By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Human Resources (HR) is at an inflection point. From an administrative and industrial relations function of the 1980s known as HR 1.0, HR has been in a state of constant evolution. In the 1990’s we witnessed organizations becoming more aware of the value of talent and the subsequent transformation of HR to the role of a business partner with a focus on analytics and reporting (HR 2.0). 

However, as the world of talent continues to become more complex, and organizational growth and profitability become directly tied to the capacity to innovate and collaborate, HR has to grow and become a strategic advisor. 

With this evolution comes the dawn of HR 3.0.

Why HR 3.0?

Compliance, administration design, programs, and jobs were the focus of HR 1.0. 

Process excellence, standardization, self-service, shared services were the focus of HR 2.0. 

Cognitive, personalized, transparent, and elevated employee experience and talent performance management are the focus areas of HR 3.0.

Given that the business environment today is enveloped in a state of constant flux and disruption, it becomes inevitable for organizations to look at a new HR model that focuses on driving value from talent. For this, HR has to become more agile and allow the voice of the employees and managers to permeate and integrate throughout HR and not remain cloistered in silos. For that, HR 3.0 demands that HR becomes an integrated business function that brings together the expertise of all other business functions.

With millennials making up 75% of the global workforce and the rise of the digital workplace, the move towards HR 3.0 is not just necessary but is inevitable. This generation at work demands HR to step up and move to the next level by becoming analytically sophisticated and with fewer swim lanes and even fewer silos that stand between providing elevated employee experiences and improved talent performance management.

The COVID 19 pandemic has further fuelled the move towards HR 3.0 by bringing in new working models, increasing disruption, and accelerating digital transformation. As employees adjust to this new normal, it is but natural for them to expect more from their organizations – especially as remote working and the subsequent burnout become more pronounced.

Employee experience and talent performance management – the two critical pillars of HR 3.0

Employee experience and talent management are central to HR 3.0 since these areas influence an organization’s overall enterprise transformation. With accelerating digital reinvention, organizations have to understand the needs of the employees better, improve talent performance management, and discover avenues to identify and address employee concerns proactively.

HR departments, therefore, need to 

  • Adopt a personalized, experience-centric design
  • Place skills, and, consequently, skills development, at the core of the enterprise
  • Enable data-driven decision-making leveraging technologies such as AI
  • Increase speed and responsiveness by adopting agile practices
  • Improve transparency to preserve trust and build loyalty 

Clearly, data lies in the heart of HR 3.0 and helps organizations measure, develop, engage, and consequently transform the workforce.

Driving employee experience and talent performance management in the age of HR 3.0

Organizations have to focus on improving employee engagement and performance by building people connections, improving internal coaching, and accelerating skills development to display their investment in their workforce. 

However, to achieve this, they need to create an experience-centric design around employee performance and the consequent organizational development plan by delivering value-added experiences that are contextual and relevant.

Creating an experience-centric design around employee performance and talent performance management involves employing experiential learning platforms that extend eLearning and Blended Learning with people coaching (both hard and soft skills), diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and core value engagement programs. 

Some of the key focus areas to enable this are:

  • Employing AI-driven HR coaching platforms to connect the right coach with the right mentee and facilitate continuous, data-driven feedback, and deliver timely and relevant nudges to facilitate learning and growth.
  • Applying in-built surveys and assessment tests to identify roles based on coaching needs and define skill-based coach-learner pairings to ensure clear and continuous coaching. This becomes essential as knowledge sharing and skill development become central to employee experience.
  • Ascertaining employee skill strengths and weaknesses with 16 Personality Factor assessment and program surveys instead of the proverbial gut-feel. Additionally, organizations have to enable administrators and program managers to create, personalize, and update surveys associated with different coaching programs.
  • Using surveys and assessment dashboards to gain comprehensive insights into high-potential employees, their strengths, and areas of improvement to develop comprehensive development plans and healthy leadership pipelines.
  • Utilizing pre-packaged, easy to set up, hybrid, customizable templates to enable skills development for the key enterprise functions. 
  • Gaining awareness and visibility to skill data to develop and customize skill development plans proactively. Organizations also have to proactively fine-tune learning and development investments based on actual skill gap measurement. This data also helps in identifying top talent and measuring bench strength across critical skill areas. 
  • Developing contextual and relevant coaching and reskilling/upskilling programs by gaining clarity on employee personality factors.

Taking a data-driven approach to improve employee experience and talent performance management makes it proactive, rather than reactive. It also allows organizations to deliver deeply personalized experiences across employee journeys and facilities better coaching conversations.

The idea that performance management = performance review no longer works. 

The shift of focus from employee engagement to employee experience has happened. 

As organizations and HR outgrow these old models because of changing work dynamics, organizations have to enable HR departments with new tools to deal with new challenges. 

With the right tools and technologies at their disposal, HR can measure and manage employee journeys and create the right experiences that drive performance and innovation, and ultimately, profitability. 

Connect with us to know how you can benefit from NumlyEngage(™) HR Coaching Programs.

By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

Just over a century back, oil emerged as the most lucrative resource one could think of. 

With the dawn of the digital era, there came a new commodity that overtook oil. That commodity was data. Today, data is the currency on which the world runs since it is fact-based and unequivocal, as opposed to opinion. 

In the initial days, data analytics, the vehicle that made data invaluable, was all about discovering interesting information and flagging it off for organizational leaders. Over the years, as more organizations are becoming data-driven, data analytics is considered an essential ingredient to enable good decision-making across all departments and all levels. 

The rise of People Analytics in HR

Today data is being embedded into everyday decision-making and is used to understand every aspect of the business operations. The HR department too is not immune to the lure of data and is using people analytics heavily for managing all aspects of workforce planning, driving operational improvements, and engaging with employees. 

People analytics in HR has undergone a seismic shift. From being a technical subset that analyzed retention, it has matured and is being used to get deep insights to drive performance and employee engagement. People analytics is now being used heavily to discover, interpret, and communicate meaningful patterns hidden in workforce data to make informed decisions and consequently drive performance. Along with tracking basic HR metrics, people analytics is being increasingly used to understand every aspect of how people impact business value.

Factors such as the availability of data, the increase in the capability of organizations to process and analyze that data, and the HR’s ability to use that data have been responsible for the growing popularity of people analytics. 

The workforce analytics market is now expected to reach USD 1.87 billion by 2025 as organizations lean in towards adopting data to manage its workforce.  

So how do People Analytics help organizations and HR teams improve their workforce management?

Discover drivers of high performance

People analytics is finding firm ground across organizations since it can be a valuable resource to discover the unique factors that influence organization-wide performance. With insights gleaned from different aspects of the workforce, organization leaders and HR teams can collectively identify the drivers of high performance and then develop strategies to enable the workforce accordingly. 


Organizations can also apply these insights to their recruitment practices and talent management strategies and also to address performance gaps. 

Diversify hiring and eliminate bias

Diversity has become an organizational priority since it has been proved that diversity in teams impacts organizational performance positively. Diversity in workgroups drives a richer flow of ideas, aids creativity and innovation, and improves problem-solving capabilities. 

Studies show that organizations that focus on diversity are 35% more likely to financially outperform their competitors who do not emphasize diverse hiring practices. Gender diverse workforces also outperform less diverse companies by 15%.  

People analytics can play a big role in enabling diversity initiatives by helping organizations identify the characteristics associated with successful hires and apply those to processes to assess candidates with these traits. This makes the recruitment process faster and enables HR teams to make their diversity initiatives more intentional. 

Read: Mentorship Programs – The Critical Piece To Drive Successful Enterprise Diversity Initiatives

Win the talent war and manage attrition 

There was once a time when organizations won the talent war by throwing more money into the mix. Today, the story is quite different. 

With more millennials coming into the workforce and changing employee dynamics, people analytics can prove to be a valuable tool to create profiles of at-risk workers by understanding the key reasons behind the same. These insights assist organizations to make more informed and concrete efforts to convince these employees to stay on by providing directed learning and development opportunities and providing coaching to drive engagement. 

Read: Purpose-Led Engagement for Women and Millennials

Identify high-potential employees

Most organizations today also want to create a robust succession pipeline. For this, it is imperative to identify their high-potential employees who have the capacity to drive the organization’s success in the future. 

Analyzing professional and educational backgrounds and performance ratings allow people analytics to provide the right insights to identify these high-potential employees and also helps the organization identify what motivates them. Using this information, organizations can develop strategies to help these employees move further along their growth path, keep them engaged, and avoid losing them to attrition.

Read: Employee Retention Strategies for Top Talent


Fine-tune coaching and training strategies 

People analytics can help organizations improve and fine-tune their training and coaching initiatives. Leveraging data, HR can measure the impact of their training and leadership development programs. This becomes especially relevant when the world of work has moved to a virtual setting owing to the COVID-19 pandemic

People analytics moves beyond employee engagement data and helps organizations identify where to invest in leadership development. This becomes more relevant since most organizations co-relate specific leadership skills with employee engagement and productivity levels. People analytics ensures that these correlations do not become erroneous by accounting for the complexity of the data. 

Since people analytics leverages multiple data sets and sorts through these complexities, it provides the prioritized behaviors needed for leadership development or coaching that will contribute to specific business outcomes. This information can be then leveraged by HR teams to fine-tune and refine their coaching and training strategies. 

People analytics also helps organizations proactively identify the kinds of coaching programs they need by accurately measuring and assessing skill gaps across functions and departments. Creating the right, relevant, contextual, and structured employee development programs using personalized coaching for each employee at scale across the entire organization then becomes easier. 

Improve employee experience 

Employees are an organization’s internal customers. Just like how organizations have become hyper-focused on customer experience, they have also started to look out for their internal customers – their employees. The importance of employee experience has exploded in the enterprise since businesses are struggling to engage employees to drive business results. With the workforce moving into a more virtual setting, employee experience is proving to be an important aspect to drive retention, productivity, and ensure better talent management. 

People analytics effectively maps every touchpoint within employee experience and helps HR predict, manage, and measure the impact of their efforts and activities by linking them to business outcomes. 

In Conclusion

People analytics helps in making workforce planning and strategic business planning a parallel process and also promotes a culture of objective transparency. The insights generated from people analytics provide valuable workforce information that can then be employed to create the right people practices. This helps in ensuring and developing correct talent attraction, retention, engagement, performance management, career planning, and rewards and recognition programs. These insights can also be utilized to enhance leadership development and create strategic pathways to help employees move northwards on their career trajectories.

Connect with us to see how we use AI and people analytics to help organizations drive employee engagement and experience and develop their leaders for tomorrow.