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Top People Analytics Articles for Summer 2018: The Role of People Data in Changing Culture

For summer’s top people analytics articles, we looked at what the brightest minds have to say about the role of people analytics in helping employers transform their workplace cultures.

Culture is not just an abstract concept. It’s the way things are really done–for better or for worse. This means that, when approached strategically, people analytics can distill an organization’s culture down into actionable insights that help businesses make better decisions.

With the rise of the #MeToo movement and an increasing focus on employee well-being, transforming toxic workplaces has become a top priority. For HR leaders, summer is a good time to step back and reflect on what kind of changes need to be made, and what kind of insight is needed to get there.

How People Analytics Can Help You Change Process, Culture, and Strategy

In this HBR post, two analytics experts from Microsoft reference several real-world examples to show how people analytics can help drive transformation. At one organization with a “sink or swim” culture, for example, a data-driven story was used to get the attention of managers. In this way, state the post’s authors, “data storytelling is a lightweight way to build trust among stakeholders and bring behavioral science to culture transformation.”

Are Freelancers Your Best Performers? Applying Organizational Network Analysis to the Gig Economy

Positive social relationships, which can be tricky to maintain with freelance workers, are a key factor in successful teams. In this blog post, HR expert John Boudreau and social analytics expert Rob Cross make the case for applying Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) to workers both within and outside the organization. For employers, ONA can be a vital tool to get non-employee workers better connected with their employee team members.

Tech Can Spot Workplace Diversity Issues, But Actions Count

Improving diversity and rooting out bias has been a major priority in recent years, but the #MeToo movement has also placed increased pressure on employers. This article includes several observations made by analyst Stacia Garr on the topic at a recent HR technology conference. It also references how data can measure the impact of programs intended to combat harassment and alleviate workplace diversity issues.

Do You Have a Culture of Stress? Here’s How to Tell

The first in a two-part series, this post is an excerpt from a book about managing employee stress by business consultant Thomas O. Davenport. Here, Davenport provides some key advice for gathering data on employee stress, and emphasizes that generalized employee engagement surveys typically don’t focus enough attention on workplace stress to provide meaningful insights. Instead, he writes, it’s important to focus on getting a more detailed understanding of the employee experience.

Analyzing a Fact-Based Culture

“We need to face the fact that analytics involves politics. Managing the politics is part of an analyst’s job,” writes HR expert David Creelman in this article on the SHRM blog. Creelman provides some practical advice for what analysts should do and say when managers try to cherry-pick data to support an answer they want to hear. He also demonstrates how, if the organization has a fact-based culture, the problem can be avoided in the first place.

Author Photo
Karra Barron |
Karra Barron is Visier's Content Marketing Manager and has over a decade of experience using storytelling to move people into action. At Visier, she is responsible for developing a wide range of thought leadership resources that educate and inspire business users to become data-driven leaders.