How to increase your HR business impact in 2023 with people analytics

Synopsis of the People Analytics Leadership Forum event, 18th January 2023

People Analytics is a rapidly growing field in HR, and with good reason. In uncertain times, it’s even more important to plan for the long-term and optimize your workforce.

That’s why the People Analytics Leadership Forum, hosted by Activ8 Intelligence, was such an important event for HR leaders, workforce planners, and people analytics practitioners.

The panel of experts, including Alessandro Linari – Associate Partner People Analytics UK & EMEA at AON, Oliver Kasper – Group Head of People Analytics at Richemont Group, and Dave Millner, Occupational Psychologist and HR Futurist at HR Curator, had a lot to say about the challenges facing HR leaders today and the opportunities that exist to increase their influence and impact on the business.

The discussion started with the question: What do we think will be a priority for HR and people analytics in 2023? Alessandro’s observation was that there is a growing focus on HR analytics, and he sees this as a positive thing.

“I see uncertainty in the business world and I can see that there is a focus on what matters, so from an HR analytics perspective, I can see that this is going to be a positive thing. Strategic workforce planning, skills development and workforce optimization are at the top of people’s minds when they think about uncertain times and how to prepare for something that isn’t known”.

Oliver added to the discussion, saying that data privacy is a topic that will continue to become more important, especially in the field of people analytics. He also agreed that there is a need for strategic workforce planning, as well as the development of skills and the optimization of the workforce.

“I think the overall theme needs to be: How can I have a highly performing workforce and how can I provide the highest business value in the business context of the company? I think people analytics teams are going to have to make themselves a necessity in 2023”.

When it comes to the role of HR leaders in people analytics, Dave Millner emphasized the importance of demonstrating value and developing the capability of the HR team.

“If HR can’t communicate it, it puts a lot of pressure on the people analytics team,” he said. “The HR community is starting to understand that data analytics is not going to go away, and that this is our real opportunity.”

Oliver went on to talk about the balance between driving up performance and reducing costs. He gave an example of how people analytics was used to improve sales, production quality, and efficiency, as well as drive cultural change.

“We looked at how to improve sales with people analytics, including optimal staffing and staffing of the stores, the selection of sales staff, and where in the employee life cycle would you need to have training for the sales staff to have the highest sales output and the highest engagement survey results.”

“We also calculated the loss of sales from turnover. When you start to do that, you suddenly get attention not only from an HR point of view, but from the business side. Then you get buy-in.”

Alessandro talked about the challenges of getting people to embrace people analytics. “People are afraid of people analytics, especially if they are not coming from an analytics background,” he commented. “You need to find people who are willing to support you and who also believe in the power of people analytics.”

So what can HR leaders do to make the most of people analytics? According to the panel of experts, it’s all about solving key business problems and demonstrating value.

“In order to have a people analytics solution, you need to ask: What kind of business problem do you have?” said Alessandro. “Then you need to do a bit more technical stuff of data science, data aggregation and then you implement your initiatives based on the results – in principle, it’s very simple.”

The discussion moved on to a question asking how people analytics can help inform and support growing DEI&B reporting requirements.

We know that the EU Pay Parity Directive comes into force in 2024. Which means any company with operations in the EU will have to do a lot more reporting around their gender pay gaps, around parity, and do a piece of work to find out and justify where gaps over 2.5% exist.

Dave suggested: “I think we’ve also got to understand that DEI&B is about changing the way in which an organization operates. It’s about improving performance and showing the benefits of what a diverse and equitable workforce can do. So, I think certainly people analytics can help in that identification of some case studies, some digging down into stats, but I think we need to make sure that we’re not just ticking boxes”.

“I’m working with a global waste management company at the moment, and we’ve gone through a big phase of finding where the gaps in data are internally, and what do the external trends say.”

“What we need to do is to look at the reporting data and start to drill down and find case studies, both positive case studies and maybe not quite so positive, so that they are a call to action and a call to people to change behaviours and their approach.”

The key takeaway from the People Analytics Leadership Forum is that people analytics is a powerful tool for HR leaders to optimize their workforce and drive value for their organizations. It’s all about finding the right people, solving problems, and demonstrating value.

“The fun part of people analytics is that as the company experiences challenges, you can see what problems exist, and then you can solve them. That feeling is the fun part,” said Oliver.

In conclusion, the People Analytics Leadership Forum was a valuable opportunity for HR leaders, workforce planners, and people analytics practitioners to learn from their peers and see how people analytics is helping increase the impact of the HR function on the business.

With the right tools, a focus on solving business problems, and a commitment to collaboration and demonstrating value, people analytics has the power to transform the business and elevate the impact and influence of the HR leader too.

If you would like to watch clips from this Leadership Forum Event please email the team info@activ8intelligence.com

To register your interest for the next leadership forum please complete the short form here.

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