Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Employee Group

An organization that provides top wages and benefits loses a great employee to a competitor for no apparent reason. We can’t stop employees from leaving unless we have a plan to make them stay.

“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” – Alex Shultz (VP Growth, Facebook)

What is the biggest and most intractable restraint to growth faced by companies doing business today? For many organizations, it’s the lack of appropriate talent. The reason: As more organizations have expanded their operations, the need for talent has skyrocketed. But there isn’t enough skilled labor to fill the demand. As a result, one risks losing the talent to other organizations. And with so many companies drawing on a limited talent pool, the competition is fierce.

Glassdoor’s statistical analysis reveals top three factors that matter most for employee retention.

  • Company culture
  • Employee salary
  • Stagnating for long periods of time in the same job

By examining the survey responses of more than 100,000 employees in numerous organizations, Gallup also discovered common themes among the reasons employees chose to remain with a company or to leave it. The reasons employees chose to stay with a company included the following:

  • I feel my job is important to the company.
  • My supervisor cares about me and gives me regular feedback.
  • I know my job expectations.
  • My opinions count.
  • I have opportunity to do my best work every day.
  • My career development is encouraged.

All the above reasons are part of what is often known is “engagement”. Organizations, or teams with high levels of employee engagement score high in most if not all of these. Higher engagement levels not only significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, but are also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation and overall stakeholder value.

OWEN Analytics, who is are providing AI-based people solutions have developed a robust and comprehensive methodology to measure and enhance retention. They run quick pulse surveys that are a combination of “ME” questions (My opinions count), and “WE” questions (I would like to appreciate the following individuals for helping me in my day-to-day work). Open feedback questions are interspersed as well to understand sentiment and key issues.

This helps understand engagement drivers not only from an individual employee perspective, but also from a team dynamics perspective. After all, our engagement with the organization is actually our engagement with the people in the organization – hence understanding those relationships is critical in better understanding attrition. This is the science of ONA (Organization Network Analysis). The example below illustrates how ONA can be used to understand team dynamics in a pharmaceutical sales organization.

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Clearly, the more cohesive teams have better performance and lower attrition.

Now that we have looked at engagement comprehensively, we need to look at what other factors drive employee turnover, as shown below:

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As per Deloitte, moving beyond the analysis of employee engagement and retention, analytics and AI have come together, giving companies a much more detailed view of management and operational issues to improve operational performance.

Exploring People Analytics

People Analytics, a discipline that started as a small technical group that analyzed engagement and retention, has now gone mainstream as per Deloitte. Organizations are redesigning their technical analytics groups to build out digitally powered enterprise analytics solutions.

OWEN Analytics specializes in helping organizations improve retention using AI driven techniques. As per OWEN, “Machine learning predictions can be sufficiently accurate and thus very effective in enabling targeted interventions for retaining high risk employees. However, using such techniques requires significant expertise in developing predictive models and experience in interpreting the outputs.

HR leaders and aspiring analysts needn’t be disheartened though. One can start with some very simple analyses using nothing more than basic Excel and develop reasonably good retention strategies” Read their blog here: Manage attrition using simple analytics.

OWEN uses a systematic retention approach to understand, predict and drive necessary actions.

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Predictive models are developed using various Machine Learning algorithms (e.g. Decision Trees, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neural Networks) and best fit algorithm based on the accuracy and business context selected to predict flight risk.

Once the predictions are drivers are available, simple action planning templates to develop and track interventions are used to retain high potential employees.

Retention Challenge

The retention challenge is the result of increasing job mobility in the global knowledge economy where workers average six employers over the course of a career, coupled with the baby boomer retirement “brain drain” and a smaller generation of workers entering their prime working age during this time. It is occurring in all types of organizations across all management levels. This study empirically investigates whether the impact of an organization’s strategic orientation toward knowledge management, the learning culture it supports, and specific human resource practices impact knowledge worker retention and organization performance.

The Eight Elements of the High-Retention Organization as per SAS Institute

  • Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Caring Management
  • Flexible Benefits and Schedule Adapted to the Needs of the Individual
  • Open Communication
  • A Charged Work Environment
  • Performance Management
  • Recognition and Reward
  • Training and Development

As per Asia – Pacific Journal of Research, preventing turnover is a wise step to implement because it saves money, time, and effort. The company should spend a considerable effort and time to prevent turnover. It is better for an organization to keep experienced and productive employees than to hire new ones. It should invest in its employees through training programs, creating a good hiring process, and engrain them with strong organizational vision. To effectively solve turnover problems, every company needs to address the causes of the turnover. The causes of turnover might not be the same for every company. Below are the most common and affecting factors for preventing turnover.

It’s no more a secret that People Analytics plays a vital role for organizations in dealing with challenges of employee engagement and retention.

About the Authors:

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technologies. Engaging with OWEN Analytics.

Professional Advisor, Consultant, Investor in HR Tech. Having 12+ years of experience focusing on Strategies, People Analytics, Cloud, UX, Security, Integration and Entrepreneurship in Digital HR Transformation.

Tej Mehta — Founder & CEO of OWEN Analytics.

Entrepreneur, advisor, student of social sciences. Founded i-Cube as an intersection of analytics and social sciences. Previously, as Vice President with Seabury Group, led strategy and operational transformation programs across several clients in the airline and aerospace industries. Aeronautical engineer, MBA from University of Southern California.


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How Managers Can Use Feedback to Become Great Leaders

How Managers Can Use Feedback to Become Great Leaders

Written by Steffen Maier, Co-Founder of Impraise.

Electric Light

360-degree feedback can bring up a whole host of areas for improvement and help establish goals to be worked towards. Developing based on feedback is important for anyone, regardless of their position, experience level or objectives: managers are no exception.

We explain how the feedback managers receive can establish specific leadership training plans to help improve skills, performance and daily practices. This can help both inexperienced or first-time managers and those just looking to take their leadership skills to the next level and improve how they lead their team.

Upward feedback & where to go with it

Gaining feedback on daily practices, performance and skill sets can be an incredibly useful process. 360-feedback encompasses upward feedback from your team members, helping you to gain perspective from those who work closely with you. Hearing the views of those who work with you every day and have an acute awareness of your leadership style is a great chance to take a step back and re-evaluate. But, of course, once the feedback has been given, the process doesn’t end there. Using feedback for leadership training means that managers are able to work on the specific things that would improve both their leadership qualities and general interactions with their team on both a daily and a long-term basis.

Keep your team!

It’s often said that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. If there are multiple issues within a work environment but people generally like their manager, and are satisfied with how they’re being led, they’re less likely to leave their position. Ensuring that managers are not only listening to but acting on the feedback which they receive from their team makes it clear that the team’s views are valued, and means that managers will be able to use the feedback given to communicate with and work more effectively with their team. Managers will be on the road to improvement, and team members will feel both valued and more satisfied, be less likely to leave their position and begin to work more effectively with their managers.

Engagement & team spirit

After the leadership training has taken place, it’s likely that team morale will increase, communication will improve and employee engagement will be on the rise. It’s not just managers that will improve from leadership training either. Research from the Journal of Business Strategies found that leaders who were able to impact the long-term cohesion of their teams could account for more than 25% of the team’s overall performance. Effective leaders will keep their team communicating well and keep engagement levels up by giving them useful and motivating feedback, and making the organization a positive and impactful place to work.

Using Impraise, it’s never been easier for managers to develop. Feedback comes in the form of both real-time updates and reviews where questions can be tailored to find out exactly what skills or traits can be improved. Once feedback is received, it’s collated into an automatic report identifying exactly which skills and practices require focus. Now it’s time for improvement: continuous feedback that carries on long after the review process gives team members the opportunity to continue the conversation and provide real-time feedback on their manager’s ongoing development.

Summary:

  • Using upward feedback for manager training means team members know their input is valued
  • Successful leaders interact with employees in a way that significantly increases employee engagement and performance
  • Employees communicate better as a team as a result of more effective management
  • Good leadership training based on team feedback will lowers turnover rates

About the Author:

Steffen Maier

Steffen Maier is co-founder of Impraise a web-based and mobile solution for actionable, timely feedback at work. Based in New York and Amsterdam, Impraise turns tedious annual performance reviews into an easy process by enabling users to give and receive valuable feedback in real-time and when it’s most helpful. The tool includes an extensive analytics platform to analyze key strengths and predict talent gaps and coaching needs.


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2017: The Year of Employee Engagement

2017: The Year of Employee Engagement

Saddle up, 2017—we’ve got a lot to catch you up on!

First thing’s first: there’s a new Twitter-wielding President in town.

Second on the agenda: We lost too many noteworthy artists and influencers in 2016; so it’s on you to knock that off.

Third: there are these things called “millennials”—yeah, I know, nobody really has a firm grasp on the meaning. But you, my young, doe-eyed 2017, are all about getting this generation engaged and excited, pushing them to their limits!

Are you ready, 2017?

Because millennials are.

But they’ve been the ire of bad publicity for their job hoppiness and perceived disconnectedness from work.

…even after the office installed its fourth swirly slide.

The audacity.

But the nice thing about hindsight is that we can all look back and laugh, and maybe weep a little, at all the resources wasted on ball-pits, nap rooms, and arcade parlors.

Because, in hindsight, we can see where the problems emerged. Like, for instance, how it’s a bit insulting to spend money on frivolous niceties instead of the hired talent.

That’s where YOU come in, 2017!

Millennials WANT Professional Development Opportunities

Can somebody hand me a megaphone? Because a lot of management teams are dragging their feet on this.

Ahem… MILLENNIALS WANT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

Sorry for the yelling.

But it’s so very, very true.

A recent Gallup poll found that 87 percent of millennials, in fact, say development is important in a job. This factored highly into their attitudes toward retention too. And though they are practically yelling from the rooftops for growth opportunities (more so than any previous generation, mind you), most organizations simply aren’t listening.

In their defense, it is tough to hear over the sound of drills fastening bunk beds to walls (a huge liability).

But here’s the thing: the millennial workforce has matured. They simply aren’t quite as interested in “perks” as once believed. Forbes recently examined some Millennial (and Generation Z) workplace expectations and, under “workplace environment”, found that the majority wanted workplace flexibility.

Meaning they didn’t even want to be there all the time to utilize those really cool slides.

This really shouldn’t be shocking news. There are some very strange myths about millennials floating around cyberspace, but Forbes, again, dispels them using Occam’s razor.

In this Forbes article, you won’t find any nonsensical, conjured up perks to attract and retain millennials. The maturing workforce finds value, instead, in employee development and principles on which the organization was built.

In short: ensuring millennial employees are given the tools to excel each day, with potential for leadership nurturing, is a huge win for any management team.

How Should Organizations Increase Millennial Engagement?

Glad you asked, 2017!

In the past five years, there has been growth in employee development, however the oversight is lacking. Depending on the source du jour, professional development occurs informally at a rate somewhere between 70-80%.

The issue arises that the training millennials are receiving is not on track with the organization’s goals, growth, or principles in mind. And without context, millennials—and employees at large—are less likely to find value in any training mechanism.

Employee development starts with the foundations from which the organization was built. Take, for instance, the employee development strategies of Balance Point, a company that “prides itself on providing excellent customer service.”

In understanding this, their team collaborated in sessions to “hone in [their] people skills and… boost camaraderie and overall morale.”

Tailoring professional development to the organization’s foundations allows employees to focus on “the big picture” while strengthening the required skills to meet those goals.

But it simply cannot end there.

Technology to Keep Millennial Engagement Thriving

The near-constant evolution of Human Capital Management systems (HCMs) now emphasizes the employee’s journey as integral to the successes of the organization. Formal training and development opportunities are found in most HCMs, and should be integrated into the employee experience for greater engagement and retention.

The number of organizations implementing formal, streamlined training mechanisms will likely rise throughout 2017. The Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos, courtesy of Yahoo Finance, found that 95 percent of HR leaders admit that employee burnout is negatively impacting the workforce.

To counteract this disastrous figure, organizations will push for more ways to engage and retain talent, particularly millennials, who have raised their collective hand to its importance. It is time for management to heed the call and give them what they truly want.

Professional development may seem like another waste of resources (some organizations say, while on the phone with an espresso machine service technician) but the impact on retention, employee satisfaction, and leadership development will likely pay dividends.

If millennials are asking to be developed, the only logical solution is to give them precisely what they want.

Ok, 2017. Did you get all that?

Now take the ball and run!

And don’t you dare even think about touching a single angelic hair on Betty White’s head.


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