What were Geeks told when they arrived to HR?

This post was originally published on my Linkedin Pulse.

Yesterday I was trying to reach customer care of one of the pioneer online air tickets aggregator to get my ticket cancellation issue addressed. While I was put on hold due to long waiting queue, they made me listen all value added services they have in their kitty to offer. I waited for 5 minutes in the call listening repetitively to those value added messages [I was least interested at that moment] but no solution to my immediate problem. Am I slow adopting to these new value added services? probably no but their current approach not only dampened my enthusiasm to try their new offerings in future but also left with negative feeling.

If I put the above analogy in the context of “Is HR really slow in adopting HR Analytics“, there immediate problems are not value added services [Analytics] but:

  • HR Data Quality – in terms of accuracy, completeness, update, relevance and reliability
  • Limited or no availability of relevant & timely data in executable format for managers to action
  • Lack of data governance and consistent and standard definitions
  • measurement of the workforce metrics in silos than looking at Human Capital holistically
  • HR operating conventionally – data is managed out of HR systems in the form of spreadsheets
  • The missing reconciliation between Finance and HR data – creating Inefficiencies
  • Increased pressure of meeting regulatory & compliance obligations, especially for Financial Organization, requires speedy, accurate, consolidated and latest information on web including mobile devices

While HR has been trying to navigate through these basic problems and crawl, Analytics geeks have arrived to talk about business impact HR can deliver using statistical techniques. And with no surprise they will be told by HR that let me crawl first, then stand and then run.

What should geeks do then – should they wait till HR grows to be ready to run or take an adaptive approach? An approach which is not based on sequential progression i.e. crawl –> stand –> walk –> run BUT “RUN when you can, WALK if you need to and CRAWL if you have to” which is more collective, inclusive and collaborative.

The geeks are equipped with required skills but they would be require to adopt this adaptive approach and deliver few quick wins to the organization to demonstrate the power Analytics [not statistics]…….And this need not to be told in the form of mathematical equation but easy to understand HR language something like what Prof Tom Davenport explains in his HBR article – Competing on :

This adaptive approach will motivate HR welcome Geeks with an objective of lets run when WE can, walk if WE need to and crawl if WE have to.

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