HR Analytics: does it really improve productivity?

“The entry of data analytics into HR is one of HR’s greatest opportunities to modernize the function and raise its level of value…migrating HR from its historically tactical function within a business to being a strategic function.” ~ Tracey Smith, HR and Data Analytics expert.

HR Analytics uses data to examine employees’ behaviour in order to understand levels of performance and production. How well workers use their time, the convenience or hindrance of production systems, and how relationships impact on efficiencies, is important to managing workflow better and highlighting issues that may require swift attention. The importance of HR Analytics is that it creates immediate actionable opportunities for improvement.

Without a doubt employee productivity and company profitability are intertwined. Solving issues in the former – whether through streamlining, employee retention or retrenchment, retraining or redeployment – and introducing better methods that better serve both employees and business goals, makes good sense. HR Analytics provides a significant framework for formulating solutions for various issues.

Improving productivity through HR Analytics

Begin by separating technical and non-technical capabilities. The former will include measuring qualifications, experience, training, and retraining required for improvements. The second includes aspects such as environmental issues that impinge upon performance such as work station convenience, equipment required, and solutions to potential production line blockages.

The purpose is to establish more work done to the highest standards possible in a set amount of time without causing stress to the workforce. Driving high quality is only possible if the basic structures and necessities have been addressed. And you can’t do this without analysing the information often hidden in the routine work patterns of your staff.

Get a better handle on staff turnover. If high it will negatively impact your business. This is where workforce analytics can be so helpful – spotting issues that may never come to light in other circumstances. Get to know what is troublesome for workers, deal with resentments or conflict, get to grips with remuneration concerns, career aspirations, training needs, etc. If you are measuring these matters and they are discussed often, you will begin to see where improvements can be made as the data reports to you.

If you think like Google, you will have already researched and inculcated ways to attract the best candidates – and then keep them. The process of evaluation should begin with the first job interview and follow that candidate as he or she journeys from onboarding through to training and performance, to promotion. Keeping tabs on an employee’s actions, perceptions and problems is as important as measuring productive output.

Corporate culture, often developed over years of interactions with staff and clients, can sometimes present a negative factor in employee management. Over time, things change such as age-gaps, fashion, trends and technology. Along with these changes, company culture should be re-evaluated to assess what is still applicable.

Matching people of like ability and complementary talents in a team can be most beneficial to optimising productivity levels. Gathering data through surveys is very helpful in giving you insights into team harmony and leadership potential. Assessing early signs of leadership helps with effecting more positively operative appointments, ultimately generating greater production capacity.

Vital data analysis allows you to give each individual employee feedback on their performance. Areas that need enhancement can be discussed – and the employee can also provide input on aspects that they might like changed to assist them to maximise their performance.

HR analytics helps to identify traits that indicate the likely accomplishment of any individual or team, thus setting the scene for more predictable success and avoidance of expensive and time-consuming mistakes. This means that workforce analytics can eliminate working by trial and error. It thus refines the decision-making process, which in turn gets production underway more efficiently. Scheduling becomes more effective and training more targeted.


HR Analytics proves a fundamental point: people are productivity. Naturally therefore, they impact on everything to do with productivity. Every person is an individual who works differently, has preferences with regard to motivation, has varying personal issues, different strengths, physical capabilities and intellectual talent. All of this affects the company both internally and externally, and is directly influential on company productivity. Drilling down into these aspects and precisely measuring them in data format is crucial to understanding their implication for productivity.



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