Over the years, the relationship between HR and business has evolved to become an outcome-driven partnership. HR leaders are now seen enjoying a seat at the table, taking strategic decisions that directly impact organisational progress.
Much of this shift is thanks to the evolution of HR as a function. From administrative support to an influencer and now, a part of the CXO suite. That’s partly due to the data and insight model that has been ushered in by technology platforms like HONO designed to simplify decision-making dilemmas for leaders.
The other element could be that HR leaders have adopted new-age best practices while preserving the core essence of HR i.e. the human element. In fact, never before has HR married high-tech and high-touch more effectively. So now is the time to ride on this wave and continue with this blended approach to deliver HR-led business transformations.
HR technologies that empower HR
“Technology has evolved rapidly. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Big Data and Analytics, Robotic Automation, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, and Gamification are reinventing the nature of work and giving way to newer business models. In fact, the Future of Work is being heavily shaped by these technologies which infiltrate our lives in every aspect, from work to life and everything in between,” said Mukul Jain, CEO, HONO.
“The hordes of data available in today’s ‘knowledge worker’ age, and the tools to decode this data have made it possible to analyze and understand deep insights of organizational relevance. From operational business metrics to talent trivia, we can ‘listen’ and ‘know it all. HR technology has especially transformed how talent is seen, found, assessed, and engaged. For example, sentiment analytics, an erstwhile marketing tool, eventually helped organizations understand the pulse of the organization and cater to the unique employee need, especially when the employee behaviour today has undergone massive change,” he added.
Analytics gave rise to the now-ubiquitous HR dashboard, which rose to the limelight as a single-view for all talent metrics. The HR dashboard has been instrumental in understanding employees through every touchpoint of the employee lifecycle and will continue to do so.
The evolution of the new age, AI-enabled HR dashboard
Organizations earlier used data and analytics to view and represent talent metrics related to attrition, learning completion, performance measures, operational efficiencies etc. New age AI-enabled HR technology has pointed benefits compared to the legacy systems of yesteryears. The systems in place today are flexible, real-time, personal and agile. They’re aimed at a one-size-fits-one model that makes it a compelling offering for employees.
Today’s HR dashboard is a more real-time, dynamic tool which helps take data-backed, unbiased talent decisions. This is especially relevant in wake of today’s talent landscape with a looming war for talent and ongoing great resignation.
“It's important to make the people analytics more “people” friendly. At HONO we take great pains to ensure the analytics is simple, easy to comprehend and actionable. Our Product teams along with senior HR Leaders put in hours to create the most logical framework that articulates the connections between talent and strategic success, as well as the principles and conditions that predict individual and organizational behaviours.
For example, beyond providing numbers that describe attrition trends in the demographic makeup of a job, improved logic @ HONO describes who is likely to leave & how it might affect the pipeline of talent movement within the organisation,” said Mukul.
A marriage of HR to business outcomes is a must & analytics holds the key!
The key technologies at HONO enabling a data-driven HR Function
- Descriptive workforce analytics tools: Building the right data-powered solutions can help organizations tap into the minds of their workforce in real-time and gain actionable insights. On the HR operations front, it can help streamline efficiency and effectiveness, in areas such as payroll spending, compensation trends and benchmarking, compliance, staffing forecasts, hiring metrics, and much more. HRBPs can understand their employee's needs, wants and aspirations through a ‘moments of truth’ employee end-to-end lifecycle mapping, as offered by HONO. Such insights will help HR practitioners point out the main pain points and redefine hire-to-retain strategies for the best business outcomes.
- Prescriptive tools: Advanced analytics now ensures that today HR technology tools are also able to give personalized recommendations, in a one-size-fits-one way. Prescriptive tools can help identify skill gaps in the current workforce and suggest cross-functional skilling and mobility moves to increase employees’ career happiness and thereby drive retention. A case in point is HONO’s ‘collect-analyze-act’ approach for unstructured data which helps HR get conversational feedback through its AI-powered prescriptive actions library. Most interesting is how such tools are now closer than ever to the employee with voice-enabled conversational chatbots acting more like personal assistants. I have to say the HONO Bot with prescriptive nudges does significantly improve engagement and clears significant HR bandwidth.
- Predictive tools: The USP of talent analytics is its power to solve challenges early on. For example, an early warning system (EWS) predicts employees who are at flight risk and proposes necessary reforms. Succession planning systems can help L&D and OD professionals carry out a nano-level analysis of performance, organization citizenship and leadership traits, to identify those people who are likely to succeed, and enable them through the right learning and coaching tools. HR leaders can use absenteeism data from the leave management analysis and link it to skills and competencies, to redeploy the workforce for better productivity. Hiring can be optimized by using AI tools for skill matching and by analyzing data related to which candidates are likely to join and thereby reducing renege.
To effectively use HR technology to meet workplace needs, insight &analytics are critical. HR must not only learn how to design, deploy and communicate analytics outcomes but must be able to practically apply and use these advanced analytics to predict future talent demands and to measure and anticipate performance and retention issues.
An outlook on solving current challenges, while keeping an eye on future possibilities, is essential to HR being a transformational leader. Above all, for the HR dashboard to add real and sustained value, it must be designed around the employee experience. This is because the core of HR technology has moved away from HCM and ERP systems to employee experience and talent intelligence systems. This move led to the benefits of all parties – for employees, there’s the ease of experience, flexibility, adaptability and support. For managers and business leaders – increased functionality, easier reporting, agile and integrated systems, multi-mode and multi-device access.
With pandemic-driven talent conundrums like the great resignation, talent decisions are now at the centre stage of boardroom discussions.
Speaking about the importance of analytics in HR in a recent interview, Mukul noted that “Managing HR-related data is critical to any organization’s success. And yet, progress in HR analytics has been glacially slow. At HONO we are dedicated to changing this & we do so using appropriate tools and techniques to transform data into rigorous and relevant insights. Making sure the data is high quality and using the right communication channels also motivates decision-makers to act upon these insights. When managers trust the data and understand how it connects to the bigger picture, it creates a sense of “pull” — they’re more motivated to act. We have been able to support some impressive business transformations.”
Talent analytics should therefore become a business prerogative and not just an HR construct. This will be possible if HR leaders are able to build and showcase the strong business advantage that HR dashboards and similar talent technology tools add. This will help gain a continued buy-in with the CXO suite, and ensure sustained commitment to becoming a tech-forward talent organization.
To understand your business at its root, HONO TRANSFORM is a powerful analytics solution bringing enterprise-level insights to business leaders to make on time-effective decisions for a productive workforce!