Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist for Glassdoor, recently shared with Fast Company that the #1 Job Trend for 2017 is the transformation of Human Resources into People Science thanks to the long-awaited arrival of new, data-driven tools. Now, if your eyes tend to glaze over the moment you hear “human resources,” bear with me – the Human Resources revolution will impact every person who reads this piece, and we should all be prepared to take action.

For Leadership

How it will impact you: You’ve likely become reliant on big data to inform most of the strategic decisions you make for your company and will be relieved to know that HR data is finally catching up. Your hiring, training and employee engagement professionals will increasingly be able to provide you with more precise, real-time data to support the decisions being made in this crucial part of your business. With such knowledge, you can make better strategic decisions about the cost-to-value of your employees, have a deeper understanding of what drives your company’s tenure, and invest in your people in ways that will have the greatest positive influence on them, your clients, and your company. The Economist offers an excellent executive summary of using workforce analytics that is worthy of a read.

What you should do about it:

1) Make sure your Human Resource/People Science teams are given the support they need to invest in, analyze, and understand new tools and the data they produce.

2) Know which metrics to monitor – there should be a solid correlation between the metrics your company is measuring and key business cases for them.

3) Be human – don’t rely only on the numbers: use the numbers to start important clarifying conversations that can lead to meaningful change.

Related: Are Your Company Values Actually Valuable?


For Managers/Team Leads

How it will impact you: New and improved data from sentiment tracker tools, like OfficeVibe, can help you narrow your focus on areas where you can best support your team and will show you what’s going well. Managers know that happy, healthy, engaged employees are far more likely to meet the demands of the client and of the company. And when those demands are met, the company will perform to its highest potential.

What you should do about it:

1) Be intentional and schedule time every week to review the data you’re receiving.

2) Use the data to drive deeper conversations in 1:1s, to better plan team experiences, and to become stronger in your role. OfficeVibe measures employee happiness based on 10 dynamics and offers specific suggestions to help bolster scores in all areas. This is a great resource!

3) Be human – pay attention to spikes in the data because they do indicate something significant is happening (perhaps an employee had a really difficult client interaction and can use some coaching, or maybe they just didn’t sleep well the night before they provided feedback) and you want to address these things. However, in terms of policy and procedure, really focus on the larger trends that you see – those indicate the best places for you to invest most of your time and attention.

Related: stable|kernel’s Words to Live By

For Employees

How it will impact you: There will be more attention paid to you, your behaviors, your needs and your contributions in every phase of your employment. Ideally, this will mean that you’ll see your company’s behaviors and offerings better support you in ways that help you align with their goals and mission. Improved data-based tools will also give you greater visibility into your own path of professional accomplishment and growth.

What you should do about it:

1) Be open, honest, and balanced when you’re contributing to company data.

2) Be ready to offer solutions and suggestions instead of just pointing out problems.

3) Become comfortable discussing your metrics with your manager – they can help tell the story of what you’re contributing to the company and how you’d like to grow.

4) Be human – don’t rely on surveys and data points to represent you. Make a point of being present in person with people throughout your organization. It’s these interactions that help shape what the data will eventually show.

stable|kernel employee Alexandra is a regular recipient of the Office Vibe surveys. She said, “The surveys are a very useful tool for our company’s health and prosperity. On a basic level, just receiving the survey tells me that stable|kernel is invested in my professional and personal well-being. Furthermore, the survey’s results are anonymous, so it’s a safe space for me to express any suggestions for improvement. It also has a playful interface and is fun to use!”

People Science will dramatically influence the shaping of the enterprise in 2017. Increased and improved data on how people operate within our organizations will inform the strategic decisions we make in recruiting, training and retaining our employees so that we can meet our business objectives. But remember – the “science” is only part of the challenge – being human and keeping the “people” in our people sciences is what makes our journey together meaningful.

To read our guide about the 8 considerations for hiring a development partner click here: 

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Jami Sieder

Chief People & Culture Officer at Stable Kernel

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