How an­a­lyt­ics is help­ing In­dian IT com­pa­nies max­i­mize po­ten­tial of their hu­man cap­i­tal

HR heads of In­dian IT com­pa­nies are us­ing an­a­lyt­ics to ac­cu­rately pre­dict ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions of em­ploy­ees, iden­tify high per­form­ers and even pre­dict when an em­ployee is likely to leave

InformationWeek - - Cover Story - BY SRIKANTH RP tweet@srikrp

T he qual­ity of hu­man cap­i­tal de­ter­mines the present and the fu­ture of any com­pany. When top per­form­ers leave, they can not only im­pact the di­rec­tion of the com­pany, but also cause huge losses re­lated to at­tri­tion re­place­ment and pro­duc­tiv­ity. This is­sue is more acute for the IT ser­vices in­dus­try, where the de­mand for highly skilled talent is a per­sis­tent is­sue.

“In any busi­ness, em­ployee turnover is one of the top HR chal­lenges. Em­ployee turnover, if not checked, not only has an im­pact on cost but also im­pacts qual­ity of ser­vice pro­vided to clients. Ad­di­tion­ally, ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion wants to hire em­ploy­ees that will stay for the long term, but at the same time those em­ploy­ees should also per­form at pro­duc­tive lev­els. Im­prov­ing em­ployee’s pro­duc­tiv­ity is al­ways in fo­cus,” ex­plains Srikantan Moorthy, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Group Head of Hu­man Re­source De­vel­op­ment, In­fosys.

Em­ploy­ees also have to be con­sis­tently en­gaged and mo­ti­vated, which is highly cru­cial for or­ga­ni­za­tions to re­main rel­e­vant in a dy­namic busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

In the knowl­edge econ­omy, the role of HR has be­come even more crit­i­cal. “Tra­di­tion­ally, across or­ga­ni­za­tions, pro­cesses have been run based on set poli­cies and with a fo­cus on com­pli­ance. How­ever, now the fo­cus is on cre­at­ing dif­fer­en­tia­tors within these pro­cesses. That makes a sig­nif­i­cant de­mand on HR pro­fes­sion­als’ time and they need to think in­no­va­tively rather than fo­cus­ing on com­pli­ance

Us­ing an­a­lyt­ics, we can iden­tify em­ploy­ees at risk of leav­ing, and un­der­stand how risk is dis­trib­uted through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion SRIKANTAN MOORTHY,

alone. They also need to progress from a prob­lem-solv­ing mind­set to in­no­va­tion- ori­ented think­ing. HR has now be­come a key en­abler to busi­ness per­for­mance, more so in the knowl­edge in­dus­try. There­fore, meet­ing spe­cific and vary­ing needs of em­ploy­ees is ab­so­lutely im­por­tant,” em­pha­sizes Sau­rabh Govil, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent– Hu­man Re­sources, Wipro.

HOW CAN AN­A­LYT­ICS HELP?

Can an­a­lyt­ics, which is be­ing cre­atively used in a huge num­ber of ar­eas, be used to bet­ter man­age hu­man cap­i­tal too? In the highly com­pet­i­tive IT ser­vices in­dus­try, where ‘hu­man cap­i­tal’ is the most cru­cial fac­tor in im­pact­ing prof­itabil­ity, an­a­lyt­ics can play a sig­nif­i­cant role. Not sur­pris­ingly, in In­dia, al­most all the top HR heads of IT ser­vice com­pa­nies use HR an­a­lyt­ics ex­ten­sively.

Ex­plain­ing the role of HR an­a­lyt­ics tools, Ravi Shankar, EVP & Chief People Of­fi­cer, Mindtree, says, “The role of HR an­a­lyt­ics tools is reporting and an­a­lyz­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s data and per­for­mance-re­lated in­for­ma­tion, and then draw­ing mean­ing­ful in­sights for fore­cast­ing pur­poses. One such emerg­ing area is called ‘turnover mod­el­ing’, which aims to pre­dict/ fore­cast em­ployee turnover (per­for­mance and en­gage­ment) level-wise, and cat­e­gory-wise, and then map them ac­cu­rately so that the HR team can be bet­ter pre­pared to man­age is­sues. We ac­tively use turnover mod­el­ing at Mindtree.”

Shankar says that risk man­age­ment of high-pro­file

Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Group Head of Hu­man Re­source De­vel­op­ment, In­fosys

can­di­dates is an­other area that ef­fec­tively uses HR an­a­lyt­ics. “Anal­y­sis of data us­ing ‘re­gres­sion analy­ses’ helps to de­ter­mine the num­ber of days/hours spent by em­ploy­ees on a task and repet­i­tive­ness of a job. Ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions of em­ploy­ees are fac­tored in to ar­rive at an ABC risk model for high per­form­ers (high, medium, and low cat­e­gory risk). The HR team then uses these in­sights to cre­ate the right en­gage­ment and man­age­ment strat­egy for the dif­fer­ent risk cat­e­gories,” states Shankar.

In a dy­namic sce­nario, an­a­lyt­ics helps com­pa­nies bet­ter man­age em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity, and an­a­lyze this with re­spect to rev­enues and mar­gins. “An­a­lyt­ics al­lows HR to com­bine and com­pare raw con­tex­tual data, present it graph­i­cally to see his­tor­i­cal trends and run “what-if” sce­nar­ios. This helps in vi­su­al­iz­ing how the move­ment of talent im­pacts hir­ing de­ci­sions, cost mod­els, ca­reer­path ini­tia­tives, suc­ces­sion plans and risk man­age­ment,” states Srikantan Moorthy of In­fosys.

Moorthy be­lieves that an­a­lyt­ics pro­vides the ba­sis for spe­cific ac­tion plans and work­force in­vest­ments that ad­dress gaps or in­ef­fi­cien­cies in an or­ga­ni­za­tion. “From a suc­ces­sion plan­ning point- of-view, work­force an­a­lyt­ics can view how many of the em­ploy­ees are near­ing re­tire­ment stage. HR pro­fes­sion­als can plan how those up­com­ing va­can­cies will be filled and how it will af­fect pay and per­for­mance through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion. HR pro­fes­sion­als can also iden­tify em­ploy­ees at risk of leav­ing, build profiles of those most likely to leave or stay, and un­der­stand how risk is dis­trib­uted through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion. By an­a­lyz­ing skill in­ven­tory, HR pro­fes­sion­als can track and an­a­lyze crit­i­cal skills,” ex­plains Moorthy.

With huge amount of data at their dis­posal, an­a­lyt­ics al­lows HR pro­fes­sion­als to com­bine and com­pare raw con­tex­tual data, present it graph­i­cally to see his­tor­i­cal trends and run “what-if” sce­nar­ios. This helps in vi­su­al­iz­ing how the move­ment of talent im­pacts hir­ing de­ci­sions, cost mod­els, ca­reer-path ini­tia­tives, suc­ces­sion plans and risk man­age­ment.

IN­DIAN IT SER­VICE COM­PA­NIES USE AN­A­LYT­ICS CRE­ATIVELY

HR an­a­lyt­ics tools can help in pre­dict­ing and fore­cast­ing at­tri­tion. Mindtree uses turnover mod­el­ing to pre­dict em­ployee turnover. “At Mindtree, the use of HR an­a­lyt­ics tools has helped us pre­dict em­ployee turnover for the next 90 days, cre­ate us­able in­sights from data analy­ses that are fed into the fore­cast­ing model for the hir­ing teams (va­cancy-based hir­ing). These tools are also used for high-risk em­ployee man­age­ment, us­ing mul­ti­ple poli­cies of re­ten­tion, pref­er­ences, etc. For ex­am­ple, for any op­por­tu­nity in­side the com­pany, the high risk em­ploy­ees get to go for them first,” states Ravi Shankar.

At In­fosys, an­a­lyt­ics is used to bet­ter un­der­stand work­force struc­ture and how in­flow and out­flow of talent at var­i­ous lev­els im­pacts the struc­ture. This anal­y­sis helps the firm un­der­stand its in­ter­nal hir­ing and ex­ter­nal hir­ing ra­tios for dif­fer­ent roles and for dif­fer­ent units. “We were able to iden­tify roles which re­quire more in­ter­nal hir­ing and build in pro­cesses to fa­cil­i­tate these move­ments. This anal­y­sis also gave use­ful in­sights on pat­terns of move­ment out­side a ser­vice line and move­ment of talent into a ser­vice line,” says Moorthy.

Sim­i­larly, Wipro lever­ages an­a­lyt­ics in mul­ti­ple ar­eas like per­for­mance man­age­ment, re­ten­tion, suc­ces­sion plan­ning and talent man­age­ment. “We de­sign learn­ing in­ter­ven­tions for em­ploy­ees based on in­sights that we de­rive from an­a­lyt­ics. The com­pe­ten­cies and the suc­cess pro­file for a role is de­cided based on the anal­y­sis of what kind of people have been suc­cess­ful in that role,” ex­plains Govil. Wipro has also good ex­pe­ri­ence in us­ing pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing — an area which is at the high end of an­a­lyt­ics. “Pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing can be used to un­der­stand the pro­file of people who may be at higher risk of at­tri­tion, and it can be quite ac­cu­rate. The idea is to ori­ent your ef­forts in the right di­rec­tion,” says Govil.

From iden­ti­fy­ing talent to pre­dict­ing at­tri­tion, and de­vel­op­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of cor­po­rate lead­ers, an­a­lyt­ics is play­ing a ma­jor role in shap­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of com­pa­nies. As seen from the ex­am­ples above, an­a­lyt­ics can play a big role in pre­dict­ing em­ployee turnover, in im­prov­ing em­ployee per­for­mance, and most im­por­tantly in cre­at­ing a con­sis­tent cor­po­rate cul­ture.

We de­sign learn­ing in­ter­ven­tions for em­ploy­ees based on in­sights that we de­rive from an­a­lyt­ics

SAU­RABH GOVIL, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Hu­man Re­sources, Wipro

The use of HR an­a­lyt­ics tools has helped us pre­dict em­ployee turnover for the next 90 days

RAVI SHANKAR

EVP & Chief People Of­fi­cer, Mindtree

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