Using HR Data to Play a Strategic role in the Organization

Leveraging information collected from employees lets human resources play a strategic role in management and the organization. How to transform this knowledge into business intelligence.

“We can become very creative in the type of data that a human resources manager could explore in view of improving employee management practices,” explains Antoine Devinat, CHRP, psychologist and founder of Leadership DNA.

Collecting HR data

He evokes the case of Google – when employees enter the building, their interactions or movements are recorded thanks to the smartphone provided by the employer. This system allows, for example, managers to identify influential individuals, those who contribute to the success of others, to then place them in a role of mentor.

Without falling into Big Brother surveillance, a manager can collect a certain amount of data in an entirely ethical way. This can range from the amount of emails received and sent to the time spent interacting with others, data on presence and attendance at work, tests and surveys completed, participation in various groups, training followed… “All daily behaviours are technically data that HR could use,” explains Antoine Devinat.

Predicting performance

The ultimate aim for a company is to predict performance. So, thanks to the data collected, human resources managers are able to propose more efficient practices. Antoine Devinat cites emails as an example. “How many times does an employee send an email with hundreds of people copied, creating an avalanche of responses that make everyone lose the thread?”

By detecting this type of poor practice, the company can propose better ones to replace these time-wasting behaviours. “For example, if a company notes that the more employees receive emails the better they perform, they become able to link performance to the volume of emails. They can then propose a better HR practice,” he adds.

Transforming data into business intelligence

In fact, any behaviour is information that can be transformed into business intelligence. You simply have to know how to analyze it. “This can be physical, such as the number of kilometres that separate employees from their workplace or the temperature in the room,” Antoine Devinat says.

Finally, the founder of Leadership DNA argues that access to data is currently a very important issue, especially in Canada. “At the moment, no company is sufficiently equipped to really do it. Their systems were not designed for that,” he notes however.

Analysis of a company’s employee data therefore still has a huge potential for Canadian companies.

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