Rohan Sharma, Head of Predictive Modelling, Reliance Industries

HR Analytics Interview with Rohan SharmaRohan has more than 10 years of experience in setting up and building analytics capabilities within businesses. In his current role, he is heading the predictive modelling and analytics vertical where he is focusing on building enterprise-wide analytics capabilities across the entire value chain of the business. Prior to working with RIL, he was heading the Organization Research, Analytics and Planning group for Eaton Corporation Plc, focused on delivering business value through people analytics. His industry experience covers Telecom, Power Management & Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas industries.


What are the key aspects of employee performance that are critical to the success of HR Analytics?

Like any other initiative which includes HR analytics, data is of primary importance – abundant and accurate data. Knowing what to assess, is also equally necessary, where most organizations struggle is figuring out the right metrics to measure performance and productivity of an employee. E.g. it is relatively simple to assess the performance and productivity of a sales executive in comparison to talent management executive. It is in this light that it becomes critical to understand the business processes and also the relationships of employee goals as they flow from top to the lowest organization unit.

How can HR Analytics enhance employee performance?

So, to begin with, let me qualify that metrics and tracking is not analytics in the truest sense, simply because it tells us what has happened. The true value of HR analytics is in providing guidance to the business in terms of what may happen and how to prepare for it. So then from an analytics perspective building sophisticated models to identify relations between different employees and their goals, finding dependencies and collaboration opportunities from an organization network analysis perspective becomes important.

What do CEOs/CHROs look for in employee performance analytics?

To put it simply all CEOs/CHROs are looking for are actionable insights. E.g.

  • Drivers of high and low performances
  • Attributes separating high potentials and performers from the average performers and potentials
  • Better methods to enhance collaboration across the organization etc.

What is missing in terms of employee performance data that could make HR Analytics even more meaningful?

Again, before we answer the question of what is missing the first question is the accuracy and credibility of the existing data. HR analytics professionals should begin with the hand they are dealt with and then snowball their cause by making a business case to get systems in place which can capture additional datasets. But, ability to capture the emotions or sentiments of employees on a near real-time basis can be a good input to understand how an employee feels and performs during different times of the day. This information can then be used to tie with his aggregate performance and build meaningful activity/incident to performance map.

Can HR Analytics play a prescriptive role in helping employee finetune performance real-time?

Absolutely, the very first thing that can be done is to inform the employee how crisp his/her goals are, since having a well-defined goal sets the foundation for the entire year. And secondly, helping him identify who are the proponents of his goals i.e. who can help him perform better, this could be someone in a similar role in another business unit or someone who used to perform the same role prior to him.


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