Science aims to secure knowledge about our world, knowledge which is robust, testable and shareable. With knowledge comes understanding: with understanding we are better placed to explain complex phenomena and systems, and better placed to predict and control the outcomes of our actions.
We know that a happier, more engaged workforce leads to a more successful business but how can we really know that our people are as happy and productive as the business demands? Without that secure knowledge we have traditionally had to fall back on guesswork and unexamined assumptions about how things are working and how our people are performing.
We can guess at the links and causes that might be active in the background of an organisation and we can rely on hearsay and opinion. But what if there was a way of capturing and analysing our employees’ conversations, those water cooler exchanges that reveal the truth about their working lives?
At work, just as in life, we converse, we respond, we question, and we listen, as part of a complex, social process. Indeed, the information we provide about ourselves can appear messy and inconsistent. We’ve all ticked boxes and checked categories on endless surveys, but are these efforts really capturing what we need them to? In these circumstances, how can mere talk provide robust and useful evidence?
Faced with this challenge, HR data analytics is all too often is reduced to simple patterns and correlations in traditional structured data. This is not enough to make a decisive difference to the development of a business strategy. Organisations need cogent information that determines causal processes and links. Leaders should not be satisfied with simple information about what people do. It is important to be preoccupied with why do people do what they do?
Read our feature in The Times to learn how People Analytics can help you understand your people.
Qlearsite’s technology challenges this status quo. Because we understand how language and people work, we build systems that draw out the authentic dimensions of workforce experience. Through natural language processing, we can analyse and thematicise thousands of employee voices, yielding insight into organisational behaviours, risks and opportunities.
We also look for deeper insights and explanations for these patterns in language and produce evidenced-based theories with predictive capability that can be applied in concrete situations. And with well-designed analytics, even relatively basic information can provide insight into the factors that affect business performance.
On the face of it, the analysis of data this way can seem daunting. Organisations face challenges when linking up HR and people analytics:
Businesses are complex, and humans are complicated and changeable.
People data all too easily slips between the cracks but organisational science secures genuine knowledge. It allows us to build scaleable, long-term plans and organise values, goals and behaviours in the light of real facts about our workforce.
We want happy, engaged and motivated workforces. We’ve built the technology to make it happen. We are pioneers of Organisational Science – identifying the types of data that support HR practices.