We were so excited to re-launch our face-to-face HR Leaders networking round tables in May. After two years, it’s been great to have some old friends back to discuss the challenges and successes within the People and Culture world.
Thank you to Allan Ang, Talent Director, UK&I and Monica Rastogi, I, D&E Regional Director, UK&I at Estée Lauder Companies for hosting us at their stunning London offices.
Here, we outline the key takeaways from the discussion and what HR Leaders should consider when grappling with the new challenges and opportunities that data brings.
Technology’s Role in HR
- Those with SAP can tap into SuccessFactors which have the capabilities to gather data. It rids the need to create a census because data points are already available.
- Qualtrics is an employee listening product that can produce quarterly pulse surveys. One HR Leader at the discussion has implemented this across 160 countries while incorporating localised changes. For example, sexual orientation was removed as a data point due to cultural sensitivities in the Middle East.
- Data is only as good as what’s in the system, which means that your tech stack must be aligned and legacy systems must not interfere with your insights. Data must be updated in almost real-time which can be achieved from automation.
- There’s differing needs in terms of what the data should provide. The business wants specificity while HR need to look from a group perspective which means HR leaders will need to perform a bit of a balancing act.
- At times, the data gathered needs to be filtered to ensure the business is receiving sensible feedback. For example, if we’re comparing the population of White Talent “hired versus applied” in a specific market, the ratio results are only meaningful if we filter out individuals who aren’t eligible to work in the chosen market.
Remaining Engaged with Employee Needs
Survey burnout is a concern that’s been increasingly raised in our online HR Leader discussions around the world over the past two years and it remains a major concern. Anonymous employee surveys are standard practice for checking in with remote teams, as well as those in the office. However, HR leaders are encountering challenges as well as finding better ways to engage with employees:
- HR Leaders are currently questioning when the most appropriate time to start collecting data is. At the start of the recruiting process? Or during the first week of work?
- Engagement is peaking once an expert comes into the business. If this new individual resonates with employees they update their data.
- Many employee focus groups are finding success by using the polling feature in Teams, showing that a hugely sophisticated approach isn’t necessary.
- Socially driven employee influencers are becoming ambassadors for change in terms of [what are they changing].
- Closing the loop is currently the biggest frustration for HR Leaders. For example, what happens to all the data and insights collected? Transparency is important, and that means acknowledging that the business doesn’t get everything right. Managers and employees need to feel empowered to have those conversations. Getting the employees involved helps close the loop – your role in your career is on you.
The Line Manager’s Role in a Changing Workplace
- Line managers can strengthen the organisation’s consciousness by recognising that employees have an identity outside of work. Showing empathy, care, and curiosity towards important factors in an employee’s life can build greater insight into how to enable individuals in the workplace.
- Employees are typically staying with organisations for 12-16 months. Leaders are learning to deal with more frequent levels of talent turnover, but many are still struggling. The key is to view the time the employee is with the business as a key opportunity for skills exchange and business development.
Data is Giving HR A Seat At The Table
Big changes are still emerging across the HR spectrum but there’s no doubt that data is playing an increasingly key role in facilitating productive DE&I conversations. Yet how those parameters are positioned and developed within each business and leadership team is determined by the way the data is curated.
From a HR perspective, the strength of the data and the insight it provides enables HR to have a greater seat at the main table, as has been shown by the increasing number of senior HR leaders joining the board.
We’re looking forward to hosting more roundtables in the near future across Europe. If you’d like to glean more insights from HR Leaders, you can find out about our upcoming roundtables here.
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