HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014 Chicago: Day 2 Highlights

Highlights from the presentations by HR leaders from Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, and Marriott International on day 2 of HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014 in Chicago.

The modern Human Resources function collects vast quantities of data. Increasingly, this data presents an opportunity to create and utilize a wide range of metrics for recruitment and performance. However, the potential pitfalls for successful use of analytics are apparent. The gap between traditional training and technical competence, the governance of employee & applicant data, and the decision on where to invest has made the area treacherous terrain for organizations starting out with workforce analytics. How do you bridge the knowledge gap between the HR role & analytics? How do you ensure transparency of data usage? How do you avert risk of removing the 'human factor' with over-reliance on your data dashboards?

HR Workforce AnalyticsThe HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014 (May 22-23, 2014) was organized at Chicago by the Innovation Enterprise. The summit addressed the issues mentioned above and brought together HR leaders who are implementing and experimenting with new analytical methods - driving remarkable improvements in their organizations.

We provide here a summary of selected talks along with the key takeaways.

Highlights from Day 1 (Thursday, May 22, 2014)

Here are highlights from Day 2 (Friday, May 23, 2014):

Kelly WojdaKelly Wojda, Director, HR at Caterpillar discussed journey of HR community at Caterpillar to transform culture around people decisions from “gut feel” to informed decision-making.  Caterpillar has a global workforce of 116,579 full-time employees with $55.7 billion of total sales and revenues. Kelly said that the HR community at Caterpillar is open to go where the data takes them in order to identify high-impact opportunities for analytics. Her team is reinforcing a culture of listening to HR business partners’ unique people challenges, helping them identify the information they need, engaging them in the right analytics models and then equipping them with the analytical insights to make higher quality business decisions at the leadership table.

Karla YoungerKarla Younger, VP, HR Shared Services at Coca-Cola delivered a talk titled “HR Shared Services: Measuring the Evolution”.  She shared 2013 statistics about the company: 68,000 employees, 498K HR inquiries with more than half of them by phone call, 60% issues resolved in first call. The key business drivers are improving customer experience and continuing to drive value for business. She discussed the following steps involved in HR Shared Services Value Chain Analysis:
  1. Work Intake (Activities – phone calls, emails, etc.; KPIs - volumes, response time, etc.)
  2. Operation (Activities – payroll operations, records management, etc.; KPIs – throughput, cycle time, etc.)
  3. Delivery (Activities – electronic transactions, workflow, etc.; KPIs – cycle time, closure rate, etc.)
  4. Marketing, Sales & Account Management (Activities – relationship management, business development; KPIs – new customers, product/service growth, etc.)
  5. Customer Service (Activities – tier 0, 1 and 2 customer services; KPIs – cost/contact, quality, first call resolution, etc.)

She concluded her talk listing the key HR Shared Services Metrics focused on accelerating improvement. These metrics are divided across four categories: financial savings, customer/stakeholder satisfaction, process management and people.

Arun ChidambaramArun Chidambaram, Director, Global Workforce Intelligence at Pfizer delivered a talk titled “Know Thyself- A Deeper Look at Workforce Analytics - Helping the Organization Understand Who We Are & Why We Do What We Do”.  His presentation helped audience understand that knowing oneself and creating an identity is very critical for successful analytics in HR.  He emphasized that the marriage of data and analytics is a requirement for long-term success. He classified HR into traditional and contemporary, with the former focuses on creating efficiencies in basic reporting whereas the latter focuses on advancing the art of qualitative research by spending quality time with data architecture team(s) and investing heavily in story-telling and data visualization.  He emphasized that data analysis doesn’t always give the answer but it does help one know what questions to ask next. They key to good analysis is asking the right questions and asking those questions throughout the analysis process.

Shekar Nalle Pilli VenkateswaraShekar Nalle Pilli Venkateswara, Sr. Director, HR Business process Management, Marriott International talked about “Journey of a workforce planner”.  He started by comparing Workforce Planning to a Tiger, which is very difficult to tame. He emphasized that ever-changing organizations require dynamic Workforce Planning (WFP) involving higher complexity and multiple considerations. WFP approach differs by company and outcome differs vastly. Giving an example of financial services he explained that operational expenses are growing faster than revenue. He presented following potential steps to operationalize WFP enterprise-wide:
  1. Invest in Enterprise HR systems to get accurate transactional data
  2. Develop/Use tools to keep employee data current
  3. Tie Workforce Planning with Strategic Planning
  4. Develop Cost Goals based on the life-stage of your Business Unit
  5. Identify critical positions that need extra attention
  6. Model Retirements and Associate turnover
  7. Remember the interplay of Cost/Quality/Productivity and Engagement