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Tucana People Analytics Podcast | Insights & Interviews from the World of Human Resources

Weekly interviews with leading practitioners, thought leaders and pioneers in the field of People Analytics, drawing in Workforce Planning, Employee Insight and game-changing technology. Find out what you can be doing to push ahead with your own work in People Analytics, and how your company can get a real cometitive edge by using the latest methods and technologies as they emerge. Chaired by Max Blumberg and David Green
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Tucana People Analytics Podcast | Insights & Interviews from the World of Human Resources
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Sep 22, 2017

People Analytics Podcast - Recorded live at PAWorld17, QEII Centre, London

Facilitator: Max Blumberg - Visiting Professor, Leeds Business School

- Ekkehard Ernst - Chief Macroeconomic Policy Officer, International Labor Organisation

- Sjoerd van den Heuvel - People Analytics Researcher, University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht

 

Part 1

 

People Analytics World was a very busy two days. We somehow managed to pin down two of the speakers, amid a flurry of amazing sessions towards the end of Day Two, to give us their reflections on the event and the key themes that emerged.

They cover:

  • Cole Nussbaumer, and her showstopper presentation on Data Visualisation
  • Ross Sparkman of Facebook discussing the marriage of workforce planning and comon sense
  • True North Analytics, and their excellent report on analysing the impact of the Gender Pay Gap
  • The long term ROI and competitive advantage afforded by People Analytics
  • Standardisation of HR definitions and indicators
  • The shift in skill sets in HR
  • Career progression as an HR professional in analytics
  • Employee happiness as a corporate asset
  • Automation and the future of work
  • Collaboration and long-term strategic planning

Among many other topics. Listen to this pacy recap of just some of the fascinating highlights of this world summit.

 

Jul 20, 2017

David Green chats with Laurence Collins, Global Lead for HR Transformation and Workforce Analytics Consulting at Deloitte, for the final episode of thie season.

As People Analytics gradually becomes part of the workings of HR departments around the world, the concept of decision-making based on employee data has growing implications for people’s working lives.

As co-author the People Analytics chapter in the recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, Laurence is more in touch than most people with the global strategic direction of analytics in HR. The report is in many ways a go-to point for professionals around the world for learning about the current business landscape and where they stand in relation to other organisations. There are few areas more fast-changing than analytics and data-crunching technology, and the knock-on effect can often be that the long-term questions are sidelined in favour of more immediate operational challenges.

This was a fascinating conversation between two people advising global businesses at the highest level – a great opportunity to hear about opportunities and challenges that are likely to affect all organisations at some point in the future, if not already.

They cover:

  • The main trends in the market
  • The common obstacles that companies typically have to overcome
  • What separates those companies who are successful from those that aren't
  • Innovative projects that are taking place around the world
  • Advice for HR and Analytics leaders on growing their capability
  • The old vs new rules of People Analytics, and recalculating the route (as alluded to in the GHCT Report)
  • AI and cognitive technology, and the likely impact on employee experience
  • The changing expectations of employees
  • Trust and privacy
  • The outlook for People Analytics, and advice for leaders on Digital Transformation.
Jun 1, 2017

Max Blumberg talks with Kevin Moore, Head of People Analytics at Gannett, home of USA Today.

Kevin shares his experience and lessons with us, describing how he built this new function to serve customers across the enterprise.

  • What is the roadmap for creating cost-effective yet highly effective analytics function
  • Finding the right balance between what to insource and what to outsource
  • How to decide which analytics projects to monetize and how to approach this
  • How effective is predictive analytics in the real world.

Kevin Moore is the Head of People Analytics at Gannett, publisher of the USA Today newspaper. He developed the HR analytics and reporting programme to serve all levels of clients across the organisation consisting of standard reports, ad-hoc reports, predictive analytics, special studies, and surveys.

Prior to Gannett, Kevin spent the majority of his career in HR Consulting serving clients across industries with HR analytics, change management, workforce planning, employee survey, and process improvement efforts.

Kevin holds a Masters in Human Resources Management and is a Certified as a Strategic Workforce Planner.

Dr Max Blumberg is founder of the Blumberg Partnership, a Top 50 analytics consultancy which provides innovative analytics consultancy to organisations including Nestle, Lloyds Register, the BBC, Rentokil Initial, Barclays Corporate and the CIPD. Max is also a Visiting Researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

May 12, 2017

Episode 14: Strategic People Analytics

Max Blumberg talks with Alec Levenson, Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California. He conducts research and consulting with companies on strategy, organisation design and talent management, and is a thought leader in HR analytics. His recent book is titled Strategic Analytics, which is the subject of this discussion.

In this week's episode, they discuss:

  • What causes gaps between HR and the business?
  • Building causal models which link people investments to strategic outcomes
  • Which HR processes require analytics focus and which do not
  • When people analytics ROI can be a dangerous thing
May 4, 2017

Within global Fortune 100 organizations, executives heavily rely on the rich analytics to inform business decisions about the products they create, the markets they serve, and how operations are run. But what about measuring managers, one of an organisation’s most vital assets? 

A Gallup study found that at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores is driven by manager behaviours. While executives can quantify discrete business outcomes like revenue generated, the actions that drives these results is often unclear, unmeasured and unseen.

Microsoft has identified the tacit connection between workplace behaviours and employee engagement and survey responses. In this presentation attendees will learn specific behaviour changes that can make managers more effective based on insights from within Microsoft as well as best practices based on research conducted by Microsoft for Fortune 100 companies.

Max Blumberg talks with Becky Thielen, Director for Global Workforce Data Insights, and her colleague in the new Workplace Analytics division, Jeremy Tyers.

In this week's episode, they discuss:

  • How Microsoft uses analytics to transform HR both internally and at its clients
  • Where the people analytics industry is heading
  • Competing technologies
  • How to measure the impact of managers behaviour on business performance and culture.
Apr 7, 2017

Episode 12:
Strategic Enterprise Analytics - Keeping HR Relevant

As People Analytics is growing in data quality, capability and scope, so other departments are beginning to draw workforce data into their own analytics programmes.

Similarly, technology is developing and further permeating business on all levels - from internal messaging to AI-driven insight to the Internet of Things.

All of this is leading some more advanced organisations to begin combining analytics and technology across domains, blending the tools, expertise and initiatives to form a strategic Enterprise Analytics function.

As departments like Marketing, Procurement and Finance are often further ahead in terms of analytics capability and sophistication, the challenge for HR is to step up and assert the importance and usefulness of workforce data in this new, integrated analytics approach.

One of the most recognisable names in HR and Business Analytics, Bernard Marr discusses with Max Blumberg several topics around the outlook for HR and Enterprise Analytics:

  • The main trends in Enterprise Analytics, such as fog computing, data minimisation and analytics democratisation
  • The application of AI in day-to-day business operations
  • How companies apply Enterprise Analytics in practice
  • How to maximise the value of data as a strategic asset
  • The four pillars of value creation as they apply to HR and the people function.
Mar 30, 2017

If this is what your organisation is doing now, what will you need to do in 10 years’ time? If your strategy is to be operating at 50% or 500% of your current size, how can you know what people and skills you will need, and where?

Strategic Workforce Planning is in many ways one of the most complex - and also most essential - fields of HR. Having an optimised workforce that is properly positioned and skilled to handle emerging and anticipated business challenges is of immeasurable benefit to the success of a business strategy. And of course, the converse is equally true.

It is therefore a massive opportunity to demonstrate a real, practical and commercially-beneficial use for workforce data, which delivers exactly what the CEO needs from HR.

One significan challenge in Workforce Planning is for rapid growth or downsizing, since it introduces a lot of unknowns into the equation. How do you anticipate the needs of your organisation when your whole operational structure has transformed entirely?

Clearly, one company that has experienced - and continues to experience - such change is Facebook.

 

In a relatively technical discussion, this week's episode sees Max Blumberg discuss the intricacies of Workforce Planning and its place within the wider People Analytics function of one of the world's most successful enterprises.

  • Workforce Planning for high growth
  • How Facebook structures its People Analytics function
  • The concept of an "optimised workforce" for strategy execution
  • Understanding the concept of 'critical workforce segments'
  • Understanding internal/external talent supply and demand
  • The role of deep statistics and optimisation in People Analytics
  • Top tips for setting up advanced People Analytics
Mar 24, 2017

Episode 10:
Building Global Enterprise Analytics at Nestlé

This week's episode was recorded live at the People Analytics Forum 2016 in London last November.

 

Being the world's biggest food company, with operations in more countries than the United Nations, Nestlé is never going to be the easiest organisation at which to oversee a global transformation of any kind.

Jordan Pettman led a development team at company HQ to create People Analytics and Workforce Planning tools and methodologies. The success of this project led to the need for a global roll-out for over 300,000 people in 194 countries.

Recorded on camera in the media lounge at People Analytics Forum 2016, Max Blumberg got an unmissable chance to speak in person with Jordan Pettman, and hear his own personal experiences of being at the helm of a project of jaw-dropping scale:

  • Creating an enterprise analytics function when you're one of the world's largest companies
  • Managing data privacy across regional boundaries
  • Dealing with vastly different levels of people analytics maturity and appetite around the world
  • Best practices for IT and people analytics collaboration
  • And much, much more.

Full video footage coming soon!

Mar 9, 2017

Does your organisation have a standard set of definitions for all concepts, relationships and interventions related to your workforce? Does your employee data all fit neatly into pre-defined boxes, with all interconnectivity already clearly mapped out?

No? Well, unsurprisingly, you're not alone.

The goal of standardising HR can seem mirage-like at times, and one could be forgiven for wondering if attempts to impose a framework of logic and statistics on every aspect of Human Capital Management is futile at best.

Nevertheless, most other areas of business operate in precisely this way. As we all know, dealing with humans is very different to dealing with materials and financials. But if the uncountable can be rendered countable, it would mean an immense operational - and consequently strategic - advantage. Effective real-world analytics of any kind relies on precisely this.

 

For the opening episode of the second season of the People Analytics Podcast, Max Blumberg talks with John Boudreau, one of the most recognised names in HR globally.

As Professor of Management at the University of Southern California, and Director of the Center for Effective Organizations, John's work has appeared regularly in the Harvard Business Review, among other similarly prestigious platforms, and his writing and teaching has influenced HR and Organisational Development around the world for decades.

 

In a fascinating interview, they discuss:

  • What HR standards really mean for a business

  • How HR practitioners and analysts can use HR standards to improve human capital effectiveness in their organisations

  • Linking people activity to organisational outcomes

  • How you can use supply chain concepts in the recruitment, development and retention of your people.

 

For more information on People Analytics, visit www.peopleanalyticsworld.com

Nov 21, 2016

This week, Max Blumberg chats with Niall Cluley, former Global HR Director of Fitness First, about the critical link between culture and employee engagement, and how this ultimately impacts on business performance. Hear his thoughts on why it’s critical to get to grips with the links between engagement and performance, along with his approach and lessons learnt whilst at Fitness First.

In this week’s podcast you’ll hear Niall and Max discuss:

  • Why it is critical to get to grips with the links between behaviour and performance
  • How HR teams approach this challenge
  • A case study of the approach and lessons learnt at Fitness First
  • HR and data – what the challenges and opportunities are
  • 5 tops tips for measuring and linking engagement to business performance
Oct 26, 2016

Ian Bailie speaks about his personal journey in becoming a People Analytics leader at a global tech company, as well as the company’s journey in becoming a leader in this space, using analytics across the talent lifecycle.

Cisco Systems is one of the most recognisable brands in the technology industry, and Ian plays a very senior role in ensuring they are able to capture the very best talent in a notoriously competitive industry. He talks with David Green about:

  • Why People Analytics is important for HR and the business
  • The journey so far at Cisco, and what’s on the horizon
  • Some of the challenges that have been overcome
  • How the People Analytics team is organised
  • Advice for practitioners and organisations looking to get started
  • What the next trends are likely to be in the People Analytics space
  • A preview of Ian’s session at the upcoming People Analytics Forum in November.
Oct 11, 2016

What if publicly-listed companies had to report their HR metrics like talent capability and training costs in the same way that they reported profit-to-earnings and material investment?

It might sound unrealistic to some, but that view is not shared by the UK government, which has been working with the CIPD, CIMA and several other organisations on a project that aims to achieve precisely that.

The ‘Valuing your Talent’ initiative was the brainchild of Dr. Anthony Hesketh, professor at Lancaster University, and Peter Cheese, head of the CIPD. Dr. Hesketh went on to write the seminal paper that gave birth to the movement, which is slowly gaining momentum among businesses and professional associations.

Max Blumberg talks with Anthony Hesketh about this project, and also with Krysta Gough, who has been working with the CIPD, along with several others (Max included), to help design and implement this coming shake-up in how business views and measures its human capital.

Key questions they will answer:

  • Why is a human capital framework important, and who benefits?
  • How did ‘Valuing Your Talent’ arise as a concept?
  • What has been the response from industry so far?
  • What kind of challenges/obstacles/resistance are being faced?
  • Will we achieve standardisation when it comes to people metrics?
  • Why should companies get involved with VyT? And how can they get involved?
Oct 6, 2016

The challenges that HR faces in launching a sustainable People Analytics initiative, from gaining support among key partners and building influence around the organisation, to demonstrating value for them and proving the value of HR as a data-driven function of the business.

A People Analytics project – like any project – that doesn’t have external and senior support is unlikely to get off the ground. It’s essential to identify the key partners and build trust and support around the organisation.

Linda Kennedy has worked in senior HR roles in several major organisations, including SIG plc and T-Mobile. She has successfully launched several such initiatives, and is well-versed in the politics and psychology of lobbying, building influence, and convincing others of the actual and potential value of data-driven HR.

In this episode, she speaks with Max Blumberg – himself a qualified psychologist – about:

  • Identifying key partners
  • How to get them onside
  • The art and science of lobbying
  • The role of technology in driving change
  • Advice on how to become a more influential player in the organisation.
Sep 30, 2016

In this week’s episode, Max Blumberg spoke with Andrew Woolnough (at the time, Value Proposition Director, Willis Towers Watson) about the concept of People Risk – what it means, what role HR needs to play, and why it is critically important for the finances of the business.

Risk is a huge business issue, and considering the financial commitment that a company makes to Reward, Training, Recruitment and other People-related costs, the financial implications of analysing and controlling People Risk are immense.

As an insurer, Willis have been working extensively in this area, and Andrew gives a behind-the-scenes look at what they are finding. He explains how a Risk- and data-savvy HR department can have a direct and significant impact on a company costs, which is a prime concern of the C-Suite.

Ideas covered this week:

  • What is People Risk?
  • Who owns People Risk?
  • Risk mapping: what stage is HR at?
  • How does cross-functional collaboration enable better People Risk management?
  • What do insurers look at when assessing People Risk?
  • The new research currently taking place at Willis Towers Watson
  • The role of Health & Safety, and how this is being redefined
  • The link between General Insurance and Employee Benefits Insurance
  • How to identify, analyse and mitigate People Risk at your organisation.

Andrew Woolnough

Value Proposition Director
Willis Towers Watson
(at time of recording)

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrew-woolnough-a803b51a

Sep 23, 2016
People Analytics presents one of the greatest opportunities HR has ever had to become a chief driving force in business, but HR has largely not realised this potential. Despite CEOs across the world saying publicly that they need an assertive and data-driven HR department, few HR leaders claim to be making significant progress in this area.

Mark Berry has built People Analytics functions at several companies, and has been recognised as one of the world’s top influencers in HR and in People Analytics. He was recognised an HR Trendsetter by HR Magazine, as well as receiving several other accolades over the last few years.

He talks with David Green about why HR is not delivering on it’s potential in analytics, how the internal dynamics of HR can hamper progress, and what skills and attitudes are needed in the CHRO to allow HR to fully grow into the data-driven organisation the that business desperately needs it to be.
Sep 15, 2016

David Ulrich and Max Blumberg discuss the idea of quantifying the value that both leaders and employees bring to the business:

  • What creates the value for a company?
  • How do we define this value?
  • Which are the companies that are doing the best work in this area?
  • What are the metrics of successful leadership?

They discuss Dave’s concept of the Leadership Capital Index, and how companies are now quantifying the aspects of good leadership.

They discuss measuring the contribution of employees across the organisation towards business success in financial terms:

  • What workforce metrics can be directly related to business success?
  • How do we justify to investors the investment in developing leadership and people management?
  • How do you convince investors of the value of people analytics?

Dave Ulrich outlines three ways to value a firm, and raises the question: how able are you to measure these things? And how do you communicate these values to investors and shareholders?

Finally, they discuss the challenge of focussing HR endeavours on business challenges, and putting HR investment into the context of business performance. They cover the cultural transformation required for HRDs to step up and speak on a level with the CFO and CMO in addressing the concerns of the CEO and investors.

Dave Ulrich

http://daveulrich.com/

dou@umich.edu

Read about his book, “The Leadership Capital Index: Realizing the Market Value of Leadership: http://thinkers50.com/blog/realizing-the-market-value-of-leadership/

Max Blumberg

max@maxblumberg.com

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/maxblumberg

Sep 7, 2016

Received wisdom tells us that an engaged workforce is more productive. But how do we quantify this ‘engagement’ in order to measure its effect on performance? How does a company know what to measure, when and how often to measure it, and what value to put on various indicators, in order to be able to analyse this information about the workforce?

In order to demonstrate the ROI of Employee Engagement initiatives, it must be shown that there is a direct impact on business performance. Doing this may be easier said than done.

Peter has worked in senior, global roles at two of the world’s largest companies. Here he shares his perspective with Max Blumberg on where the concept of engagement has come from, what it means in the age of big data and analytics, and how companies can get commercially-useful insight into their workforce that justifies investment in engagement and motivation.

 

4 key questions:

 

1. If people are important to organisations, why is the media so full of stories about companies removing performance reviews (like the Big 4)? Surely it makes sense to review one’s most important assets?

2. Why do companies spend so much on engagement/opinion surveys, but so few seem to act on them? 

3. Are pulse surveys a fad, or something real that we should look forward to in the future?

4. Who really benefits more from a highly engaged workforce: the employees or the people that own the company?

 

with

Peter Wilde

Managing Director, Employee Research
Former Global Head of Employee Insight, Unilever
Former Global Head of Employee Research, UBS
Former Research Executive, Ipsos MORI

and

Max Blumberg

Research Fellow, University of London
Executive Advisor to CIPD
Founder, Blumberg Partnership

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