Big data drives continuous improvement in engagement

Is ‘big data’ a new trend for HR and organisations? Absolutely not, it was something I was using to inform business strategies and policies over ten years’ ago, for example succession planning and skills gaps.

This practice also applies here at Collingwood, and whilst we are a SME, it is just as relevant as it is for larger organisations.

Quantitative data can provide an insight in to trends and patterns within your company, for example employee turnover, sickness absence, employee satisfaction, but supported with qualitative data it provides a real understanding into the cause, ie poor management (the highest driver for employees leaving an organisation).

HR analytics has an important role to play in our talent management strategy and maintaining a strong culture of employee engagement.  Despite significant changes this year at Collingwood, with the growth accelerator programme and relocation to new offices, the results from our recent pulse survey were excellent but also highlighted some areas where improvements could be made to further strengthen engagement within our team, and retain top talent. 

The last time we conducted a survey, we were at the start of the growth accelerator programme, and the results highlighted some ambiguity of the business strategy and understanding of Collingwood’s vision. This information guided the Directors to provide further clarification - to help people be part of the journey and prevent a dip in performance from disengagement. 

With increases of between 20 and 30 percentage points, the latest results show that actions carried out from the action plan have resulted in clear improvements:

  • 100% of staff now have a good understanding of Collingwood’s vision
  • 90% understand how their work contributes to the company’s success
  • 90% feel empowered to make decisions
  • 90% feel their opinions are listened to by their manager
  • 90% felt that they are kept well informed about company plans and progress
  • 90% are proud of the company’s brand

There were new questions added this year which have also shown that Collingwood have maintained a good culture and workplace:

  • 100% of staff felt that the Directors are genuinely interested in our welfare
  • 100% feel that they are encouraged to put forward innovative ideas
  • 100% are dedicated to exceed client expectations
  • 90% feel that their manager habitually acknowledges them when they do a good job

Although we are very pleased with these results, another action plan will be written to help us ensure that Collingwood is a place where people want to work and are supported to realise their full potential.

Had we not collated data we would not have known the percentage of people’s responses to our questions (quantitative data).  Had we not held focus groups, we would not have truly understood what was required to improve (qualitative data).  Therefore, without ‘big data’ organisations, small or large, may be missing the opportunity of putting measures in place to improve their organisational performance and retain talent.

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