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How to Evolve Your People Analytics Capabilities

Over the past three months, i4cp’s Exchange members, thought leaders, and i4cp experts have been actively engaged in discussions to strengthen and advance core competencies in workforce metrics and talent measurement as part of the People Analytics Series. In this series of working meetings, practitioners continue to engage with one another around i4cp research and explore questions about how they are advancing people analytics strategies in their organizations. Ultimately, this series is about learning and harnessing best and next practices in analytics to show how HR programs and practices impact business performance.


The foundation of analytics starts with a good governance model

Throughout the month of July, each of i4cp’s Exchanges focused on establishing governance to build alignment and shape the value proposition for human capital analytics. Key takeaways from that discussion included:

  • Start your governance model by building alignment around what matters to the business. Leverage insights leaders want to gain to open access to the use of analytics in your organization.
  • Establish a cross-departmental governance council. This council can develop a system of checks and balances that will not only protect and clarify the collection and dissemination of data, but can build organizational alignment and trust around how data is being used.  
  • Governance will help you define what success looks like in your organization. One member shared that until their organization established a governance council, they didn’t have a good philosophy around the use of data. Governance helped them get clear about what data was “high priority versus digital exhaust.”
  • Transparency and communication of your organizations data governance model is critical. Share your governance policies to build trust in the use of data so that it’s useful to the organization, but not intrusive to employees or puts the organization at risk.


Efficiency measures help examine process improvements and HR resource utilization

Efficiency measures are a look inside the organization to help assure the efficient use of resources, specifically: time, people, and budget Important insights shared by Exchange participants and i4cp include:

  • Efficiency measures aren’t used every day but they are still important. Research done by i4cp’s partner the ROI Institute shows that 82% of CEO’s want to understand the value of investment in HR programs. Patti Phillips noted that helping the c-suite understand the value of investment changes the conversation around analytics from “how much?” to “what does that mean for our talent?”
  • Efficiency factors are especially important in change initiatives. Several Exchange members shared that they are adopting new HRIS platforms, changing their performance management systems, or launching new learning and development programs. Efficiency metrics provides insights to the adoption and usage of new programs and can be an indicator on how quickly change is materializing in your organization. A member shared that as their organization recently launched new programs and processes to increase agility, efficiency measures provided needed benchmarks to show how responsive the organization was to adopting agility efforts.
  • Distinguishing efficiency measures from effectiveness metrics is difficult for most organizations, especially those without a governance council, but organizations with clearly defined efficiency measures, understand the gaps in their processes and actively shift resources to drive process improvements.
  • There is no shortage of efficiency metrics, but finding the right ones can lead to major insights for your business. One organization explained how tracking the number of performance ‘check-in’ meetings taken place validated the effectiveness of these check-ins via higher levels of employee engagement and performance among those having more frequent check-ins.


Effectiveness measures expand HRs view beyond the function and to its organizational role and impact

While HR is often viewed as a function, ‘talent’ is an organization-wide concern. And, as the People Analytics Series passes its halfway point, the Exchanges have turned toward effectiveness measures to dive into the “real value” of HR programs by measuring performance. In early September, i4cp’s Workforce Analytics Exchange primed the effectiveness conversation:

·         Knowing what effectiveness measures to focus on depends on the questions your organization is trying to answer. One member shared that in trying to understand quality of hire in employees who left the organization with less than a year of service, simply asking the employees manager if they would hire that person again and asking the employee if they would take the position again, led to some interesting insights to the effectiveness of the organizations recruitment and onboarding process.

·         Effectiveness metrics helped one member find the linkage between talent development experiences and impact (or lack thereof) on the business. This member wanted to measure the effectiveness and impact of a recently launched mentorship program. Using a control group, the organization compared competency ratings, internal movement, and retention, between the groups and confirmed that the program was having little to no effect on the mentored population. Consequently, the organization reallocated those resources to other development initiatives.

·         A growing concern for many organizations is high potential employee retention. One-member organization created a self-service model to get effectiveness measures in the hands of front-line managers. Consequently, managers have taken a more active role in retention efforts and succession planning. Additionally, i4cp encourages organizations to develop measurements around quality of movement (see our infographic: 11 Human Capital Metrics to Build Top Talent Effectiveness). Holding managers accountable for developing and moving talent around the organization is a next practice in retention.


Exchange meetings will continue the conversation on effectiveness measures throughout September, sharing the measures and insights that drive talent performance.


People Analytics in Action

Throughout the People Analytics Series we have heard from members that they would like a hands-on example of how to measure a current program or process they are working on or more information about how to talk about the importance of analytics to improve executive sponsorship of analytics projects.

This October, at i4cp’s Fall Forum, members will have the opportunity to do both.

The Fall Forum hosted by Lockheed Martin in Dallas, TX will focus on strategy and application of talent analytics with real projects from each member’s company. Join companies like AT&T, Toyota, Ball Corporation and many others for this interactive workshop being facilitated by Patti Phillips, Chair of i4cp’s People Analytics Board and President & CEO of the ROI Institute, and Mark Walker – i4cp Vice President of Member Services.

Register now  – space is limited.


Please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions about the series or the upcoming Fall Forum at michael.sprague@i4cp.com