Using Big Data to Revolutionize Employee Management

on December 26th, 2016
Big data

Businesses tend to think of big data as a critical tool for analyzing marketing results with the goal of being able to read and react in real-time. Granted, the ability to adjust inventory counts to what’s happening right now in a given market is certainly intriguing. However, there are other applications for big data and they aren’t always focused on outside clients. In fact, big data can be used to revolutionize employee engagement.

Most C-level executives and mid-level managers think along the lines of key performance indicators (KPI) when it comes to measuring the performance of individual employees. The idea is to track performance against predetermined benchmarks. Periods of review are established, performance is tracked, and a decision is made as to whether an employee is meeting their potential, or falling short of expectations.

While this aforementioned approach helps determine whether an employee is capable of completing tasks on time, and within scope, it does little to outline whether the employee is actually satisfied. It does nothing to answer whether the employee is motivated to act, motivated to go the extra mile, and whether they’re reaching their full potential. More importantly, it doesn’t help the organization isolate their company-wide top performers, ones that build the company from within and ones the company wants to keep and hire more of. So what does it take to tie your long-term HR goals into a measurable data you can track?

Bring Employees Into the Fold

If customer data from a given market is never static or stationary, then why should employee data be nothing more than a one-time employee satisfaction survey? It shouldn’t. Your big data gathering strategy must be a never-ending pursuit. Make your employees part of the discussion. Focus on gathering multiple data points across multiple internal departments.

Fill Your Big Data Funnel

Make data collection a continuous pursuit, one where you constantly fill in the data gaps by revisiting how data was collected and the quality of that data. Next, commit yourself to being able to properly analyze that data. This isn’t something that can be left to just anyone. Make sure the individuals tasked with putting that data to use are ones capable and up to the task.

Create Employee-Centric KPIs

Come up with a list of internal KPIs that define employee motivation and satisfaction. Focus on long-term metrics like tenure and retention rates. Make your KPIs more employee-centric and make those employees part of the process. Ask them what they consider to be critical indicators of satisfaction and incorporate those responses within your metrics. Again, those aforementioned KPIs adopted by high-level executives don’t answer whether employees are truly satisfied and incentivized to make things happen.

Measure, Adjust and Recalibrate

Go back to your original long-term HR objectives. Did you enter this year wanting to reduce your employee turnover rate? Were you successful and if so, why? Tie your employee KPIs into your HR objectives company-wide and assess your progress at different points. Periods of review will help you stay on track and allow you to recalibrate, if needed.

Big data isn’t just a market-drive phenomenon. It’s applicable to both internal and external customers. In fact, making big data work internally takes the exact same commitment as it would externally. Collect the data, analyze it, review it and make adjustments when needed.

If you’re interested in other applications for big data, contact us for more information.