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What’s the most important element in running a successful company? Funds, marketing, or investing in digital workplace tools? These are all valuable and necessary. But in today’s modern world, there is one element that is even more important – data.
Much of the discussion around data involves marketing and how you can use data to reach customers in more personalized and direct ways. But the transformational potential of data reaches beyond marketing. Used in the right way, it can improve almost every aspect of your company.
For example, data can be collected and analyzed to help improve workplace diversity. Society is full of variety, with different ethnicities, identities, and sexualities.
However, although there have been steps taken to improve equality, many companies still struggle to build a truly inclusive environment. But with the power of data, this can all change. Read on to find out how.
Diversify your workforce with people analytics
Of course, simply having data isn’t enough. You need to understand your data for it to be useful. For that, you need the right analytics. Your company is likely already collecting a large amount of data about your customers which can be processed into actionable information, such as improving customer journey orchestration.
This same process needs to happen internally if you want to build a more diverse work environment. This is known as people analytics.
Collecting people analytics
To carry out people analytics, you need to gather as much information about your workforce as you can. But you need to be vigilant and compliant with privacy laws in how you carry out this process; in particular, regarding sensitive personal information such as race, sexuality, gender, background, age, and more.
Before collecting any data it is vital to explain to your workforce how this data will be handled, its purpose, who it may be shared with, how it will be stored, and for how long. This demonstrates your desire to be completely transparent and helps employees feel more comfortable about sharing personal information. However, remember that this process should be entirely voluntary so respect the wishes of those who choose not to participate.
One way to collect data in a non-invasive way is to email a link to a survey. Recipients can then choose to participate or not. Make sure to include links or popups to concise and understandable information about all privacy laws. Moreover, make it clear that at any point participants can request that their personal data be deleted from your system.
Explain the importance of data
People will want to know why you want their information. Be clear about the reasons for collecting information and outline your goals. Sometimes it’s useful to create visualizations to better illustrate your objectives. It’s also a good idea to use digital asset management to ensure that files are available when you need them.
Remember, for effective people analytics, you need to gather data on both employees and applicants. You’ll need to be transparent with applicants as well as internal workers.
Analyze your data
With your data collected, you can start the process of analytics. At this stage, you can begin to unpack the information that you’ve collected. But first, you’ll need the right software.
There are many different analytics packages available, take time to research and find an option that works for you. Just remember, for data to be effective you’ll need lots of it.
Of course, having data also means that you need storage space. Again there are lots of options out there. One choice for larger companies is to use HDFS with Apache Hadoop (Hadoop vs HDFS).
Have a clear plan
There’s no point collecting data if you don’t know how you will use it. You might want to boost diversity in your company, but that is an extremely broad goal. Be more specific. For instance, are you looking to increase the number of LGBT employees? Or to boost the number of women in leadership positions?
With a set of goals, you’ll have a clear view of your objective. You can then go on to create metrics to measure your success.
Of course, you’ll need the infrastructure to search your data easily. ElasticSearch is one option that can come in handy. There are many ElasticSearch use cases that showcase how it can help you – these include log analysis and full-text search.
Start with a baseline
If you want to show progress, you need a baseline. As you begin to alter your tactics and move towards a more diverse workforce, new data should show a transformation. You can compare this data against your baseline to prove that you are moving in the right direction.
For transparency and to show your success, you need to make your results public. But how often will you share your data? Depending on the sector, you might have to work with government bodies to be compliant with legislation.
But even if this isn’t the case, it’s better to create deadlines. If you release data at regular intervals, it proves that you’re tackling the issue seriously. On the other hand, avoid deadlines that are too tight, it’s useful to give yourself enough time to make progress.
Once data is analyzed, you’ll have a much clearer picture of your employees. But now you’ve got the information, how do you use it? Let’s find out.
Spot diversity gaps
You might think that your workforce is diverse already, but without data, you’re only guessing. With people analytics, you’ll get a much more precise picture.. You’ll gain access to some of the following information about your employees:
Are there certain groups that are underrepresented? If so, what steps can you take to increase inclusivity? When hiring future employees, you can make sure to address any gaps in diversity.
Reduce the element of bias in hiring
Whether we like it or not, we’re all influenced by bias in some way. When it comes to hiring, this can negatively impact the diversity of your company. While there’s no way to remove bias entirely, data can help to reduce it.
Already, data can prove the benefits of diversity. Here’s one example – companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
By incorporating this information into the hiring process, you can make smarter, data-driven decisions. These should also be reflected on the company website so that there is no unconditional bias and it fully represents your inclusive values.
Ensure equal pay
Today, many companies have modernized the ways they handle their finances. This has involved switching to solutions such as cloud banking services. But in other ways, companies are still stuck in the past.
If you want to create an equal and inclusive workplace, people need to be paid equally. This seems like common sense, yet despite this, huge inequalities still exist. For example, women who are full-time, year-round employees make 83 cents for every dollar made by men.
If you want your workplace to be an equality leader, you need to look at the data. You might be surprised at what you learn. People analytics will pinpoint any gaps in your systems. But more than this, data will tell you what is causing the discrepancy. Armed with this information, you can alter your policies to reduce pay gaps.
Create fairer performance reviews
Performance reviews are an important tool in the workplace. If done correctly, they allow workers to measure their progress. Employees will feel encouraged if they receive praise. Constructive criticism can lead workers to seek self-improvement. But all too often, performance reviews aren’t handled fairly.
Studies have found that performance reviews of women typically contain more negative words than performance reviews of men. Similarly, people of color frequently receive lower performance scores than white workers.
But what can be done to address this? The best first step is to look at data pertaining to your review process. Is there evidence that underrepresented workers are being discriminated against? Use this data as a starting point for change.
Be transparent and share this information with employees. It’s better to be seen as working towards change, rather than being complacent.
It’s also important to listen to employee feedback throughout this process.
Lean on your data
Diversifying your workforce is a worthy goal. With the right data, you can create a clear set of equality goals. This is where people analytics comes in. Wondering how it can help you? Look at your data to provide insights into what is preventing you from having a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Remember, to have effective data you need proper storage. Solutions such as Apache Kudu can be an effective solution for larger companies.
With your data properly stored and indexed, you can use it to create actionable plans. As shown here, there are many different use cases for people analytics. Just remember, the process can be lengthy -and outsourcing your hiring can help reduce the load.
Seek help externally
Outsourcing your hiring process can be cheaper and more effective, and if you choose that route Globalization Partners has the solution for you. With G-P Recruit, you can quickly identify and hire new team members in key locations globally.
Working alongside Globalization Partners, you can create a strategy that helps diversify your workforce. You won’t need to worry about sourcing onboarding tools, finding a compliant payroll setup, or offboarding.
The benefits of a diverse workforce speak for themselves. So, don’t delay any further, create a plan and start diversifying.
Pohan Lin is the Senior Web Marketing and Localizations Manager at Databricks, a global Data and AI provider connecting the features of data warehouses and data lakes to create lakehouse architecture. With over 18 years of experience in web marketing, online SaaS business, online training platform administrator, and e-commerce growth. Pohan is passionate about innovation and is dedicated to communicating the significant impact data has in marketing. Pohan Lin has also published articles for domains such as SME-News.