Can HR Analytics Investments Help Make Your HR Team a MVP?

Should you making HR Analytics investments in 2017?Should you making HR Analytics investments in 2017?

One of the challenges we face as executives is deciding what technology projects we invest in for our organizations. This year many clients and partners are trying to decide where to invest their money for the coming year. Many are considering making HR analytics investments for 2017. I thought it might be helpful to share what you should expect from your HR analytics investments.

HR analytics investments continue to increase in both large and midmarket organizations. What should you look for in your HR analytics investments in the coming year?  I believe 2017 is going to change how HR works. I believe many early adopters in HR analytics are beginning to see the returns they expected when they made their initial investments.

This being said, HR analytics investments continue to grow. Here’s my short list of why you should make your HR analytics investments sooner rather than later. I believe that HR analytics can provide you with a great set of tools that can help you grow your organization.

HR analytics investments help organizations find potential problems and identify new opportunities for their organizations. One of the key benefits I’ve seen in larger organizations is HR analytics provide a deeper, more complete view of the organization. It is essential for new adopters to focus on the critical needs of their organizations first. Your investments should address larger organizational business objectives and strategies.

HR analytics investments help organizations uncover relationships and interdependent factors impacting your organizations. HR analytics can provide your organization with significant information about critical areas in your organizations. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Make sure your HR organization is able to analyze what’s happening and isolate the causes. This also means that you need to have access to the right resources at the right time. People want the facts, but many times that’s not enough to get the changes made without stakeholder buy in. Learning how to provide your clients and team with actionable insights are critical to getting the best return on your HR analytics investments.

When HR analytics investments are done right, they can help an organization set their priorities and make better decisions. I believe one of the larger opportunities HR analytics provides is the fact they give HR and the organization’s leaders better and faster decision making capabilities.

HR analytics investments should help you and your team set priorities and monitor progress. Many of your executive stakeholders want to see progress as you begin working with HR analytics. To have the impact you’re looking for, I recommend using Key Performance Metrics early on in the adoption process. In many cases, we are measuring and quantifying impact in soft areas of the business.

One of the best ways to do this is to work with key stakeholders throughout the HR analytics rollout. It is critical to your program’s success to understand what the key metrics are in your early projects. What do stakeholders expect from you efforts? Having your team align their efforts with your organization’s strategy is one way of having impact when you share your information across the organization.

Measuring contribution can be a little more challenging. Accurate measurement should include both hard and soft measurement criteria. In many situations, the soft elements are the ones that have the largest impact on the organization. HR analytics can help you quantify key elements impacting your organization’s growth and success. Your HR analytics partners should be able to provide you with starting points for many critical issues inside your organization. My clients have found many different resources that help accelerate the learning and adoption curve on HR analytics.

HR analytics investments must focus on results. There is no substitute for getting results. However, I’ve seen many projects fail because they have not determined the best way to share the results in a way that impacts others on the senior leadership team.

Can your HR analytics investments earn you a seat at the table?  I heard an executive once say that HR will get a seat at the table when they earn it. How would you respond to an executive like this? I asked him how would they earn it and the executive shared what he expected from his HR team. I asked if they knew what he expected. He told me they should. I asked him to share how he evaluates their performance. I don’t believe that anyone could meet his expectations.

A difficult situation to be sure. But not the only one I’ve seen. The best solution I’ve found is having HR serve as internal consultants to the other executives. Successful HR people shape their conversations and presentations to match their constituents. HR analytics can be a powerful tool in shaping how people see the HR role in the organization. Don’t worry, we will continue talk about this on future blogs.

Next Monday, I’ll share how to get the most out of the conferences you attend over the next several weeks and months.

Next week, I’ll be attending an IBM Outthink program in Los Angeles. I look forward to sharing what I learn about the power of your HR analytics investments. See you next week.

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