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Let’s talk people analytics

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While we might all be a bit sick of reading about it - or writing about it, in my case - COVID-19 is still very much a part of our lives. However, with a new year comes a new hope of beating this virus and returning to some form of normalcy.

For businesses, that hope is focused on recovery; reopening offices, winning clients, expanding teams and, of course, growing for years to come. At least I bloody well hope so!

But a big part of that recovery, as the title of this blog suggests, will rely on data. People analytics, to be more specific.

Over the last decade, data, analytics and artificial intelligence has transformed how organisations operate. More recently, it’s changed the way HR professionals serve the people in their organisations. And in 2021, people analytics will play a huge role in evidence-based decision making to help organisations move on from this crisis.

Why is people analytics so important, I hear you ask? Because the key decisions you make about talent management have a direct impact on your bottom line. The data collected by your HR team can demonstrate a clear ROI.

Of course this doesn’t apply to COVID times exclusively - productivity, wellbeing, training and development, turnover and absenteeism are all HR metrics that contribute to your organisation’s value. But this pandemic has elevated the importance of these metrics to a new level.

As we start to - fingers crossed - emerge from this crisis, people analytics will be a major player in helping HR professionals make innovative, data-driven decisions that will see organisations come out of the pandemic tunnel in a position of strength.

Managing remote working

With millions of employees across the country continuing to work remotely, HR functions are still facing the challenge of addressing employee wellbeing and maintaining positive morale. During this third lockdown in the UK, people analytics can help business leaders support employees, measure its impact, allocate resources and plan ahead. It will also help HR make decisions around the effectiveness of remote working and how well it could work in the future, when offices begin to reopen.

Assessing workforce gaps

For the first time in history, the UK’s talent pool is made up of four dynamic generations. And each of them has felt the impact of COVID-19 differently. Baby boomers may now be considering. Gen Xers have children and elderly parents to care for, so may prefer to continue working from home. Millennials have taken the brunt of redundancies, so you may have gaps that need to be filled. And Gen Z may need additional support and training to fill those gaps.

People analytics can give you a clearer picture of how your business has changed, how your workforce has changed and how you can maximise the potential of employees to work through this difficult time.

Hiring new talent

Although the coronavirus has brought recruitment to a halt for many organisations, finding and hiring the right people will retake it’s place on the agenda soon enough. It’s up to HR departments to start rethinking recruitment processes now. HRDs should be considering the tools they can utilise, such as applicant tracking systems, to gain meaningful insights from CVs, applications and interviews in order to save time and resources, and hire the best talent.

Planning ahead

How well your team is performing, opportunities for staff development, wellbeing, workforce gaps, visitor to applicant conversion rate, quality of hire, etc; this kind of intelligent data will equip your HR team with the knowledge they need to not only address issues now, but plan ahead for the future, as your business and the economy recovers from this pandemic.

What have your experiences been during this pandemic? How have you used people analytics to deliver maximum value in your business? Let’s connect - you can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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