Which companies have a people analytics strategy that inspires you?
Culture Amp. Was this a trick question? Actually, the answer to this question can be a nice length book, particularly as the natural follow-on question is considered, “Why do these companies inspire you?” For now, I’ll be very brief. I’ll provide a short list with a quick “Why…?”
Not in any order: Microsoft, Salesforce, Facebook, Unilever, BMS, McKesson, Patagonia, Western Digital, LinkedIn, Johnson & Johnson. There are, of course, others. I just want to highlight a few commonalities I observe among these organizations:
- Trust, Ethics, & Privacy. These organizations and others have clear reasons for doing what they do in People Analytics, as well as clear communication strategies that inspire trust within the workforce – trust that the data they (the workers) generate, is being used responsibly, ethically, and in ways that’ll benefit them as well as the organization.
- Focus on Future. Whether it be workforce planning, recruiting strategies, communication strategies, or other, these organizations use people-related insights to formulate ways in which to improve over time. They don’t analyze for analysis sake, nor do they analyze via the rear-view mirror. Insights and interwoven into decision-making processes so they’re operationalized. They’re now a part of how business is being done. (Note: Can they improve? I’m imagine all would say they still have a ways to go… good! I imagine, and in some cases know, they’re working to get there.)
- Customer focused. I’m talking about internal customers here. All know, to varying degrees, what their internal customers want, when they want it, and what they’re not asking for that they should. This then informs the prioritization of projects and how best to meet internal need.
- Appropriate Team Members. Within larger teams it’s worth (arguably) analyzing Individual, Team, Organizational behavior, as well as the behavior of External Talent Market (including alumni). This is rarely one individual, thus a team needs to be assembled. Other team members may include internal change agents (data translators), product developers, etc. Whatever the case, the work is guided by what’s determined to be needed by point 3, what internal customers want.
- The World of Work. All are looking at People Analytics within the greater theme of the future of work. They’re considering how AI, globalization, gig economy, etc. will affect what work gets done, how it’ll get done and, in turn, worker experiences, people-related investments, skill sets of the future, etc. This holistic approach broadens the influence of People Analytics and appropriately places people insights within a broader Work Strategy.
- The World of People Analytics. People Analytics used to be largely project based, a discrete event that generate insight in a point in time. Now people insights are generated in ongoing, sustainable ways, and these ways are supported by tools, tools that are both inside and outside the organization. It’s an ecosystem of tools, technologies, data, and analytical techniques. Understanding this ecosystem can be complicated. It can also be empowering. These organizations keep up to date on technologies and prospective partners and repeatedly secure relationships that augment their internal capability. People Analytics in 2019 and beyond takes a village, and these firms understand this and have invested accordingly.
- Appropriate Budget. Nothing is done for free. These organizations understand that good people-related and insights don’t come for free or because millions of dollars has been invested in a transactional system. What’s required for good data and insights are effective people, process, technologies, and governance. This times investment and conscious formation. All have done well to highlight the business cases and critical nature of the work.
Hope this helps, Damon; and, again, thanks for your question!