Talent analytics are the key to creating training programs that improve workplace performance. For example, Google launched Project Oxygen in 2008 to determine which management qualities had the biggest positive impact on employee happiness and retention. The tech giant then used its findings to develop new management training programs.
Since then, more organizations have realized the potential of talent analytics. In 2017, Deloitte found that more than 70 percent of companies considered talent analytics a high priority. However, what companies said didn’t match what they were actually doing. Only 9 percent of respondents in the same study said they understood which talent dimensions drove their organizations’ performance.
Human Resources professionals need to use talent analytics to help employees prepare for the post-pandemic era. Savvy companies will rely on data to maintain an upward trajectory as the business landscape shifts once again. If you don’t, your organization’s performance might suffer (like when COVID-19 first hit).
Informing Training Initiatives
There are two levels of talent analytics: individual and organizational. Individual analytics offer insight into each employee’s job fit, engagement, behavioral competencies at work, and paradoxical behaviors. These findings can help you create more effective strategies for individual employee training, hiring, role placement, talent development, and retention.
Organizational analytics differ from individual analytics because they also provide you with an overview of your company’s leadership team and overarching culture. This paints a complete picture of where your organization may need additional training to improve organizational performance. Although this can be useful when assessing departments or teams, it shouldn’t be used to create a one-size-fits-all solution. Any initiatives targeting employees’ specific behavioral competencies at work should be based on individual analytics.
Putting Analytics Into Practice
There are a variety of ways to collect the data you need to inform training initiatives. For instance, our team at Harrison Assessments has created the SmartQuestionnaire. This tool allows users to gather data that can be analyzed in a variety of ways so employees don’t have to fill out multiple surveys. When the pandemic began, many HR professionals used the results to determine whether individuals were prepared for remote work and remote leadership.
Talent analytics assessment surveys are just one way to gather information; you also can conduct performance assessments, analyze metrics such as absenteeism, or track employee training records over time. As long as you’re gathering data to inform your training programs, you’ll be able to improve individual and organizational performance. But no matter what data collection methods you rely on, make sure your talent analytics initiatives include these three critical components:
1. Companywide Buy-In
You know what kind of value talent analytics can produce, but your employees might see an initiative as a way to track their performance and squeeze out every last drop of productivity. By communicating how valuable analytics are to the organization as a whole—and to each employee’s development, career advancement, and satisfaction—you can earn buy-in and start the initiative off on the right track.
2. Useful Feedback
Analytics can inform significant organizational changes, but these changes can breed resentment unless you share the findings that inspired them. Give employees feedback related to their data on both an individual and organizational level, using these insights to create realistic and mutually beneficial action plans. If you use talent analytics in conjunction with performance reviews, for instance, you can empower managers to have even more productive discussions with their team members and suggest targeted employee training.
3. Regular Reassessments
Progress isn’t instant, so you’ll want to track individual, team, and organizational findings over time to measure improvements and identify areas that need additional development. Comparing data across teams, departments, and divisions can help you identify areas for employee training and development before they become an issue. For example, some skill gaps and culture problems can stay hidden for years and only emerge when it’s too late to make meaningful changes.
It’s easy to get behind the importance of talent analytics, but it’s more difficult to implement analytics initiatives that produce meaningful results. As your organization enters the business world’s “next normal,” make sure you know where your employees are and what training they might need. As long as you actively prepare for future shifts, you’ll benefit from improvements in company performance.