Cambridge Spark / 
May 22 2023 / 
6 minute read

Did you know that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their employer

So you’ve mastered your hiring process. You’re hiring talented employees that show a lot of promise. But you seem to be losing your employees quicker than you’d like, and you’re not sure why.

In this blog you’ll discover how HR data analysis can help your organisation retain a more satisfied workforce for longer.

What is HR data analytics?

HR data analysis is the process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting data related to human resources (HR) within an organisation. It involves using statistical techniques, data mining, and other analytical methods to extract meaningful insights from HR data. 

The goal of HR data analysis is to inform decision making and improve HR practices, such as recruitment, talent management, performance evaluation, employee engagement, and retention.

HR data analysis encompasses a wide range of data sources, including employee records, performance metrics, payroll data, training and development data, employee surveys, and more. 

By analysing these data sets, organisations can identify patterns, trends, and correlations that can provide valuable insights into their workforce.

Benefits of leveraging data analytics for HR purposes

Leveraging HR data analytics offers several advantages to your organisation. It enables data-driven decision-making, providing insights into employee engagement, performance, and training needs. Organisations can improve talent acquisition and retention by analysing recruitment and turnover data. 

HR data analysis supports workforce planning and succession management by identifying skill gaps and facilitating targeted development programmes. It also promotes fairness and diversity by identifying biases and enabling equal opportunity. 

What is employee engagement and why is it important?

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment and dedication that employees have towards their work and the organisation they work for. It goes beyond mere job satisfaction and encompasses a deep sense of connection, enthusiasm, and motivation towards their roles. Employee engagement is crucial for organisations as it directly impacts productivity, performance, and overall business success. 

Employees that are more engaged are more likely to:

  1. Go above and beyond their job requirements
  2. Have higher levels of attendance
  3. Be willing to contribute innovative ideas 
  4. Collaborate and support others
  5. Act as brand ambassadors
  6. Provide higher levels of customer service
  7. Show loyalty to their organisation; and
  8. Demonstrate higher levels of commitment towards helping to achieve their organisation’s goals

Investing in employee engagement is not only beneficial for employees but also vital for the long-term growth and prosperity of your organisation.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace” - Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

Factors that contribute to good employee engagement and satisfaction

So what tactics can you implement in your organisation to ensure that your employees are happy at work? 

Several factors contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction. While each organisation and individual may have specific considerations, here are some common factors that influence engagement and satisfaction in the workplace:

  1. Meaningful work: Employees seek work that is meaningful and aligned with their values and aspirations. When they understand how their role contributes to the larger purpose and goals of the organisation, it enhances their sense of purpose and engagement.

  2. Supportive leadership: Effective and supportive leadership plays a crucial role in employee engagement. Leaders who provide clear expectations, offer feedback and recognition, and empower their team members to foster a positive work environment and promote engagement.

  3. Opportunities for growth and development: Employees value opportunities for learning, growth, and advancement. Organisations that invest in employee development through training, mentoring programmes, and career advancement opportunities are more likely to have engaged and satisfied employees.

  4. Work-life balance: Striking a healthy work-life balance is essential for employee satisfaction. Organisations that promote work-life balance initiatives, flexible work arrangements, and supportive policies for personal time off contribute to higher satisfaction levels.

    scales balancing work and life

  5. Positive and inclusive company culture: A positive and inclusive company culture that values diversity, promotes collaboration, and fosters a sense of belonging is crucial for engagement and satisfaction. When employees feel respected, valued, and included, they are more likely to be engaged and satisfied in their roles.

  6. Recognition and rewards: Acknowledging and appreciating employees' contributions through regular recognition and meaningful rewards boosts engagement and satisfaction. Recognition programmes that celebrate achievements and provide opportunities for peer-to-peer recognition can have a significant impact on morale and motivation.

  7. Effective communication: Transparent and open communication channels create an environment of trust and engagement. Regularly sharing information, providing feedback, and involving employees in decision-making processes contribute to their sense of involvement and satisfaction.

  8. Work environment and resources: A comfortable and well-equipped work environment that supports productivity and provides necessary resources contributes to employee satisfaction. Factors like appropriate technology, ergonomic workstations, and access to necessary tools enable employees to perform their best.

However, with all of these points in mind you should strive to understand your employees' specific needs. That way, you can tailor strategies to create an engaging and satisfying work experience in your organisation.

Ways to track employee engagement and satisfaction

Using the above factors that contribute to your employee satisfaction you can launch new employee engagement initiatives. But how do you track your employee engagement when you’ve launched new initiatives? Here are a few ways:

  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Employee retention rate
  • Exit interviews
  • 1:1 meetings
  • Absenteeism and lateness rates
  • Employee suggestion box
  • Online ratings

How to improve employee satisfaction with data analytics

Improving employee satisfaction with HR data analytics involves leveraging insights gained from analysing relevant HR data. This data can then be used to inform strategies and actions that address key areas of concern. Here are some steps to effectively use data analytics for enhancing employee satisfaction:

  1. Identify the relevant metrics: Determine the key indicators of employee satisfaction that align with your organisation's goals and values. This may include data points such as employee survey results, turnover rates, performance reviews, feedback channels, or other relevant metrics.

  2. Collect and analyse data: Gather data from various sources, such as employee surveys, performance evaluations, and engagement surveys. Use data analytics tools, such as Python or Tableau to analyse the collected data and identify patterns, trends, and correlations that reveal insights into factors influencing employee satisfaction. Some of the most popular data analysis techniques for understanding your data effectively are descriptive analysis, prescriptive and predictive analysis.

  3. Identify pain points and areas for improvement: Analyse the data to identify pain points or areas where employee satisfaction may be lower. Look for recurring themes, common concerns, or patterns that emerge from the data analysis. This helps pinpoint specific areas that require attention and improvement.

  4. Develop targeted interventions: Use the insights gained from data analytics to develop targeted interventions and action plans. These interventions should address the identified pain points and focus on improving specific aspects of the employee experience that are contributing to lower satisfaction levels. For example, if the data highlights a lack of career development opportunities as a concern, initiatives could be designed to enhance training and growth opportunities.

  5. Personalise employee experiences: Leveraging data analytics allows you to tailor employee experiences accordingly. This includes customised learning and development programmes, targeted recognition and rewards, individualised career paths, tailored communication and feedback, flexible work arrangements, personalised wellness initiatives, and individualised performance management. 

    By analysing employee data, organisations gain a deeper understanding of employees' preferences, strengths, and aspirations, allowing them to create personalised experiences that enhance engagement, satisfaction, and overall performance.

  6. Monitor and measure progress: Continuously monitor and measure the impact of the implemented interventions on employee satisfaction. Track relevant metrics and indicators to assess the effectiveness of the strategies and identify areas where further adjustments may be needed. Researching new HR trends can also be a way to develop your engagement and satisfaction initiatives.  
By leveraging data analytics, organisations can gain a deeper understanding of their employees' needs, concerns, and preferences. This enables them to implement targeted interventions and continuously improve the employee experience, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction and engagement.

employees celebrating around meeting table

Best practices to overcome HR data challenges when improving employee engagement and satisfaction

Using data analysis in HR to improve employee engagement and satisfaction can have a resounding impact. But there are challenges and best practices that you must consider to ensure that data is used correctly:

  1. Define your company objectives: Define the objectives and desired outcomes of the analytics initiative to align efforts with organisational goals. 

  2. Invest in data analytics tools and skills: Your organisation must also bridge the gap between HR data analytics and actionable insights. This can be done by building analytical capabilities within the HR team through HR data analytics courses. This enables effective data interpretation and the identification of trends and patterns that impact employee satisfaction. 

  3. Promote data accuracy: Ensure data accuracy and integrity by implementing robust data collection and management systems. This includes validating data sources, maintaining data security, and addressing data quality issues promptly. Upskilling your team in data analysis will also help to ensure the accuracy and completeness of your data.

  4. Communicate with your team and external stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders, such as HR professionals, managers, and employees, to foster collaboration and gain diverse perspectives. You should also strive to have open communication with employees about findings. Sharing insights and involving employees in solution-building can foster a sense of ownership, empowerment, and engagement.

  5. Ensure privacy of your data: Prioritise privacy and confidentiality to build trust among employees. 

  6. Welcome feedback and review your initiatives: Establish a feedback loop to continuously evaluate and refine analytics strategies, ensuring ongoing improvement in employee engagement. These practices can help organisations leverage HR data analytics to create a more engaged workforce.

ADDITIONAL READING: Case study: Speeding Up HR Operations With Python

How Adobe used data analysis to improve their employee engagement

Adobe implemented a comprehensive employee engagement programme called the "Check-In" programme, which incorporates data analytics. The programme involves regular pulse surveys to gather feedback on employee satisfaction and engagement. The collected data is then analysed to identify trends and insights that help drive targeted interventions.

"Feedback and ongoing conversations between managers and employees are at the heart of what make check-ins successful - both to ensure employees have the clarity they need to be successful in their roles and to support their career growth." 

- Gloria Chen, Chief People Officer and EVP, Employees Experience

Adobe uses this data to implement initiatives, such as personalised career development plans, recognition programmes, and training opportunities tailored to individual employee needs. By leveraging HR data analytics, Adobe effectively enhances employee engagement and creates a more positive and productive work environment.

Data apprenticeships with people analytics

Looking to acquire the HR analytics skills needed to drive employee engagement in your organisation?

At Cambridge Spark, we offer a tailored and publicly funded Data Citizen Apprenticeship with People Analytics Pathway which includes content from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 

The apprenticeship provides learners with the ability to contextualise what they have learnt in their Data Citizen Apprenticeship towards people functions. They can gain a better understanding of how data can be used to inform key people decisions, such as talent management, performance management and employee engagement. 

If you’re interested in upskilling your organisation in people analytics get in touch with us via the form below.