This week has seen the ‘Beast from the East‘ shut down much of the transport network causing confusion and delay (Thanks Thomas!). But I’m safe in the knowledge that I can just hunker down at home and continue to work as usual, accessing work remotely. This has been possible because Sopra Steria’s analytics platform predicted the level of additional bandwidth and resilience needed in our VPN network when more people than usual are working from home.
So, what has this got to do with employee experience? The 2017 Management Today survey in partnership with Sopra Steria found greater flexibility in working and career development were most likely to enhance employee experience. Thus, there is a clear correlation between a good employee experience and a company being able to both predict a sudden increase in remote users and take preventative action against the network slowing.
Investing in data and analytics
I use this example of the power of analytics in a new opinion paper
discussing the business case for enhancing the employee experience. In it I point to the value of having a data and analytics team able to use artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics to allow the business to prepare for peaks and troughs of employee activities.
I make the case for using digital capabilities to support forward planning and enable intervention before challenges become issues, such as spotting patterns of absence and identifying those who need extra support.
By being able to correlate different types of data – hours worked, the weather, absence rates, etc. – it is possible to gather a picture of the things that have the most impact on rates of employee absence or reduced productivity.
I am excited at this potential for using data and analytics to help create a differentiating employee experience. Indeed, our own analytics platform already sits alongside our virtual HR Assistant, speech activated applications and robotics know-how to form a set of industry-leading capabilities focused on improving the employee experience.
Making the Business Case
Deciding what technology and process transformation to invest in to enhance the employee experience must go beyond being purely an HR decision.
To make the business case, HR should work with IT who understand the new technologies in areas such as data science and analytics.
In my paper, I point out that it is important to recognise what it will take to get the most out of your structured and unstructured data to support your future workforce management – and this requires specialist knowledge.
And if the business case suggests now is not the time to rip and replace legacy IT and move to a new cloud-based platform, HR must collaborate with finance. Why? Because while the business might not be ready, there still needs to be a discussion about the investment required in the workforce to ensure processes fit employees’ current needs and continue to support them into the future.
For example, it is possible to place digital front-end tools, such as real-time employee analytics, on top of legacy IT using Sopra Steria’s DiAL (Digital Abstraction Layer).
So, come snow, ice, or even a summer heatwave melting railway tracks, it is possible to give employees the flexibility to work from home by predicting future outcomes – without it costing the earth.
For more on this, read my opinion paper ‘A transformation business case that writes itself – download here.
Authored by Claudia Quinton, Head of Workplace Transformation