(LinkedIn article, posted 12 November 2016)
And, if the cost, time and influence benefits have become obvious to me, how do I adopt this?
The barrier, or perceived barrier, is the combination of attributes needed:
- Confidentiality. The obvious solution to a technology requirement is to get your IT department to do it. But, this is one of the few roles that can’t be performed by IT. Performed effectively, your approach will integrate pay, talent, performance and business information, which is highly sensitive information. But, this is an easy requirement to fulfill within a Reward function.
- Reward or HR specialist knowledge. This is also no barrier. To make the most of an analytics approach, the functional knowledge needs to be as close to the keyboard as possible. This makes sure that the kinds of questions that need answering, and the information that needs integrating, are well understood.
- Technical BI skills. This is the barrier to overcome. The technical understanding and skill to make the technology high leverage tend not to be available within a Reward or HR environment. And other than the largest functions, a full-time role doesn’t make sense. (Well, it probably does, but that won’t be obvious until the impacts are experienced.)
We’re faced with two of the three requirements already being in place, and the third not easily within the reach of the average Reward function despite the benefits.
The solution is, Invest. Remember that on a per project basis, the costs are fixed costs. Set up once, re-use often. The two primary investment options are:
- Purchase great software, and employ. Full-time is probably not feasible, but employing a fixed term specialist to set up most of your analytics needs is. Or;
- Outsource it on a per project basis, which will also take care of software.
In both cases you’ll need to “top-up” your analysis from time to time to answer the high-value questions that will arise, but most of your investment is up front. And that’s the key word, Investment, as the influence and efficiency impacts downstream are significant.
You might also be interested in reading Without adopting Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data Technology, the Reward Profession’s days may be numbered.
I’m an accredited Master Reward Specialist with Business Intelligence knowledge, and passionate about the benefits that this combination brings to Reward. Feel free to get in touch with me to talk about this, or to have me talk to your leadership team.