build these capabilities to provide insights to leaders through data, translating what they’ve analysed and what that means for business.
- Credibility– When HR professionals are presenting data, it’s often being treated with a fairly high level of skepticism. HR definitely needs to be able to maximise buy-in by engaging leaders in the process, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to move much more towards dashboards.
Moving to data-driven conversations
Most HR functions use data to report the basics: such as in-flow, turnover, L&D cost etc. But when it comes to analytics and predictive analytics – which is about creating insights, trend analysis and predicting developments of your human capital – that is unfortunately not yet commonly adopted and applied.
The 3 Cs mentioned above can provide a starting point about how to leverage data and get the most strategic value from it.
Going forward, as HR learns how to successfully leverage and use people analytics for strategic discussions with leaders, organizations will learn the true value that HR analytics can bring.
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