As its name implies, the Ostrich School of HR Management is committed to running the people side of the business by relying heavily on a head-in-the-sand strategy. A few of the rationalizations from a leading member of the Ostrich School about why not to apply analytic scrutiny in the realm of HR (and no, we didn’t make this up):
1. In the HR function, we already know what’s going on. It’s just the executives who are demanding we provide them with metrics and analysis to know whether things are moving in the right direction or not.
2. Analysis would simply confirm what we already know and that we are doing the right things.
3. The analysis might point out the need for us to do some things differently – and we won’t be able to do that. So better not to do the analysis.
Folks – we all know we can do better than this.
There is both a necessity and an opportunity to use the tools of modern business to run the people side of your organization. This includes smarter surveys, predictive analytics, big data, and insightful reporting – all that stuff being ignored by members the Ostrich School (which, fortunately, doesn’t include everyone in the HR profession – just too high a percentage).
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I’ll be joining forces with KnowledgeAdvisors for a terrific new webinar, “Employee Surveys and Big Data: Gaining Crucial Business Insights from Your Workforce,” on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at 11:00 am.
I’ll share what I’ve learned about using employee surveys and predictive analytics to understand employee culture and drive better business results.
Join us and come away with insight into getting started, best practices and pitfalls to avoid!
Register here: http://ow.ly/jkcRT
No matter what name you prefer – HR analytics, HC analytics, or talent analytics – more and more organizations are getting serious about applying analytics to the people side of the business.
Our work with clients over the past decade has taught us that analytics can be enormously powerful, but there are also many pitfalls to avoid along the path to becoming a more analytically-capable organization.
Here are some of the major missteps to avoid:
1. Using analytics to “prove the worth of HR” – this may well be a byproduct of your efforts, but it should never be its primary purpose. (If it is, you’ll lose your credibility.)
2. Assigning responsibilities for analytics to a lower-level technician. In order for the power of analytics to be realized, it must have executive-level support. Otherwise, it will degenerate just into another pile of reports.
3. Believing benchmarking is the same thing as analytics. For most people-related issues, the actionable insight you gain from analytics completely eliminates any need for generic one-size-fits-all benchmarking.
4. Confusing data dumps with actual insights. While the process of analytics can involve lots of data, the reporting of results should not. Reports should focus clearly on the major findings and implications, with supporting tables confined to an appendix. No one wants to wade through dozens (or hundreds) of data tables trying to figure out what they all mean.
5. Allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good. We have not yet worked with a client whose data is perfect. But using the lack of perfection as an excuse for inaction ensures that your HR function will fall behind in analytics. And analytics is one of the most important developments the profession has seen in the past few decades.
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If you’re not already aware of it, I’m excited to call to your attention the Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp), an important initiative to bring internal reporting standards to the human capital industry. This effort began two years ago as an industry-led, grass roots initiative led by industry thought leaders and practitioners. Significant progress has been made and hundreds of organizations, including consultants and vendors, are now adopting TDRp.
The nonprofit Center for Talent Reporting (CTR) was created in 2012 as a long-term home for TDRp. (McBassi is a founding sponsor and I’m a member of the board of directors.)
TDRp measures and reports have been developed for all key talent processes including:
Learning and Development
Outcome, effectiveness, and efficiency measures are available for each process along with sample statements and reports suitable for program managers, department heads and senior leaders.
TDRp workshops have just been announced for 2013. Dave Vance and Peggy Parskey from the Center will conduct a hands-on, two-day workshop covering all elements of TDRp including assumptions, principles, types and definitions of measures, and creation and use of statements and reports. Dates and locations for the first three workshops include the following:
February 14-15, Denver, CO
March 26-27, Irvine, CA
April 29-30, Alexandria, VA
TDRp Certification for individual practitioners and software as well as TDRp Accreditation for adopting companies and consulting organizations will also begin in 2013.