Employee analytics can help build better companies

Everyone cheers when unemployment rates are low. After all, high employment is positive news for our economy. But when we look at this landscape through the lens of an organization, there’s a significant risk that increases as the unemployment rate decreases.

Companies that don’t prioritize employee satisfaction and retention may find themselves with job openings that, in a high-employment scenario, are hard to backfill. To mitigate this risk, employers must ensure that managers throughout the organization truly understand each individual on their team. 

Understanding the science of human analytics will allow leaders to grasp how their own management styles and behaviours resonate with those of their team members and what actions and conversations need to take place to motivate, empower and retain employees. To achieve this ideal workplace scenario we need to go back to basics with the help of a three-step process and analytical tools like the predictive index, available from Predictive Success. Following this recipe for success will not only put the team on the right path, but also make sure they’re all going in the right direction.

Lead from within

To understand whether employees will languish or thrive in their work environment, business leaders must first decode their own leadership styles. Behavioural analytics tools can identify individual managers’ challenges, strengths and weaknesses and predict how they will act under stress and interact with other employees.

Santa Maria Foods, part of the Sofina group, was going through an expansion. Executives in every department needed a proven method to effectively build and manage their growing workforce. Behavioural analytics allowed them to develop job models, containing the specific behaviours needed for success, and identify the corresponding qualities in their employees. This helped managers better understand both their own motivations as well as those of their personnel and gave them the tools to improve their leadership and motivational styles. Santa Maria Foods now has stronger, more cohesive teams throughout all its offices.

Understand the team’s DNA

Using behavioural analytics, managers can build detailed profiles for each of their employees. By matching these behavioural profiles to the ideal job profiles, managers can determine job fit. Professional development programs can then be tailored to specific employee abilities and provide challenges that encourage success. Behavioural data can also help organizations with succession planning by identifying the next generation of leaders.

Colliers International uses behavioural analytics from Predictive Success to build employee profiles across North America. By following this process for both new staff and current employees, it ensures that everyone is matched to the right roles. Colliers also uses the data to make sure employees fit the overall company culture. Its leadership team also considers behavioural data when preparing professional development programs, coaching individual staff members and making decisions about employee promotions. This supportive approach shows employees the company values their contributions and supports their careers. Colliers now has low employee turnover and a solid leadership pipeline to ensure a stable future.

Be a better communicator

Behavioural data can also help managers identify the best ways to communicate with and motivate employees. A careful look at employees’ profiles will provide specific details about how they best receive, process and respond to communications and whether they are motivated by individual or group encouragement. This is critical to creating an open dialogue between employees and management and fostering engagement and innovation throughout the workforce.

North American food distributor Gordon Food Service, which has operations in B.C., ensures that all its managers have a thorough understanding of human analytics for placing employees in the right role and also for employee communications. Ongoing analysis of employee behaviour profiles and continuous feedback between employees and management have created a culture of enhanced communication that has become part of the company’s DNA. Today, managers clearly communicate with employees using the style that most effectively matches individual needs. As a result, Gordon Food Service has been able to make better hiring decisions and build more cohesive, productive and long-lasting teams.

Retaining great talent begins with placing people in the right roles and providing support that harnesses their strengths. Both employer and employee should view their journey together as a career rather than just a job.

In all aspects of this process, behavioural analytics provide corporate leaders with insights into employee motivations, communication preferences and overall fit within the company. This allows all levels of management to tailor their interactions to meet specific employee needs. Combined with customized training and coaching programs based on employee data, this proven approach can build a stable workforce that retains workers over the long term.

Doug McCann (dmccann@predictivesuccess.com) is a managing principal of Predictive Success Corp.