How to Implement a People Analytics Strategy Without a Big Budget

Posted by Kandace Miller

If you’ve heard the buzz around people analytics in recent years, you know it’s currently one of the biggest HR trends. In fact, a recent study from Deloitte found that 71% of companies see people analytics as a high priority for their organizations. And since these types of analytics are all about understanding how companies operate — and how happy and engaged employees are — it’s not just big companies who can benefit from a comprehensive people analytics strategy. Far from it, in fact. 

From finding your company’s pain points to collecting actionable data and communicating those insights across all levels of your organization, there’s a lot you can do to boost your company’s performance and ensure that your team feels fulfilled in their roles. 

Here’s how to implement a people analytics strategy at your company, while keeping costs to a minimum.

Know your pain points and the problems you want to solve

While all companies have certain issues they’re trying to solve for — from employee retention to company culture to overall performance — understanding your organization’s specific concerns is key when it comes to creating a personalized plan. This is where the first part of your strategy comes into play. Set up a meeting with your leadership teams and work on identifying the major pain points across departments. Once you’ve identified those issues, work on developing a targeted strategy and gathering the insights you’ll need to come up with an action plan.

Pro Tip: Multiple conversations can lead to different insights so be sure to schedule both one-on-one meetings and group meetings with your leadership team. This will give you the best understanding of what’s happening in individual departments and across the company as a whole. 

Understand the role of data, and how to maximize its impact

If you’re confused about the best way to gather and use data, you’re not alone. In our increasingly data-driven world, it’s not always clear which data points are most helpful when it comes to improving business practices. But your company’s pain points can help guide the way, especially if you’re working with a limited budget. For example, if effective recruiting is one of the key challenges your company is facing, gathering data about the average recruiting time and cost-per-hire can help you identify where the process can be streamlined and perfected. Similarly, if you’re dealing with high employee turnover, having a clear sense of the average length of employee tenure and factors such as benefits and employee reviews can give you the tools to reduce turnover and provide a better overall employee experience. The key is to take a targeted approach and focus on the challenges at hand. 

Pro Tip: When it comes to gathering data, focusing on each challenge individually is the best way to go. This will ensure that you’re identifying the correct data points and that you’re able to analyze it in a streamlined way.

Implement insights in a strategic and action-oriented way

Once you’ve gathered sufficient data, it’s time to share those insights with your leadership team and work on creating an action plan to solve them. Start by developing a narrative around each of your insights, taking into account the data you’ve gathered and what that tells you about the improvements you need to make. Then, work with your leadership team to come up with a cohesive strategy for each of your top challenges and work on implementing those across the organization. 

Pro tip: Continue to look at data as you move through this process so that you get a sense of what’s working (and what may need to be tweaked). Although you may find that you have to refine your processes on a regular basis, taking a data-driven approach will ensure that you’re on the right track.

For companies with smaller HR budgets, implementing a people analytics strategy can seem expensive, and frankly overwhelming. But targeted data can help you gain the insights you need to improve operations without having to develop elaborate processes. By working with your leadership team to take a strategic approach to understanding and solving your company’s main challenges, you’ll be able to ensure that your company operates more smoothly without racking up huge costs. 

Want to improve your recruiting strategy? Learn veteran recruiting strategy 101 and how to create an employee referral program.

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