Every week we scour the internet for the finest HR news, articles, and insights, compiling them here in a weekly roundup. This week we look at the effect of big data on the HR function, a new way to review workplace performance, and fixing excessive employee absences.
Big data is a huge opportunity for HR departments looking to improve their impact on the workplace. In this week's roundup, we take a look at the Forbes HR Council's recommendations for leveraging big data, as well as the next HR revolution. Later on we'll examine the effectiveness of frequent feedback, job branding, and how to fix excessive employee absences. Let's jump right in.
Big data provides previously unquantifiable metrics that can be acted upon in real time. By isolating elements that can hamper productivity, actions can be taken to improve employee engagement, retention, and staff morale. The Forbes HR Council provides six ways for HR to leverage big data:
- Uncover, Then Improve Engagement Drivers. Big data can provide insight into what engagement drivers to focus on, and how to best impact them.
- Predict Future Success. Track metrics that are common to the most successful hires, then use those metrics when making future hires.
- Use KPIs. Match productivity per employee to your company’s goals, then use that to forecast what staffing should like like in each department.
- Help Workers. Share the insight gained from big data with leaders and workers so they can understand trends and act in ways to improve them.
- Use Data to Plan, Not Just to Analyze. Take KPIs and use them to determine the best sources of talent as well as programs to keep talent.
- Introduce Visibility to the Workforce. Equip management with information on what workers need to succeed.
Find the Forbes HR Council: Twitter
“In the past few decades the HR function has evolved from an administrative function to being a strategic partner to the business,” Paul Keijzer begins. “Through this HR evolution companies have seen healthier work environments with an emphasis on developing the corporate culture, improved retention strategies, an engaged workforce and alignment of its employees to the company goals.”
He examines three functions of HR that are now primed for further evolution:
- Agility and Speed. Industries and markets are being disrupted faster than ever before - and HR needs the speed and flexibility to accommodate each new trend. HR must be willing to change as quickly as the goals and targets of business leaders.
- Analyze and Educate. Information related to attrition, engagement, talent management, and learning should be shared. Big data has made collecting and analyzing this data easier than ever, and departments outside of HR should be make able to leverage it.
- Flexible and Engaging. In the age of Glassdoor, HR departments will turn their focus to employer branding. Companies with an engaged and happier workforce will succeed over those that do not.
Find Paul: Twitter
Many companies have done away with the annual performance review, leaving a feedback void in its place. “High performers no longer get positive reinforcement and low performers do not know where they stand,” Prem Kumar explains. “Turning to frequent, lightly documented performance check-ins is the answer to a better review process.” He provides 4 reasons these more frequent feedback sessions should replace the outdated performance review.
- Recency Bias. By focusing on recent performance, employees can address potential problems before they become set in stone.
- Siloed Data. Gathering paperwork for an annual performance review is exceedingly difficult. Frequent check-ins provide the opportunity for employees and managers to create relevant performance objectives.
- Lack of Transparency. “In the traditional review framework, projects and tasks can get swept under the rug or shrugged off,” Kumar says.
- No Coaching or Real-Time Feedback. Working on performance in real-time allows for issues to be worked on as they occur. They likely contribute to productivity increases, as well.
Find Prem: Twitter
When working to boost employer brand, many HR professionals forget what actually matters to the average candidate: the job. “It has everything to do with the type of job you have to offer the person, and then the second most important part I will say is the type of boss the candidate will be working for,” Tim Sackett explains.
Most employers are not particularly unique or special, and when considering jobs at these, most candidates barely consider employer brand. “From a marketing perspective, it’s really focusing first on why this ‘job’ is the one for you, not why our ‘organization is the one for you,” Sackett concludes.
Find Tim: timsackett.com
When an employee starts to exhibit a pattern of absences, the whole team is affected. Forbes’ HR Council provides eight ways to cut down on these sorts of absences.
- Coach Healthy Lifestyles. Sick employees are less likely to come into work - encourage healthy lifestyles to decrease this risk.
- Find the Source of the Problem. If the issue is internal, find out what is draining them. If the problem is external, use it as an opportunity for the company to help the employee overcome the obstacle.
- Have a Straightforward Conversation. Find out if the employee’s heart is still in their work.
- Couple Expectations With Flexibility. Give employees clear expectations for attendance, but layer a flexible work structure on top of them.
- Encourage Time Away to Recharge. Put the power to take time off and recharge in the hands of the employee.
- Create a Place People Want to Belong. Make sure people feel accepted at work - if they truly feel comfortable in the workplace, there will not be an attendance issue.
- Hold People Accountable. Train managers to meet with employees as soon as a pattern of absences emerges.
- Make Opportunities Clear. Build trust between your organization and employees. Hopeful employees are employees who show up to work.
Find the Forbes HR Council: Twitter