Post COVID-19, burnout among employees is a key challenge facing most businesses.
Amidst this, the growing need to strike a balance between satisfying employees’ new needs and keeping business afloat, poses additional complexities.
Here, says Neha Dalpatia, lead people partner, Tide India, a data-driven approach to people management enables businesses to make decisions that help in retaining quality talent while also enhancing the employee experience.
“From an employer’s perspective, I think data offers a substantive understanding of the organisational culture and why employees are staying or leaving. It is also an indicator of where the business should make adjustments to retain employees and enhance their workplace experience,” she says.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Dalpatia dwells on how data-driven HR can be the key to retaining talent and enhancing employee experience.
Why is it important for organisations to provide unique, personalised experiences to employees?
The pandemic led to an unprecedented change in expectations with personalisation at its core. This also caused a huge upheaval in the corporate workforce.
With millennials comprising nearly half of the global workforce, baby boomers postponing their retirements, and Generation Z entering, we are witnessing mixed demographics at the workplace.
And each cohort comes with their own unique views and expectations from their employer.
For instance, baby boomers typically view work as a means to an end and keep it separate from their personal priorities. Millennials look for experiences that resonate with their personal values. While Generation Z prefers new opportunities with flexible work structures.
Amidst this as employers cater to the needs and expectations of these groups, personalisation is emerging as the cornerstone for creating a productive and healthy workspace that fosters teamwork, innovative thinking, and aspires individuals to grow.
I have seen personalisation to have a significant impact on career development opportunities. Here, data analysis can play a critical role and help post recruitment as the employer looks at upskilling employees through on-the-job learning opportunities.
We, at Tide, have been leveraging data to not just decode Tideans’ strengths and weaknesses, but also know their pain points so we can introduce ways for them to deal with it in an effort to prioritise mental well-being in the new era of hybrid workplace. Tide partnered with mental well-being services provider Plumm to launch a global mental well-being platform for its employees earlier this year.
This partnership enables our employees to prioritise their mental well-being and manage issues related to the mind, relationship and work-related topics respectively through video and chat therapy, personalised courses and meditation sessions. The on-demand support not just helps combat burnout and boost team morale but focuses on the overall growth and well-being of employees and their families.
How can data-driven insights help organisations improve employee experience?
At Tide, we have embedded data-based insights across various phases of an employee’s journey at the organisation. This includes the hiring process, working environment, both remote and hybrid, interpersonal relationships, and tech support, among others.
I think in the post COVID-19 scenario, the people piece is taking precedence and emerging as one of the key differentiators for enterprises. Eventually, businesses need to take care of their employees and data helps them step up their game and enjoy success in the form of greater employee satisfaction, long-standing loyalty, augmented efficiencies, and ultimately higher revenue.
At Tide, we continuously solicit employee feedback and ideas about how we can make Tide a better place to work. For instance, Tide conducts bi-annual long-format and weekly short-format (called Pulse) employee surveys across all its locations – London, India and Sofia - to understand Tideans and their pain points. After the survey, we analyse the data and come up with a subsequent Action Plan to act upon. This feedback has been essential in launching our new suite of well-being benefits that focus on the diverse needs of our global workforce — like WOO (Working Outside of Office) thus making Tide a fully-flexible workplace.
Do you think the potential of data in HR remains largely untapped?
With its ever-expanding reach, technology has come of age in today’s time, and HR is no exception.
Organisations produce massive amounts of data from various functions which can be used to derive actionable insights. A large amount of this unstructured data remains untapped for organisational functions including HR.
Use of technology has made it possible to collect and assess data before, during, and after the hiring process to improve decision-making and cultivate a more efficient workforce.
How can companies, leaders effectively employ data-driven HR decisions with HR analytics?
HR, as an organisational function which traditionally used to focus on elements like people, culture, L&D and employee engagement, is increasingly driven by data analysis and numbers. The data derived from various sources like sensors, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc., enables effective people management and adds value to the organisation.
For instance, our performance management programme at Tide which is called, ‘RISE’ is highly data-driven and managed through a digital platform. The process of RISE includes self, peer, upward and manager feedback.
Over the years, we have worked to improve this programme by leveraging the platform and its different functionalities. We recently introduced a new 7-scale scoring system to give more granularity to our reviews. To achieve this, we used revamped scoring systems with customisable questions and rating options. Our performance reviews are not only there to evaluate the performance of the employees but to enable the managers to grow and nurture our talents.
As part of RISE, we ask managers to place their reports in the 9-grid-box of performance vs potential. This helps them to develop a concrete plan to support core team members, high performers and others based on their individual needs. There’s a section in the platform that allows us to keep this information in one place and encourages managers to work together with Tideans on their Personal Development Plan.
However, as the role of HR transforms, people and the human component of data analytics will continue to play an integral role in the decision-making process.
Organisations that understand its people will be able to take advantage of the data driven insights and provide its employees with best policies and practices. As diversity, empathy, and equity become standards in today’s business, data will continue to drive decisions but cannot replace human actions.