Using Data to Pinpoint Interventions for Driving Business Outcomes

May 14, 2018

Fortune 500 biotech company based in Europe with 50,000 employees across nearly 70 countries


Situation

In an effort to transform the organization from a traditional healthcare, pharmaceutical and chemical company, a new CEO was brought on board to drive a culture of innovation that would ultimately position the organization as a technology company. As a result, there was an increased emphasis on digitalization and data based decision- making. In particular, the Human Resources function was charged with developing a people strategy tied to the business strategy, while being rooted in data and analytics.

HR's new priorities consisted of developing a workforce grounded in innovation, having the right mix of succession leaders in place and maintaining an employed workforce. The organization had already been through an extensive five-year HR transformation and a key outcome from that was a global people analytics function that was intended to drive key talent insights based off data. Prior to this, people data was typically disparate and analyzed in silos.

Challenge

Human resources leaders sought to leverage readily available data from disparate sources, such as engagement surveys and performance assessments, in order to provide people insights — specifically in the areas of innovation, engagement, leadership capabilities and developing a secure talent pipeline.

The organization has realized YOY increases in revenue (+2%) and gross profit (+3%) since the creation of the human capital strategy in late 2015.

Using data, leadership can answer ongoing business questions:

  • How we can attract, develop and retain people with the innovator profile?
  • How can we be more engaging leaders for employees?
  • What culture and context do our leaders need to strengthen the behaviors required to be successful?

Client Challenges

  • Company-wide transformation
  • Move to data-based decision making
  • Siloed data

Aon Solution

Aon's consultants partnered with the organization's people analytics function to analyze the different talent data sets available and test hypotheses aligned to business objectives. Using Aon's People Analytics capabilities, the organization brought together multiple sets of data (performance, pay, potential and engagement data) to build unique insights on how the organization could further drive innovation and performance.

Results

With concrete data at hand, the team was able to garner surprising insights that helped make the organization's people strategy more focused on driving targeted outcomes.

Not only did they realize that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to talent strategies, but they were also able to pinpoint specific areas to focus their efforts — down to the business segment, hierarchy and location — and drive desired outcomes.

While some of these areas required corporate HR to change its approach, there were others where business units needed to take the onus of acting on the findings to ach 'eve greater results with the existing HR infrastructure. As an example, the organization tested whether high performers were also highly engaged. While common convention would agree with that hypothesis, the data proved otherwise.

Upon examination of the data, Aon revealed that the departments that rewarded and recognized top performers appropriately had much higher engagement levels than departments that didn't. A simple, but targeted effort to educate managers on how to differentiate during the calibration process helped them achieve more favorable engagement outcomes.

Aon helped craft a compelling story for how the organization's human resources function could impact business outcomes through targeted human capital interventions. As such, leadership can now leverage data to answer ongoing business questions such as:

  • How we can attract, develop and retain people with the innovator profile we need in the future?
  • What do need to do to be more engaging leaders for employees?
  • What culture and context do cur leaders need to strengthen the behaviors required to be successful?

By adopting a data driven approach to its people strategy, the company is able to track ongoing progress and modify interventions accordingly.

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