Analytics as an Answer to Strategic HR Management

By | July 16, 2018

It is hard to imagine modern human resources management without analytics. A growing emphasis on productivity and employee engagement has inspired organizations to collect and analyze workforce data. As young professionals increasingly equip themselves with data science and other technology skillsets, companies are building integrated systems to manage the workforce, collectively bringing on the human capital data evolution.

Throughout the past century, HR management has transformed from an operational discipline to a strategic one. Today, like other organizational functions, HR is moving toward a data-driven model. It is using data analysis to improve accountability and business performance. Key functional areas like recruitment, performance evaluation, engagement and learning will look nothing like they did even a decade ago.

In this ever-changing workplace reality, how can insurance organizations truly embrace the potential of HR analytics? Which approaches should be taken to effectively leverage human capital for their business models? How can technology be leveraged to provide meaningful insights and recommendations for your company?

Focus Your Efforts

Organizations are increasingly turning to data analytics to manage the HR function, from recruitment to benefits enrollment and retention. In this process, insurers are spending more resources to get ahead in the candidate marketplace and improve employee engagement. How can you ensure you are allocating your organization’s resources toward the right initiatives?

Before launching any resource-heavy HR projects or personnel changes using data analysis, organizations must mark their place in the market and identify their strengths and weaknesses relative to their competitors. While HR analytics are crucial to improving many business functions, it is imperative to define the scope of each project and determine which areas of the business are most important to improve.

A full assessment will prevent your organization from being swept up in the hype and will allow your department to better prioritize initiatives. HR departments can function more creatively with data analytics, as the technology moves department employees from manual tasks to creative, team-centric responsibilities. However, organizations need to find the right analytics tools and programs for their specific needs, incorporate those into existing processes and accurately measure progress.

Set Clear Objectives

HR analytics have quickly become an integral part of effective business strategies. Retention, productivity, diversity and other workforce issues have encouraged insurance organizations to find ways to better lead and manage their employees through data analytics.

Yet hundreds of data sheets and survey responses mean nothing if organizations do not know how to successfully leverage them. The true function of data analytics is not just compiling and organizing data. Instead, data analytics must serve to make connections between the metrics and the indicators, examine how they impact the organization, and help leaders make informed decisions.

Annual surveys, while they have their place, are no longer a sufficient or timely enough measure of an organization’s workforce status. Depending solely on those surveys gives limited access to data and forces companies to wait an entire year to make adjustments. Encouraging constant employee feedback and implementing up-to-date analytics tools and programs help organizations accurately measure employee engagement and employer brand.

Set clear goals for data analytics projects. This can range from identifying the benefits of a recent recruitment initiative to evaluating benefits enrollment and employee satisfaction. With a specific goal in mind, organizations can combine different sets of data and analyze them to uncover their own strengths and weaknesses.

This, in return, will help business leaders make informed strategic decisions.

Tackle the Talent Crisis

Low unemployment rates, increasing retirements and a shrinking talent pool are the insurance industry’s main HR challenges. Millennials make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce, but only 4 percent of them are interested in a career in the industry. Insurance organizations nowadays are faced with improving candidate and employee experiences to attract and retain more insurance professionals.

Organizations’ interactions with their current workforce cannot be ignored in shaping the industry’s future. Today’s workers are concerned with growing their potential and gaining additional experience now more than ever. Data analytics can help by establishing and maintaining performance management systems, which will help leaders set targets and objectives for individual employees and develop realistic goals. Performance management systems help provide ongoing feedback and increase overall employee satisfaction and thereby retention rates.

Analytics can also be used to influence how young candidates view your organization and the insurance industry. By analyzing the relationship between current employees’ performance and incentives, organizations can offer compelling work environments and pay rates to better attract and retain top talent.

Technology is revolutionizing the function of HR and the use of analytics has the potential to shape a bright future for the industry.

For forward-thinking organizations tasked with improving their engagement with candidates and employees, a focus on HR analytics might be the answer.

About JoJo Harris

Harris is senior vice president of human resources of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: jharris@ More from JoJo Harris

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Insurance Journal West July 16, 2018
July 16, 2018
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Data & Analytics; Directory: Excess, Surplus & Specialty Markets, Volume II