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Using employee data to achieve a more resilient and reactive business

Effective use of employee engagement, productivity and achievement data can help companies build resilience against unforeseeable events into the core of its operations. Managers and leaders with a bird’s eye view of business performance can adapt to new challenges instantly and effectively.

The changing landscape of data

With the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns creating huge shifts in the way businesses operate, the ways in which data is gathered and used has undergone a major upheaval.

Companies relying on basic information gleaned from payroll data, turnover rates and other financial measures to make judgements about where an employee – or the company – should be heading is only seeing part of the puzzle.

Workforce analytics has become a new frontier for companies looking to stay ahead of the competition, however a survey of 500 HR leaders on behalf of YouGov showed that 44% do not have a main focus on HR analytics.

The growth of people analytics

Three factors are changing the shape of data analytics:

  • A shift to real-time data which reflects the minute-by-minute and day-by-day changes with an organisation;
  • The explosion in the variety of data, and poignance of employee sentiment
  • AI processing of data and how it is analysed

People analytics has given HR leaders the practical insights to nudge employees in the right direction and even predict business outcomes. This combined analysis of people-data from HR systems, and business data – for example operations performance – allows companies to make improvements in organisation design, workforce planning and engagement.

Maximising data with performance management tools

Replacing cumbersome single point solutions with a consolidated performance management report enables businesses to maximise the use of data needed to boost performance and improve employee sentiment and engagement.

Two key areas where data brings significant improvements for employees are in setting objectives and in the reviews process. Consolidating this data for each employee allows managers and HR leaders to easily track progress towards personal accomplishment of goals, as well as evaluating data from one-to-one meetings, check-ins and other feedback mechanisms, when reviewing their overall performance.

Consolidated workforce data gives managers a holistic view of the current status of the company, as well as departments, teams and individuals. Ranking these categories shows where performance needs to be commended or addressed – while reviewing current company goals and priorities to keep teams focused.

HR leaders can further streamline and improve the effectiveness of the appraisal process with the latest real-time data to show each individual’s and team’s contribution to the company’s overall goals.

Sentiment checking and analysis in real-time

Establishing clear data and analytics reporting provides the insight to hone in on the metrics needed to work towards improvement. Reports offer valuable insight into how well teams and individuals are progressing towards their goals and illustrate employee sentiment sourced from one-to-one meetings, eNPS surveys and other methods of tracking sentiment.

The closer HR leaders can work with managers to track the employee metrics, the easier they spot new trends early and recognise problems before they get out of hand.

Good data provides critical insight into the broader, long term objectives of a company, but sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of what matters most in the here and now. With an overview of the day’s priorities, HR leaders, managers and administrators have visibility of teams’ and individual’s performance.

This becomes a powerful component for internal communications to keep everyone informed and engaged with business objectives – which may need to change frequently in the current climate.

From the company’s central digital platform HR can better connect and engage staff through notifications – reducing disruption to employee’s daily tasks – while enabling the HR team to keep track minute-by-minute of the team’s engagement.

Data-driven performance management and workforce analytics helps ensure that managers and leaders are ahead of the curve.

They can communicate swiftly and decisively with staff across the business whether onsite or remote, and are capable of building resilience against future unforeseen events and the next “Black Swan” crisis, whether an economic disruption, political unrest or cyber-attacks.

Mark Seemann is CEO and founder of StaffCircle