When we look at how you can bolster your business roadmap using your HR strategy within the current climate, there are two factors that can and will set you apart from your competitors:
- Your people
- Your data
It goes without saying, then, that your people analytics strategy is critical to informing and achieving your organization’s objectives – and at the same time, future-proofing your business.
At the heart of your people analytics strategy is, of course, your people. While data runs through the veins of your analytics, you can’t set up a successful people analytics strategy – or indeed gain any meaningful insights – without having a great people strategy in place first.
In this article, we’ll dive into some people strategy examples with tips on how to draw out and analyze employee insights through HR analytics to inform your overall business roadmap.
RELATED: The beginner’s guide to HR analytics
What does a great people strategy look like?
There are some obvious (and some subtle) differences between people strategies and HR strategies. While your overall HR strategy enables you to organize operational and administrative tasks such as compensation management, employee retention, and onboarding and offboarding, your people strategy focuses on building and maintaining the relationship between your organization and its employees. A good people strategy can optimize how HR managers utilize their talent through:
- Fostering a healthy work culture.
- Cultivating a great employee experience.
- Providing effective leadership.
- Promoting employee-centric initiatives (e.g. for learning and development).
Historically, we’d see organizations establish their HR strategy early in their business roadmap while their people strategy took a backseat (and was left to develop organically rather than strategically). Nowadays, most successful businesses know they need to level-up their people strategy as workforces globally try to manage the challenges brought about by the past couple of years in order to:
- Contend with unprecedented levels of employee burnout.
- Manage employee retention and attrition.
- Maintain and/or increase staff engagement.
Why do you need a people strategy?
To be able to achieve the strong staff retention, high performance, and ideal workplace culture that a great people strategy can offer, HR managers must develop robust practices that meet their employee’s needs while aligning with business objectives.
According to a report by Gallup on employee engagement companies with highly engaged teams are over 20% more profitable and 17% more productive. Simply put, when employees believe in the business and the work they are doing, they’re more invested in contributing to your business’s success.
What’s more is that focusing on your people strategy can significantly affect your bottom line. A great people strategy can pave the way for cost savings in your business. Conversely, a dissatisfied and disorganized workforce can quickly create blockers like high employee turnover, low performance, low productivity, increased absenteeism and so on – all of which significantly affects operating costs while simultaneously delaying the realization of your business’s goals. Losing just one employee can cost up to twice their annual salary, according to Builtin.
This is why your people strategy should become the foundation of your business’s strategic roadmap. It’s clear that a good people strategy allows employers to focus their human capital in a way that drives business objectives, and helps employees reach their full potential. Once a strong people strategy is established, it becomes easier to collate and analyze data on your employees, teams, and leaders to feed into your people analytics strategy to drive your business roadmap forward.
RELATED: Employee turnover cost calculator
Where does people analytics come into play?
People analytics is a data-driven approach whereby HR and organizations data is collected and processed to deliver valuable insights that you can use to activate your strategic roadmap. These insights anchor decision-making on tangible qualitative and quantitative data that can be used to assess current performance, address blockers to success and anticipate future trends with lower risk.
Want to learn more of the basics? We dive deeper into the question of “What is people analytics?” in this article.
Using people data analytics has become increasingly relevant in the modern workplace and has revolutionized the way leaders make decisions about their employees. In fact, a report published by Deloitte showed that 71% of companies considered people analytics a high priority in their organization, with 51% of companies correlating business impacts to HR activities. With people analytics as the focal point of your strategy, and using people analytics tools, you can optimize your organizational plan and achieve your business goals.
What should your people strategy focus on?
So, we’ve established that organizations need a good people strategy but how do you kick-off developing this strategy and how do people analytics fold in it?
A great starting point is to familiarize yourself with forecasted HR trends which not only reflect the general direction of changes occurring in the workplace but can also help orient you, as a HR leader, towards which processes need to be developed. Staying ahead of the game when it comes to the major upcoming HR challenges will help give your business an edge over your competitors.
Let’s dive into our recommended top three areas of HR that your people strategy (and by association, your people analytics strategy) should focus on so your business’s strategic roadmap is effective in 2022 and beyond.
RELATED: Download intelliHR’s 2022 State of HR Report to get the full analysis, understand what global HR managers are focusing on and benchmark your organization.
1. Health and wellbeing initiatives
Health and safety (be that physical and/or psychological safety) continue to be top priorities in 2022. With the pandemic waxing and waning across the globe, leaders who invest in the wellbeing of their employees are more likely to retain their workforce.
Studies conducted in 2021 have shown that mental health support is no longer a “nice-to-have” perk. By taking a proactive approach to your employees’ mental health and wellbeing, you can start to preemptively reduce the risk of burnout, Covid-19 fatigue, as well as reduce attrition and absenteeism.
On top of focusing on wellbeing initiatives, your investment into providing medical coverage and additional benefits, such as child care assistance, flexible paid time off, learning and development and physical health programs are likely to make your organization more attractive. The quality of your benefits packages can be the tie-breaker when candidates are evaluating a potential new workplace.
TIP: Incorporating health and wellbeing into your people analytics strategy
- Use your people analytics platform to send out regular wellness checks to gain an accurate representation of the “pulse” of your employees and understand their overall happiness through collated data and sentiment over time. From there, you can find patterns in the data to inform your next steps towards maintaining a happy workforce.
2. Hybrid and remote work
Arguably, the biggest transformation that has come about over the past few years is the large-scale shift to hybrid, remote and distributed workforce models. What started as a natural response to the safety regulations during the pandemic has now largely become a permanent cultural shift in how we look at the modern workplace and team collaboration.
According to Gartner, “A vast majority of HR leaders (95%) expect that at least some of their employees will work remotely after the pandemic.” While some organizations continue to chase after a permanent “return to office”, there is increasing proof that employees are looking at flexible and remote work as non-negotiable requirements.
To align with this demand, keep attrition levels low and successful recruitment levels high, companies could look to build a sustainable long-term hybrid workforce structure into their people strategy. Ensuring this is the right initiative for your specific workforce is key, however.
TIP: Incorporating hybrid and remote work into your people analytics strategy
- When onboarding a new employee who will be working from home remotely, use your people analytics platform to ensure their working arrangements are suitable by conducting and collating information using a “WFH” checklist.
3. Diversity and inclusion
The drive towards more inclusive and engaging workplaces has also shifted focus to the gaps in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives in the workplace. Business leaders should not only continue to address any issues around inclusivity, accessibility and accountability within their organizations but also work to build these initiatives directly into their people strategy.
By embracing and accelerating DE&I capabilities, resources and processes, bringing them to the forefront of your strategic business roadmap, you’d be providing fair and equal opportunities for your employees as well as gaining the ability to attract more diverse talent.
TIP: Incorporating diversity and inclusion into your people analytics strategy
- Create continuous opportunities for inclusive feedback by sending out regular feedback forms through your people analytics platform that address wellbeing, diversity, policies and procedures. Use this data to inform any changes and improvements that need to be made.
Tying your people strategy into your strategic business roadmap
By focusing on these top three aspects of your workforce and building out a people strategy that reflects these while collating and analyzing data to incorporate into your strategic business roadmap, you’re better able to move forwards confidently and tackle the challenges that will inevitably arise over the short term.
Having your people strategy at the heart of your business roadmap enables you to not only show (externally) that you’re committing to developing your employees’ well-being, health, career development and personal growth, it will boost the trust and confidence across your employer-employee relationship (internally). In turn, this will likely result in a more engaged and committed workforce that will drive your business objectives.
Set your organization apart with your people analytics strategy
Using the basic tips highlighted above, and then diving even deeper into your workforce data with robust HR software, you’ll be on the right track to creating a robust people analytics strategy. Your people insights play a major role in personalizing your strategic business roadmap, outside of general HR trends and workplace best practices. After all, there is no one cookie-cutter strategic plan that applies to all organizations. You need to develop the best plan for your team.