How do you introduce Analytics to an organisation where the leadership has a "personnel management" mindset of HR.
Monday, December 20, 2010
When I ask my readers for questions they never let me down! This week I received a great question from across the pond from Ade Adetukasi (@adetukasi on Twitter). His question to me is below:
Well, that is a great question and one that I have been asked many times. I think it is definitely a hard sale but it is not impossible. Before I answer the question I want to clear up some terminology first. Metrics and Analytics are used interchangeably a lot. I happen to think there is a difference. Someone summed it up really well for me this year.....Metrics are like accounting and Analytics are like finance. To me metrics are those measures we track in HR that tells us how we are doing as far as efficiency and effectiveness. Hopefully they are closely linked to the strategy but in order to really PROVE impact on results, you must use analytics. In other words take all the data in the organization HR metrics, Customer metrics, Financial metrics and use statistics to get to insight and impact.
So back to the question with your leader with his head stuck in the sand.....in this situation I believe you would start with metrics so that the leader can see what is possible. Starting with Analytics would probably be too much for the non-strategic leader.
Here are some ideas to help with that situation:
1) Find out what is important to the leader and see if you can't help him solve a problem using data you already have. Maybe he wants to grow market share. Maybe you can talk about retention of your top sales people. Looking at sales data with turnover data would be a great place to start.
2) Start educating your leader on the strategic value of HR by sending him articles, blog links, etc.
3) Work with other functional areas like sales, marketing, finance and accounting to see if you can partner with those areas and come up with metrics that are meaningful to your business.
4) Start with the low hanging fruit like tracking common metrics and see what emerges from there. (time to fill, training spend per employee, turnover by department, and by manager)
5) Demonstrate that HR is dedicated to providing the right people, at the right time that perform well. Make sure HR understands the business and the strategy so that you can talk your leaders language.
If all else fails....you may have to find a place that values the contributions HR can make!
Any other ideas for Ade on how to introduce metrics into the organization?