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Setting up your People Analytics Teams for Success

Source | | Caroline Styr

For people analytics teams to be successful, they have to remain focused on the needs of the business. In other words, when prioritising people analytics projects, the team should concentrate on work that will drive significant business value, instead of carrying out work that has no relationship to the broader business strategy. 

Here’s a couple of examples of people analytics projects that tie directly to business value:

  • At National Australia Bank (NAB), the people analytics team investigated the factors that drive higher customer satisfaction across their branches. They analysed multiple sources of data collected over ten years at the branch and individual level. They also looked at customer satisfaction scores, sales results and repeat revenue. Their results showed that branches with the highest employee engagement have double the customer satisfaction scores. The team converted these findings into financial impact – speaking the language of the business – to show that employee motivation accounts for around a billion of NAB’s $5-6 billion annual profit. (For more on how NAB has scaled people analytics, listen to our podcast with Thomas Rasmussen, head of People Analytics)

  •  Government crisis management in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been criticised as too slow, too complacent, too late, too chaotic and not transparent enough in the full glare of the media. People analytics can help organisations avoid the same criticism, by helping companies to focus on a people-first response to Covid-19 and other crises. At Rabobank, for example, the people analytics team quickly set up a formal communication loop between the organisation and employees. Within 24 hours, the gathered feedback was converted into insights and advice for crisis teams to design new interventions.

In this article, we’re going to look at how you can set your people analytics team up for success by:

  1. Reorganising people analytics work along a business-centric value chain

  2. Operationalising the value chain through three ‘engines’

  3. Establishing the right teams, with the right skills to power each engine

Reorganising people analytics work along a business-centric value chain

The people analytics team can set itself up to deliver business value, as NAB and Rabobank have done, by adapting its operating model to operate along a value chain. The people analytics value chain is led by client drivers as inputs and ends with analytics products delivering business outcomes at scale:

This model takes an ‘outside-in’ approach. The Client Drivers include the business strategy, stakeholder challenges (i.e. challenges that you discern from having conversations with executive stakeholders) and the People & HR strategy.

Instead of pondering questions like, ‘what’s my attrition rate?’ (understanding employee attrition has long been a staple exercise of people analytics teams) the function can change to examine more business-leading questions such as ‘what people factors will improve my business performance?’ and ‘which roles in my organisation deliver the most value?’

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