People Analytics

Why Predictive Analytics Is A Game Changer For Employee Engagement in 2022

Written by

CJ Cowan

In the last few years, you’ve probably heard terms like “employee retention analytics” and “ people data analytics” bandied about online. It’s far too easy to get bogged down with jargon.

Predictive analytics will indeed change the business world irrevocably. You need to adopt this technology soon to stay innovative and competitive.

You need to know your employee metric goals and what information and tools you need to reach them.

If you improve your business outcomes, whatever you call your method is immaterial.

WFHomie will cut through the noise for you and explain how to improve employee engagement with predictive analytics.

We will outline how companies use predictive analytics to re-engage their teams and stand head and shoulders over the competition.

HR SaaS and HR analytics in talent management for distributed companies

HR needs visibility into how their teams are doing in a remote world because it’s difficult to take the “temperature “ of a room if there is no physical room.

HR needs to turn to analytics to prove their value and justify their employee experience and wellness initiatives to higher-ups.

Sending out pulse surveys is not enough anymore, and, frankly, it hasn’t been enough for a very long time. They’re plagued with sample bias. Employees eager to respond to them may not reflect the mindset of the whole company.

It’s possible that employees are not truthful in pulse surveys, fearing that a lack of anonymity might affect their jobs.

With these anxieties in mind, HR Teams are turning to data mining and people analytics to revamp their people strategy.

Pre-COVID, there was already a growing call for cloud-based solutions and people analytics in the HR SaaS Industry. The global HR advisory services market is forecasted to expand from $81.45B in 2021 to $ 87.32B in 2022, with a CAGR of 7.2%.

It’s undeniable that the transformative effects of remote work have spurred this staggering growth in the HR SaaS Industry.

HR Managers want to increase their team visibility and handle their employee metrics to stay competitive during the ongoing Great Resignation.  

It is expensive to hire new employees and even more costly to refill the same positions repeatedly.

These aren’t new problems, but the disruptive transition to remote work and the Great Resignation make companies feel a tighter squeeze.

HR needs the tools to manage talent in the new normal. Unprecedented challenges often require unprecedented investment to address them.

The statistics like the ones below are becoming the go-to justification for investing in employee engagement and talent management solutions:

  • 20% of new hires quit within their first 45 days of employment.
  • 26.6% of Gen-Z employees plan or anticipate getting a new job in the next six months.
  • According to Gallup, companies with high employee engagement levels have 43% less turnover and 23% more profitability than companies with low employee engagement.

Many remote-first companies are turning to software solutions rather than hiring consultants.

Decision-makers know what they’re looking for and don’t need outside experts to say that employee engagement is the metric to watch.

Distributed and Remote-First Companies don’t need a consultant to gather the data. Remote Managers already know they have all the data they need because their teams communicate and collaborate through data-collecting technology.

What Managers don’t have is the technology to condense all that data into useful, actionable analytics, so that is where predictive employee engagement analytics comes into play.

What is predictive employee engagement analytics?

Wowzers, let’s start breaking down this 25-cent word.

First, what is predictive analytics?

According to SAS, Predictive analytics uses data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to provide the best assessment of what will happen in the future.”

HR SaaS Solutions now take the principles and ideas above and apply them to employee engagement.

Predictive Employee Engagement Analytics finds patterns in employees’ micro-behaviour to gain insights about their engagement levels. The goal is to predict and prevent turnover, burnout, and undesirable retention and find the best solutions to these problems.

The most common use-case of predictive analytics is identifying employees at high risk of wanting to leave a company so that the HR team can design interventions to re-engage those employees.

This type of people analytics is a significant step-up from descriptive analytics that an excel spreadsheet could spit out.

Predictive analytics and data science help HR find correlations between employee activity and behaviour and the impact of employee engagement initiatives.

These analytical insights allow decision-makers to gauge the success of their long-term people strategy.

HR can show their employers data to lend quantitative support of the value of investing in employee engagement.

The HR Team won’t have to rely on external statistics about employee engagement. Instead, they can show their employers evidence and data from within their own company, which will be more persuasive.

Statistics from outside your organization can only tell you so much, as your employee engagement issues are as unique as your team.

Why do you need predictive employee engagement analytics?

Predictive analytics infographic for HR professionals

You need predictive analytics to ensure sustainable retention and engagement in your remote-first company. Tracking employee retention with descriptive HR analytics and engagement with surveys is not enough in the new normal because they often analyze what is too late to fix.

HR is often stereotyped as stifling innovation, rigidly applying outdated practices, and wasting company capital.

This isn’t true, and with hard numbers generated from well-integrated predictive workforce analytics, HR can finally prove the naysayers wrong.

Rather than adopting statistically successful methods drawn from industry experts, you can finally determine what works and what doesn’t in YOUR company and with YOUR team.

Your culture, goals, values, and team are unique to your company, so you need a surgically precise, tailored people strategy based on in-house quantitative insights.  

A one-size-fits-all strategy taken out of a handbook or from an influencer will inevitably amount to making investments and decisions that are not right for your team and don’t meet your goals.

In this time of change in the world of work, companies and HR teams cannot waste time and energy treading water.

Predictive Employee Analytics can save remote, distributed, and hybrid teams money and improve multiple business metrics.

For example, Hewlett-Packard (HP) used HR data mining to create a “Flight Risk” score for every employee. They based this score on numerous variables, including salaries, performance, and promotions. This predictive metric saved HP $300,000.

Also, Best Buy found increasing employee engagement by just 0.1% led to increased profits of $100,000 for a brick and mortar location.

A hypothetical example of how companies use predictive analytics

Logo for an imaginary company to show the power of predictive analytics.

Are you trying to learn how to predict employee attrition? Want to understand the on-the-ground benefits of employee engagement analytics?

Let us paint a scene for you. There is a B2C SaaS company that sells tax/personal finance software designed for tech freelancers. Let’s call it ExampleCo.  

ExampleCo has 100 plus employees and has trouble keeping entry-level talent for more than a year. ExampleCo’s voluntary attrition is high, and productivity is down.

Plain, old HR Analytics tells them the when and who but not the why.

It tells them what you already know, giving them no options to help their disengaged employees. People are leaving, and it is affecting ExampleCo’s bottom line. They’re not even at square one at this point.

With Predictive Employee Engagement Analytics, it is a different story. Predictive People Analytics could tell them that software developers are more likely to quit than other employees. Analytics points out that a warning sign for impending resignation is growing response time for emails and slack messages.

ExampleCo now knows who is disengaged and why. They can then address these employee engagement issues with a targeted people strategy. ExampleCo can vary software developers’ work or invest in their wellness and personal development.  

With enough data and a quality employee analytics and culture-building platform like WFHomie, they can compare different employee engagement strategies over time to determine what works best for their remote team.

How to measure employee engagement with analytics integrations

A people analytics strategy to successfully boost performance management needs access to all the tools your team uses to work together.

You don’t need to be data scientists to know that people analytics can’t measure what it can’t see. HR professionals need to be comfortable with HR SaaS having visibility in other tools like G-Suite, Bamboo HR, and Google Calendar.

Don't bother using them if you don’t want to add analytics access to ALL your remote teams' tools.

WFHomie consults with remote managers every day. They worry about the costs of their workforce management, their high attrition rate, and the quality of their employee benefits.

They fear the lack of visibility that digital barriers create will damage their overall business strategy. They’re right to worry.  People Analytics can solve this problem, but they need trust in the process and complete onboarding, adoption, and integration to work.

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