A top reason why employees quit their jobs is because of their manager.
Could empowering managers with people data and analytics, which has historically been under the custody and control of HR teams, solve the ongoing talent retention challenges that employers around the world are facing?
Data and analytics giant Visier set out to study this in partnership with 23 analytics leaders and CHROs from brands like Microsoft, Philip Morris, Merck, Ericsson, Standard Bank, Nokia, and the LEGO Group.
Democratizing access to data had a huge positive impact.
Visier’s report that it not only made managers more effective, but also more human – it enabled them to ensure their teams were more productive, engaged, looked after, recognized and thriving.
Lexy Martin, former head of research at Visier, sat down with us at UNLEASH World 2023 to discuss the findings – she was “really pleased” that the results showed that access to data made managers more human.
Ultimately, access to data and analytics allowed managers to see their employees as whole people, and therefore care about them on a deeper level.
“Now managers can get a 360 view of the employee,” and in a single place.
Plus “democratization was freeing HR and HR business partners from having to do one-off analyses so they could instead focus on advanced analytics, improving their own productivity and effectiveness”, according to the report.
Ultimately, Visier’s aim was to look at the actual cost benefits – the report stated: “Speeding time-to-insights and decisions to enable better business outcomes as managers begin to take a more vested interest in managing their teams and their business through understanding how their people decisions impact the business—and vice versa— is proving to be financially and strategically profound.”
The figures speak for themselves.
Visier’s report found that the estimated financial value of more effective, and human managers, more productive organizations, and a more seamless employee lifecycle of talent attraction, development and retention is $400 million for employers with 10,000-plus workers – plus it leads to a predicted $200 million in revenue expansion.
Digging in deeper the value proposition for improving retention rates, and therefore spending less on hiring, was $50 million alone.
Work-life balance drove $100 million in cost savings, and better team development led to $122 million in savings for organizations.
Standard Bank as a people analytics case study
At the same time as sitting down with Visier’s Martin at UNLEASH World 2023, the Editorial Team also discussed the findings of the report with one of the people analytics leaders surveyed; Standard Bank’s Ampie Swanepoel.
Swanepoel is head of workforce insights value management at the South African bank.
He shares that out of Standard Bank’s 50,000 employees, 9,500 are people leaders, and currently around 60% have access to their team’s people data.
The long-term plan, according to Swanepoel, is to give the entire workforce access to their own data and analytics – currently, 4,000 employees who are not managers and not in HR have this privilege, and they are already looking at their profile and making decisions.
Trust and transparency are top of mind for Standard Bank – this links closely with Swanepoel’s view of why many HR teams have been reluctant to democratize data: concerns about data integrity and data quality.
The value for Standard Bank is clear – while the employer hasn’t quantified the savings, the benefits are threefold for Swanepoel.
The first is “efficiency improvement” for HR teams, they are no longer wasting time “scrambling to find data” and provide it manually to each of the 9,500 people managers.
There is also time savings for mangers – “they don’t have to find their HR business partners, they don’t have to look around in different systems” as the data and analytics are in one single view, in one place.
Thirdly, it has contributed to key business metrics, including one about productivity called ‘workforce return on investment’ – it is basically how much profit is generated for every dollar invested in Standard Bank’s employees.
UNLEASH was keen to find out Martin and Swanepoel’s advice to other companies who want to democratize access to people data and analytics, but are unsure where to start.
“You can’t afford not to” do this, says Swanepoel. His main advice is don’t wait for the data or the project to be perfect, “start small, learn, and then scale”.
He adds that it’s important to focus on the metrics that matter to your business – that’s also Martin’s lesson. “Once you’ve done it, show the value, and then do it again” with a new example.
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