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Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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This year presented several enormous shifts that organisations needed to navigate through difficult times; one of the most impacted was workplace management. In truth, many companies hadn’t given remote work priority and didn’t have strategies and technologies to ensure seamless business continuity in a remote, digital environment. 

While some companies require their employees to return to the offices, remote work will continue in the future for the majority of the workforce. HR processes are performed in a virtual environment highlighting the importance of redefining company culture, processes, communication methods, performance and engagement measurements, reward plans and crisis management protocols. In such a new environment, workforce data and analytics provide HR with the insights necessary to make the right talent decisions, predict future workforce needs, identify flight risks, track career development progress, understand productivity trends and determine employee engagement levels.

HR and People Analytics has become the imperative of modern workforce management. To support the community and facilitate knowledge-sharing, one of the main themes on our platform was harnessing people and workforce data to empower the HR function.

This year, Hyperight Read featured some great case studies and pieces on the most progressive companies in this domain, demonstrating that Human Resources is a strategic function that can improve business performance and influence decisions based on workforce data analytics. These are some of the HR & People Analytics stories that marked 2020.

How to reduce your employee turnover with ML

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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Every business in the world experiences employee turnover. But although it’s normal and that’s how the labour market functions, it’s not the most pleasant thing for companies because it costs time and money to find replacements.

Due to this reason, employee churn and employee turnover are one of the core metrics for HR departments. Organisations are heavily investing in HR and people analytics programmes that help them figure out what’s causing their high employee turnover and what they can do to stabilise it. And many solutions have sprung up on the market, but all boils down to: Are your employees happy with their current employment and do they want to leave?

Talking about efficient people analytics solutions that have given real results, we come to Luke Whelan, Head of Analytics at Talivest. Luke talked on a machine learning solution he built that helped a call centre reduce its employee turnover by 30% within six months. And this is his story of how it happened.

An ML model that facilitates employee transfer in a company

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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One of the main reasons people leave an organisation is the company’s lack of growth and progression. This is especially highlighted if the company comprises mostly millennial employees, who are always looking to grow and advance in their career. However, leaving a company doesn’t have to be the only solution if an employee wants to reinvigorate their career. Having a job rotation or employee transfer within a company can help retain the best talent and keep your employees happy. This strategy is simpler for a smaller company with a two-digit number of employees. But what can a company do if it employs more than 50,000 employees?

An HR representative cannot consider all possible employee transfer positions across a large multinational company, but machine learning is excellent in finding patterns in large datasets.

Adam McKinnon, Former Advanced People Analytics Practitioner at Merck KGaA, a German multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company, demonstrated a case study involving a practical approach with text analytics for facilitating job rotation within the organisation.

How to create happy and high performing teams with the help of data

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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Happy and high performing teams are the key to every business success.

But how can organisations truly measure happiness and performance? Can they put a number to them?

In the modern organisation, it is the managers’ responsibility to enable an environment where people can strive to be both happy and thrive in high performing teams.

Matti Klasson, Former Director of Agile, King Stockholm Studio, talked about using data to drive happy and high performing teams. He presented data-driven techniques that King Stockholm studios implemented, and that can help companies measure both how good the managers are and how happy people feel.

Successful people analytics to lead tech-literate generations

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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The first word that people use to describe Millennials is tech-savvy or tech-literate. The majority of Millennials don’t remember a time when there was no internet or technology. Although they were born before the tech revolution caught on, they pretty quickly grew into the technology, and it became their second nature.

Born between 1982 and 2000, Millennials, or the alternative term Generation Y are reaching managerial positions responsible for leading the next Generation Z that is entering the workforce. 

In terms of HR and people analytics, the same rules applied for the workforce before them, simply don’t apply anymore. They expect employers to be digital, technology-driven and technology driving. They take the tools available to us for granted and can’t understand why their bosses wouldn’t use them. If they see themselves as more tech-savvy than their superiors, they start to wonder why they aren’t in charge, described Björn Lorentzon, Business Development Manager at Sympa.

Himself belonging to Generation Y, Björn explored HR’s role in leading tech-literate generations and the role of HR technology in meeting the expectations of the most tech-literate generation ever to walk into an office.

Is data-driven HR telling us all we need to know about our people?

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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New technologies and the massive shifts towards the digital economy are causing a change in all business models and departments – HR included. We can see this in the companies’ HR and people analytics efforts to keep up with the technology-driven transformation. Data-driven HR enables organisations to layer data on top of traditional decision-making models; to put gut and heart decisions aside, and focus on what the data says.

HR departments are under pressure to change, so they don’t end up like one of the disciplines of corporate organisations left behind, asserted Marcus Mossberger from Infor.

However, how much data-driven and digitalised can we become without the fear of overlooking the human element in HR? After all, the role of HR is to manage the people of the company and needs to maintain some core values like empathy and humanity.

A perfect solution is a balancing act between data and discernment, which we will look into below. But first, we’ll explore why HR departments need to embrace the change and how it can be beneficial both for HR and humans.

What to consider when implementing an HR dashboard

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR & People Analytics
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As everyone working with HR becomes aware of the importance of data analytics and its impact on enhancing recruiting, workforce management and performance, it’s a matter of time when the question of an HR dashboard is put forward. 

But before embarking on a dashboard hunt in the jungle of available solutions on the market, we have to take a step back and review several important things before deciding. Buying or building a dashboard to just have one won’t solve our HR issues, not expecting any real ROI.

Implementing an HR dashboard isn’t a goal in itself. Its purpose is to help us impact the business, indicated Henrik Sandén, People & HR Analyst at The Talent Company opening his presentation. 

The future of HR lies with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR Analytics
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Human resources have been one of the last departments to be touched by machine learning and AI. Nevertheless, slowly but steadily, machine learning has been gaining more traction in the HR department due to the array of benefits of creating job descriptions to attract the best talent, training recommendations for employees and predicting employee attrition.

Dr. Raul V. Rodriguez, Dean of the School of Business at Woxsen University, joined us for the Nordic People Analytics Summit 2020 to share more in-depth insights into how AI and ML transform HR. We had a conversation with Dr. Raul to learn more about the current impact of ML in HR, the state of HR & People Analytics in the post-COVID-19 world and how AI helps evolve organisations’ relationship with their employees.

The role of HR in becoming DAIR – Data and AI-ready

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Data and AI readiness is the goal of every company looking to succeed in the Data and AI-first society we live in. We looked at the people’s perspective and HR’s role in the journey of becoming DAIR (Data and AI-Ready), as well as the part of people in making HR a data and AI-ready function, through Henrik Göthberg’s Nordic People Analytics Summit presentation.

“If HR is not data and AI-ready, and takes ownership of the people perspective of DAIR, how will organisations be relevant to enable the whole company to become Data and AI-ready,” proposed Henrik.

The formula for creating value out of data and AI, analytics or BI, is 10% about algorithms, 20% about data and technology, and as much as 70% about people and their ways of working, like operating procedures, establishing roles, people working in teams, highlights Henrik. This percentage shows the fundamental part of people in data and AI readiness.

The role of people analytics in managing the COVID-19 crises in the organisation

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR Analytics
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Our new way of living and working in the COVID-19 era has highlighted how important it is to reinvent how we work, our processes, communication and talent managing methods, performance and engagement measurements, reward plans, etc.

And during these times of uncertainty and disruption, Human Resources has gained a central and decisive say in the corporate rooms for managing the COVID-19 crisis and forging working procedures in the economy reboot. In this regards, HR and people analytics is a powerful tool in the hands of CHROs and Heads of HR analytics in their mission to keep people safe while maintaining productivity and work morale in these intensely stressful times.

If prior to the crisis, the role of CHROs may have been somewhat challenged by the other C-level roles, it’s now certain that the pandemic crisis has elevated the role of Chief HR Officers. To be successful in managing remote talent, HR departments have had a short time to put the gut-feeling to rest and make room for bold data-driven decision making and innovative thinking. Therefore, we will delve into how HR and people analytics is aiding HR professionals, HR directors and corporate HR chiefs in managing the COVID-19 crisis in the organisation.

People analytics: Why do people deserve analytics?

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We have heard many words of wisdom and success stories about data governance, reinventing businesses and achieving operational excellence with the power of data and analytics. However, if the majority organisations claim they are people-centric and people are their most valuable asset, why don’t they prove it by investing more of the big data budget in the HR function and people analytics?

As, David Dadoun, Head Of Enterprise Data and Business Intelligence at Ubisoft, very clearly inquired in his Nordic People Analytics Summit presentation: “If HR is at the heart and soul of any successful organisation, why don’t more companies have a “People” analytics function in place?”

What is relational analytics and how it builds on people analytics

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People are social beings, and we continue our inherent social interaction in our workplace as well. We form complex networks and relationships at our workplaces that charts and excel sheets can’t capture. Therefore it’s necessary to look closely at a different type of data that can give a more accurate and realistic understanding of our employees.

Paul Leonardi and Noshir Contractor give a comprehensive description of relational analytics and why it’s the next logical level in people analytics. 

Their research is backed up by the Deloitte study, stating that 70% of organisations consider people analytics a high priority, but only 9% of companies believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance in their organisations.

How people analytics can redefine your Employee Experience

Read 2020 recap: The ever-growing importance of HR Analytics
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According to the Global Talent Trends 2020 Report published by LinkedIn, Employee Experience (EX) finds its place among the 4 top trends changing how companies hire and retain talent. 

As it’s emphasised in the report, companies are beginning to work for employees, not just the other way around. HR teams have been quick to pick up on this trend to improve their employee experience and positively impact their retention and employer branding. 

The LinkedIn report suggests that one reason for the discrepancy between employees’ expectations and the percentages above is that companies listen to their employees, but fail to take actions based on their employees’ feedback.

Luckily, business leaders are steadily recognising the potential of people analytics to get the needed actionable insights and narrow this gap. The technology available on the market can help companies translate their conversations into actions.

Why does it take a crisis to drive transformation?

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Uma Ranganathan, Senior Leader People and Leadership at Equinor, and speaker at the Nordic People Analytics Summit 2020 shared hew view on digital transformation, change management and leadership in an insightful article exploring why we needed a global pandemic to start transforming our companies.

What is it that the pandemic brought in, that we missed before? Why is there a sense of urgency now, more than before? What are organisations and people waking up to?, Uma asked. 

Let’s go a bit deeper into change management, to address something beyond processes, tools and communication; let’s look at HABITS.

How COVID-19 framed the need for speed in People Analytics

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When the COVID-19 struck, it threw companies into survival mode. Noone had a manual on how to deal with the challenge of this magnitude. However, companies with great leaders and good and effective analytics teams have certainly done better at this uncertain time, as they would have insights into their company’s needs and strategies for the future, stated Søren Kold, Head of People Analytics at Grundfos.

Søren Kold presented How COVID-19 framed the need for speed in People Analytics at the second edition of the Nordic People Analytics Summit 2020. We had the pleasure to catch up with him on the subject of his NPA Summit presentation, as well as his views on the state of HR and people analytics.

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