Monday, December 27, 2010

10 HR Analytics Predictions for 2011





Ok, it's my LAST post of the year. It's time for me to ponder and think about what all I have learned in 2010 and try to see what 2011 brings in the world of HR Analytics.

I was so fortunate to have been invited to speak and blog on the subject this past year. I learned a lot from speakers and attendees.

My partner and I are writing our first book on the subject of Human Capital Analytics which HR should be heavily involved in.

All these experiences haven given me a lot to think about analytics and ponder what's next.

So here it goes....my list of 12 predictions for next year:

1) HR will continue to struggle to find their role in HR Analytics, it should be in the drivers seat

2) CEO's will get MORE demanding in their need for fact based decision making

3) Data analysis tools are no longer just for statisticians. The tools are now available for end users right on their desktops. (Excel, SPSS, etc.)

4) HR Departments will hire data analysis talent to get the data that CEO's need to work within HR.

5) Metrics are yesterday.....(tracking). Analytics are today and tomorrow (insight based decision making)

6) Collaboration will be needed across functions to make sure the RIGHT analytics are being used to measure and test the RIGHT things. Who drives this? (my thought...HR)

7) I believe reporting will become more and more simplified due to #3. Data and insight will be cascaded down to the end user level.

8) The HR person that has business acumen, statistical skills and HR generalist knowledge will be a very popular person in 2011!

9) Small to medium sized business will continue to adapt Analytics as they can't afford not to. Insight leads to competitive advantage.

10) Companies that use analytics to predict, measure, and make decisions will be those that beat their competition and adjust their strategies based on insight and experience.

What are your thoughts on HR Analytics? Let's add to this list of predictions!

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Ways to Introduce HR Analytics in Your Organization




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:
How do you introduce Analytics to an organisation where the leadership has a "personnel management" mindset of HR.
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?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Help! I am STUCK and Can't Up!






Have you ever worked on a very difficult project?
Have you ever been in a challenging brainstorming session?
Have you ever embarked on a piece of work, that you knew at the end was going to be GREAT, but right now it is hard?

Well, I have to answer YES to all three of the questions above. Over the last few weeks my business partner, Barbara Hughes and I have embarked on one of the most challenging, interesting, and coolest projects ever.

We are working on writing our first book. There. It's out there. We have to deliver.

(No pressure)

But, as we go through our thinking process, our methodology, our voice....we have moments that we land at the same concept in very different ways. Barbara is super smart and super strategic. I am very, very process-oriented, experiential and detailed-driven. I will get there...but I need to touch it, feel it, and see it before I can completely grasp the idea and run with it. I need a method to all the madness and she loves the madness. It's a great combo for an awesome end result!

We recognize our different thinking styles thanks to HBDI and when we get to a place of "stuckness" we just go shopping! LOL. Or we just do something else. But we recognize it, and it DOES NOT HINDER OUR GOAL.

I say all of this as I started thinking about how this plays out in organizations. What happens when people get stuck on a difficult project? I have been on teams previously where this has happened. Either the project gets stalled or the team members shut down and no one can figure out how to move forward.

How do you get UNSTUCK? Tell me more...

Friday, December 3, 2010

The 3 MOST Important HR Metrics





Sometimes you take a risk when you ask your audience for questions that will be answered on your blog. I have been asking my readers over the last few weeks to send me questions that they have about HR Metrics and Analytics.

Well Ben Eubanks, @beneubanks (on twitter) and who writes the UpstartHR blog sent me the question, "What are the 3 most important HR Metrics?'

Wow, thanks Ben for such an easy question...NOT!

First, I would say that the metrics that will make my top 3 list have to be those that demonstrate they measure impact and/or results for the organization based on their own strategic outcomes. . So, you won't see metrics like these on my top 3 list:

1) time to fill
2) cost per hire
3) overall turnover (the more granular this number is the better, turnover by performance, by generation, by engagement level is a better measure)
4) Training investment/per employee
5) HR staff/headcount

While the above metrics may be good tracking measures, they really don't give me the insight I need to understand if:

1) The human capital in the organization is performing at it's best and highest level AND IF
2) The HR department is providing the right services and right people to get #1 accomplished.

So, if I am limited to 3 measures only, here are the ones I would choose: (drum roll, please!)

1) Percentage improvement in workforce productivity. This relates to #1 above. I would need to see improvement for what I am spending on people (cost)/ to what they are bringing in ($ generated). I would like to see this tracked on monthly, quarterly and yearly intervals and compared to previous years.

2) Dollars spent on HR costs for every dollar of revenue generated. This metric relates to #2 above regarding efficiency of providing HR Services.

3) Engagement Index-I think this number is a leading indicator to customer behavior which directly impacts revenue and profits. So, this number is critical not only to understand how engaged your workforce is, but it is an important metric when you take the leap to HR Analytics.

Ok, so those are my top 3, what are yours? Challenge me on these, let's chat!