Thursday, December 18, 2014

Talent Development Analytics: Improve Your Overall Business

There tends to be a perception at senior levels in many organizations that HR is an extra overhead cost, and therefore there’s a need to figure out how to bring that cost down. In last 10 - 15 years, HR has been increasingly outsourced for that reason, which is why one of HR’s main uses of analytics to this point has been to prove how they’re fitting into organizational success – and one of HR’s main uses of HR technology is to cut down on the time they spend doing that.

But while proving ROI is a huge part of using HR technology and analytics, you shouldn’t stop there. Talent development analytics can help you dig way down into your data, find the story that data is telling you, and take specific actions as a result of understanding what the data is saying to improve your overall business – all the way to customer experience.

There are two main ways this occurs:

1. Improve your employee engagement and overall culture. 

A lot of this goes back to ideas that Insala has better fleshed out here and here regarding the connection between career development, employee engagement, and customer service. One of our current clients has come to us for exactly this reason – their employee engagement survey returned not-so-great results, in large part because employees reported that they:

  • Saw no direction they could advance or move within the organization, 
  • Saw no options for career development
  • Didn’t know who to contact to see if there were career development options, and
  • Didn’t know how to gauge if or what kind of development they needed. 
At this point, we probably don’t have to elaborate on the link between employee engagement and customer experience – and of course, your bottom line.

Focusing on increasing employees’ perception of their own development options resulted in an uptake in career development activity, an increase in skilled employees, and a huge increase in employee engagement as based on their last survey.

If employees think that there’s nowhere to grow in the organization, they’re going to become disengaged; and the organization will likewise have problems with turnover and retention when they become more and more disgruntled to the point that they actually leave.

Having talent development program analytics not only help you spot changes in development activities – or the fact that no one’s taking you up on the development offer – they help you provide you a context to analyze what that activity or lack of activity can mean.

From there, it’s a matter of increasing those activities so that a succession pipeline naturally develops, you retain the employees you currently have so that they can be further developed in your company, and your employee engagement stats go way up.

2. Improve your sales process.

Another of our current clients is choosing to hone in on different aspects of the sales process and ongoing engagement efforts. You can do this by measuring the success of a client with a particular employee and examining things like whether or not the client is still a customer, if they have invested above and beyond the original sales agreement, and what their feedback has been throughout the process.

All of this requires you and your management or leadership determining what the success metrics will be first, and then documentation of information pertaining to those metrics by all employees involved.

This must be done at every level – sales, project manager, account manager, etc – in order to be effective. Above all, remember to communicate and get context for the data and information you receive.

Read other blogs in this series by Trinity Hill:


  1. I've just finished reading this excellent article. About business improvement overall whatever ideas shared here are useful, and can be used practically. Great survey job has been done indeed. Things like number of releases, reach, spend and conversions can easily be monitored via online tools like PanXpan's survey response module.

  2. More and more businesses are now taking advantage of the most powerful tool for higher success: cloud-based software and data room solutions systems.