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That journey towards data driven HR – we just don’t know where to start

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  • #5585
    Birgitte Petterson
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    Dear all,
    this is not one of the usual questions regarding “how-to-do-XYZ” but rather about “how to win the hearts and minds”. Our company has invested significantly in the implementation of an HR system and we have also defined and implemented a (in my opinion) a robust and impact oriented dashboard. But – alas – the conversations we (HR) have with our managers haven’t changed. We still react to requests from the business and spend a lot on admin and “feel-good” topics. We had hoped that better system & data would mean that we start “the new HR”: pro-actively identifying issues (based on data) and bringing our management colleagues on board for joint efforts by linking HR issues to business impact. It just doesn’t happen. Did anybody make a similar experience? And if yes: how did you deal with it?
    Thanks, Birgitte

    #5586
    Anonymous
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    Hi Birgitte,
    The short answer is: many organisations have a similar problem and – hurray – there is a solution.
    Here is the long answer (taken from a client I recently talked to): in our case the only solution was (exactly as you point out in your question) to “win the hearts and minds”. Moving from a reactive HR (service) organisation to a data savvy and business minded partner role does not require just knowledge and skills regarding data crunching & interpretation. This is not about taking another Excel course. Much more importantly, it requires confidence that the new way is doable (for everybody who wants to), that it does not mean stopping the human side of HR and becoming lonely number crunchers. Also, becoming a number driven HR organisation is a gradual process and not an immediate jump from zero to 100. If you just write your intention of working number driven on your powerpoint and stare at them in every meeting, you are like a mouse in front of a snake – terrified of what might happen next. In our case, we achieved confidence by simply doing number driven stuff. We started small (with a few metrics), focussed on what was relevant for the business and leveraged our internal superusers (lucky us, we had some – otherwise get external help for a limited time). And we also acknowledged that some of us needed some refreshing of their data related skills. But we have all learned so much in the past two years (could you adjust your Teams background before 2020?) – our brains are in upskilling mode anyway.
    So, to wrap it up: don’t worry but do start moving – it’s a manageable problem today, but if you put your head in the sand, not being able to work number driven will be a big problem in the future. All the best,
    F-Top Coach / Ursula

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