Employee performance: The next frontier for HR business leaders powered by people analytics
Bold, business savvy and analytical HR Business Leaders are limited in supply, but incredibly vital for driving performance, leadership excellence and workforce wellbeing, as well as overall organization’s transformation success simply because it’s work revolves around the greatest asset of any business — IT’S PEOPLE!
Every organization has a mission to accomplish, an ambition to become an industry leader in their field and destination employer for brilliant talent. Employee wellbeing & employee performance are equally important. And profits are necessary to fund these missions and invest in these ambitions. If the organization doesn’t generate profit — how or who’s going to pay for these worthy aspirations? You can’t pour from an empty cup!
The feel-good factor of pursuing environmental, social and governance (ESG) missions are closely followed by the crave for growth and return on investment. Rapidly advancing technology, hybrid work and other external trends are challenging performance. Driving productivity and achieving revenue excellence while improving workforce wellbeing will require a radically different and comprehensive approach, necessitating use of digital technology and advance analytics.
High performing sales and business development team is a great source of competitive advantage for any organization.
Sales and business development function has an essential role in the success of any business. There’re not only face of the organization and accountable for driving revenue, but if done right, the power of sales extends to brand reputation, customer retention, operational effectiveness, contributions to strategic direction of the organization, and overall growth. It’s eminence in organizational success can’t be underscored enough or left under leveraged.
Sales and business development, while distinctly positioned to drive organization growth and influence over-all success, is also characteristically tough and demanding work.
Organizations are rapidly transforming their operations; becoming more effective, agile, and responsive to change. Now, they will also have to establish high performing sales culture that’ll enable and empower sales excellence, drive performance, and ensure employee happiness. On this podcast, I explain how to create and operationalize a high performing culture.
We’ve spent countless hours analyzing financial data — slicing & dicing it to understand top to the bottom line. Our scroll has paused many times at that biggest line item i.e. employee payroll in hopes of finding better alignment & efficiency. Nothing wrong with any of this, we should continue doing it & get better at it. Now, with increasing access to data & analytics we’ve come to fully believe that this single largest line item on an operating budget is also the most significant source of competitive advantage.
That coveted financial capital will quickly wither if organizations lack human capital to manage it! Employees must be nurtured, enabled and empowered to do their life’s best work.
Nowadays, even the investors and boards are all keenly looking at the collective leadership capabilities, human capital & cultural strengths before making investment decisions.
People analytics is illuminating insights that’s propelling all HR Centers of Excellence closer to their workforce, enabling bold, better, and more timely people decisions and workforce outcomes across the enterprise. HR clearly exceeded business expectations with our response at the onset of pandemic. If it were not for proficient HR functions, organizations would’ve struggled to keep their workforce safe during the pandemic. To maintain this influence and meet the needs of our organizations in the post-pandemic, hyper digitized, data-informed environment, HR itself will have to go through significant transformation as a function & behavior change at an individual level at all levels. And we must do this rapidly! Critical agenda items such as diversifying workforce, re-skilling employees for the future of work and taking a very strategic role in transforming organizational culture to achieve growth by balancing performance with workforce wellness will require new & sophisticated HR behaviors and capabilities.
Enterprise analytics is harnessing customer data to uncover commercial opportunities and steer organizations to the next level of targeted scale. Financial planning & analytics is rapidly transforming business event data into accounting practices. Simultaneously, HR business leaders will have to convert business insights and financial data into human capital strategy and people decisions. Across B2B industries and geographies, data-driven talent practices, culture of employee wellness and commercial-performance management will be the defining capabilities.
HR business leaders will have to elevate focus on managers of revenue impacting teams and employee performance while making people decisions. By digitizing performance management, we’ll fundamentally revolutionize end to end process, uplift performance at the team level, build manager capabilities for the hybrid workforce and multiply this effect across the entire organization.
With systems for real-time performance tracking, managers are empowered with facts (and courage!) to provide timely feedback & targeted coaching that can improve teams’ performance. However, data and discussions have exposed that majority of managers severely lack in this capability, so there’s much work to be done before we’ll see real improvement. Leaders & managers have to step-up, adopt this new mindset & get remarkably better at offering feedback, coaching and making timely business decisions. Ultimately, this will uplift leader effectiveness and position revenue producing teams to outperform their annual targets. Modernized sales management process that prioritize revenue impacting activities, advance performance analytics, transparency and fairness throughout the process will drive disciplined execution, self-accountability towards performance and manager accountability towards helping teams consistently win in the marketplace. It will also reduce stress that comes with cut-throat competition, neglected under performance and bureaucracy.
We’re already tracking sales performance data and resulting insights pinpoint the direction and critical talent decisions at various levels –
— Measuring new hire productivity in revenue generating roles has allowed managers to provide support exactly where needed early in the game, steering activities in the right direction that then translate into early wins.
— Studying behaviors and competencies that differentiate high performers from low performers is informing reskilling/upskilling efforts for the middle tier, helping raise performance across the field.
— Measuring performance in each goal category at frequent intervals has presented opportunities for targeted feedback and forward-looking coaching.
— Performance data is accelerating various people decisions — from hiring right, to managing better, to putting greater emphasis on teams, to separating prolonged under-performers.
— Establishing clear link between sales targets and incentives is advancing pay for performance compensation plans.
— Diversely experienced teams are increasingly outperforming homogenous teams.
Urgency in building data-driven employee performance dashboards and holding leaders accountable to actions and results will catapult HR business leaders & people analytics to new heights as a critical business function. While digital technology will simplify work and offer more information, it won’t deliver business results. Making decisions, taking action & delivering results while being empathetic & kind as we conduct business are all still a function of human intelligence!