If you're an executive or a manager, you probably know who your top performers are. You may even know what motivates some of them. But do you really know how to get the most out of your staff or your direct reports?
In the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Jeremy Shapiro examine how leading-edge companies such as Google, Harrah's Entertainment and Sprint are applying sophisticated approaches to analyzing employee data in order to gain insights into the types of factors that help drive productivity, engagement and employee retention.
For instance, Harrah's, well-known for applying analytics to offer promotions to segmented customer groups, has examined the impact of its health and wellness programs on employee engagement and its impact on revenues. According to the HBR article, preventive care visits to Harrah's on-site clinics have increased, thus reducing urgent care costs by millions of dollars over the past year.
Meanwhile, companies such as Best Buy, Starbucks and Limited Brands are able to measure the value that a 0.1 percent increase in employee engagement has on income at a store level.
The Business Benefits of Engaged Employees
Savvy business leaders recognize that engaged employees will result in having more satisfied customers. It's even been quantified. According to a study by Hewitt Associates, the level of employee engagement at companies that have achieved compound annual profit growth of at least 10 percent for a five-year period is higher than for companies with single-digit growth.
Happy, motivated employees generate other business benefits. An engaged workforce leads to reductions in turnover, resulting in less time and capital to recruit and train new employees.
Leaders at enterprise organizations and multinationals can also apply talent analytics to identify and react quickly to trends such as a sudden spike in employee turnover within a particular region, division or even office.
From a macro standpoint, decision-makers can use workforce analytics to align human capital strategy with business strategy. It's a great way to maximize the full potential of an organization's greatest asset.