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Marijn De Geus


Founder & CEO

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4 effective applications of HR analytics for the L&D manager


The new HRM gold is called HR analytics. However, basing decisions on valuable insights from ‘big data’ has already been growing in mostly larger organizations for years. For HR and more specifically Learning and Development, lots of opportunities still exist, though. How can a L&D manager derive a strategic advantage from HR analytics?

After a quick search for “HR analytics” you are bombarded with masterclasses, training programs and e-HRM tools. But what exactly is it? 

Techopedia offers a useful definition, summarized as: “applying analytic processes to the HR department of an organization to achieve a higher ROI by improving employee performance.” Within HR, L&D is therefore the most relevant area for analytics. Four practical applications will lead to a higher ROI.

1. Central overview of individual skill levels

The fact that e-learning and an LMS can give you more insight into the knowledge level of your employees, should not come as a surprise. But did you know the same is possible with ‘soft’ communication skills?

Combine e-learning with e-training and you will always have an up-to-date view of the levels of each employee. This can help, for instance, in linking the right people to projects or functions: are you maybe looking for someone with strong negotiation skills, or rather a good coach?

2. Basing programs on objective analysis of the development need

What follows is that your development programs don’t have to be based on “the sense that it’s time for another training program” or a temporary offer from your local training company anymore.

If the business strategy is aimed more towards customer satisfaction, you can measure the current levels of customer focus and subsequently implement a suitable program to bring them to their desired levels. Not only will this finally show the ROI of soft skill development, it will probably increase it as well.

3. Implementing focused learning interventions

What if you find that no one in the function group appears to have the desired level of negotiation skills? This is where you’ll want to carry out a focused learning intervention.

This is a subject that was clearly addressed by one of the visitors at the launch of our Smart Video Role Play app: “Because you can generate lots of data, you can see how efficiently the tool is being deployed and how this is experienced. That data gives you a lot more information to continue your education as well. This allows you to carry out very focused learning interventions when you know where they are necessary.”

4. Benchmarking for best practices

The potential of HR analytics through internal benchmarking is huge. It starts with setting a norm for communication and commercial skills, and training and testing them.

Based on this, we can correlate skill levels and performance in terms of revenue, customer satisfaction, retention and default over different regions or departments. Use data to develop both individuals and KPI’s such as ROI: a new step towards a strategic Learning & Development policy.

What do you think is the biggest advantage of HR analytics for L&D?

Author Profile Picture
Marijn De Geus

Founder & CEO

Read more from Marijn De Geus

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