big data: why you shouldn’t be afraid of the big, bad data

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big data and recognition

Big data. System integration. Data science.

Everyone’s talking about it these new HR buzzwords, but few organizations have found a way to really leverage the information they have. Most HR leaders are reporting and trying to integrate large amounts of data, without really knowing what they are looking for in the end. It’s easy to see why you’d leverage big data to understand customers (buying patterns and shopping habits to target ads), but why do you REALLY need all this data about your employees? 

3 big reasons why you want to get into big data:

1)     Identifying top performers in your organization (and who isn’t cutting it)

2)     Retention – who might you be at risk of losing? Can you catch them before they leave?

3)     What actually makes employees perform better? Be more productive, innovative, efficient, etc.

An important piece of data that many companies forget to integrate into their HRIS systems is recognition activity. Why should you care about who gets a thank you? Because your company’s recognition data—whether it’s tracked and reported by a third party or internally by you—can help you predict the three things mentioned above. Here’s how:

1)     Top performers are recognized more often, for various achievements, from various people and departments. Great managers also recognize their people often, so if there’s a segment of your leaders who aren’t recognizing or your employees who aren’t being recognized, find out why.

In addition to helping you identify these top performers, recognition can also help coach, mentor, and evaluate your employees. Imagine being able to know exactly what your employees are succeeding at or doing well in, without having to interview everyone they work with. The easiest way to get that information is to look at what they are being recognized for—whether it’s specific accomplishments, projects, or skills.

2)     Employees who are doing great work and are recognized often are less likely to leave the company. An employee who has been recognized frequently in the past and all of a sudden drops off the radar might be a red flag – so pay attention.

3)     You spend money on your employees, through compensation, perks, benefits, and rewards and recognition. How do you determine the ROI of your efforts? By integrating this data with your employee performance data, you can better understand what, and how much, influences your employees to do great work. Are your high potentials and top performers contributing more because of their 3% raise increase? Or because they are receiving appreciation from their teams and leaders?

So don’t be afraid of the big, bad, data. Think about what you want to know, incorporate the most relevant and valuable pieces

By christina chau
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