An opinion from Andy Crouch
Before we start, I would like to clarify something. I would like to clarify ‘what is People Analytics’? Whilst many of you reading this will already know what it is, and have doctorates in it and have perhaps written a book about it, I am equally sure that there will be many who will be thinking ,’I’m fairly sure I know what it is, but I’m going to keep reading to make sure I’m right’. And if you are in anyway involved in the success of a business or organisation, you should definitely be sure you know what it is and, more importantly, how to apply it.
So, here you go, I believe best summed up by Ferrar & Green:
People Analytics’ refers to “The analysis of employee and workforce data to reveal insights and provide recommendations to improve business outcomes”
Oh, and whilst I’m here, I should probably explain what ‘Continuous Listening’ is, as doing it is becoming increasingly vital to ensure you are delivering accurate and relevant people analytics. ‘Continuous Listening’ is capturing workforce feedback throughout the employee lifecycle using a variety of listening methods. The oft-maligned annual survey, the more frequent pulse surveys, in-person conversations, and now why not use an always-on chatbot app that provides opportunity to collect employee feedback 24/7? Continuous Listening increases the chances of harvesting authentic and rich workforce feedback data. And as you will all know already, without high quality data, any generated insights will not be worth the trend-graph paper they are printed on.
Using stakeholder data to improve profits is not a novel undertaking. The work we do supporting our partners operating in the Customer Engagement Services domains (people who sell chocolate bars, luxury cars, and sex toys for example) confirms those companies who want to improve market share and profits take harvesting and sophisticated analysis of their customer data very seriously – because they know it’s a wise investment of time and technology.
It’s not a secret but I can confirm from our own experience, that the Consumer Insight sector is more advanced than the People Analytics sector in leveraging available data to support more effective decisions. But if you are cheering for People Analytics, we can also confirm that it is accelerating up the S-curve from ‘innovation’ to ‘productivity’, driven by lots of very smart HR/OD/Data Science professionals, fuelled by lots of high-octane and proven ROI.
So, it looks like I have arrived at the point of why I started writing this short article. What is this vital lesson People Analytics departments can learn from Customer Engagement departments?
I should amend that slightly to “What is this vital lesson that some People Analytics departments can learn…” as an increasingly number of them already know it.
Emotion Analytics…explains the ‘Why’ behind your workforce’s behaviour for the first time.
It is this. It’s called Emotion Analytics. It is simply a more advanced and revealing way of extracting understanding from human generated free-text (written or spoken). Using emotion analytics software generates a novel stream of insight that can be fed into the larger ‘decision engine’ of any People Analytics department. This approach is substantiated upon the knowledge that people’s behaviours and actions are predominantly driven by what they are feeling (Evolutionary Psychology (2003), Gaulin and McBurney). It explains the ‘Why’ behind your workforce’s behaviour for the first time.
Here at Pansensic we are leading the way in development of Emotion and Behavioural Analytics software solutions. We use Hybrid-AI Natural Language Processing and Understanding (NLP + NLU) techniques to identify employee emotions in their written or spoken feedback. These identified and trended emotions are then automatically matched with over 40 relevant business themes including trust, integrity, culture, D&I, morale, and leadership, presented as scores that are transparent and easy to track over time, delivering vital trend analysis, KPI’s and much more.
People Analytics departments should be using Emotion Analytics more.
The result is prioritised and evidence-based insights that can be forensically interrogated to the granular level of understanding. Use it to measure and track improvement across functional and cross-functional areas of your organisation.
And that’s it. The vital lesson. People Analytics departments should be using Emotion Analytics more.
But even if it is fully proven, making the switch to a new type of software, such as Emotion Analytics, can appear a challenge for even the most future-facing department, tasked with daily delivery of repeatable results and insights. However, it is very possible and we have helped many partners do just that. Our next short article will describe the process. If integrating Emotion Analytics into your People Analytics armoury is something you want to seriously consider, please give it a read or just contact us for an informal chat.
(*Ferrar & Green: Excellence in People Analytics: How to Use Workforce Data to Create Business Value, 2021)