One of the more exciting evolutions of HR analytics is the shift from a metric orientation to one of connecting the HR organization to help drive Business Strategy. In a very short amount of time (e.g. 15 years), HR went from an environment where getting any data was difficult to now we are almost drowning in data. The more recent scholarship is focused on how to identify to the 2 or 3 things that HR is doing to drive the business strategy, and figure out how to measure those few things.
Deloitte (under the leadership of Josh Bersin) just released an amazing study that shows the state of HR analytics and more importantly, what the business strategies company’s are focused on. John Boudreau, in his amazing book Beyond HR, explained that it used to be that every HR department’s strategy was often reduce turnover, and increase retention – which is not really a strategy. He teaches in the book how to identify what the 2 or 3 focus areas are from a HR perspective and how to drive those goals.
So now we have systems for each HR function, lots of data, and the HR function is trying to figure out how to wrap their arms around it. The below shows one of the results from the study.
Connecting this to the Business Strategy.
First of all, I would encourage you to take a look at the dashboards the Deloitte put together. It is an interactive dashboard that allows you to see what other HR organizations are focused on by global region and industry sector. While I am not encouraging you make your strategy the same as your neighbor, it may give you some insight as to what others are thinking on.
What to do next?
I love the conclusion of their study which is to identify the core focus areas, build a multi-disciplinary analytics team and then try to “Datafy” the HR strategy. In other words, lets not measure everything, but for the important things – lets measure everything we can about them to make sure we are succeeding.