What happened at the 2017 Super Bowl? It was a tale of two games. Atlanta blows New England out in the first half, but then New England blows Atlanta out by a little bit more in the second half. How did the Patriots do it? An analytical coach named Bill Belichick, who has now won 5 Super Bowl’s, studied his data at halftime and made the right adjustments. How much time is left on your company’s game clock?
We know that nobody can totally predict the future. However, if you have the best and most up to date information, you can make informed decisions. Suppose, like the Patriots, your company has an unacceptably low level of production per employee, which is leading to low profits or even losses. Obviously this situation cannot be left alone, so you need to find the root causes and make adjustments.
The first step is to look and see if there is a pattern. Has productivity been going down for a while? Then you have to track your people metrics over that same period. That may not be an easy chore if your data is spread out over multiple systems.
According to Lisa Rowan of IDC (International Data Corporation), the average corporation has approximately 23 different human resource software solutions. Most medium to large sized companies likely have an HRIS (Human Resource Information System), a TMS (Talent Management System), as well as Payroll, and Time and Benefits systems. There could also be large chunks in spreadsheets as well. It’s critical that all of this data be unified in order to trend the associated metrics.
Once you have secured the metrics and established the trends, it would then be useful to overlay certain events on the trend line to determine any correlations. Did turnover start to go down a when a new benefits program was put in place, or did productivity start to go up after a new general manager was hired? Analytics can help you tie root causes to either poor or positive trends within your organization. Then you can act.
Also, people analytics need not only come from internal company data. The ability to incorporate industry hiring and salary data is also useful in optimizing a workforce. If you’re a technology company forecasting a large expansion of developers, then knowing industry averages and as well as cause and effects can be very useful to your planning efforts.
Are salaries on the rise, or are you hiring in a down market? The ability to get more and better employees can mean the difference between profits and losses.
So, whether you’re coaching a sports team or running a business, it’s important to know where you stand today, and what corrections or accelerations need to be made for a better tomorrow. Belichick knows that, and he’s hoisting another trophy.