This article is the second of a four part e-course.

HR is no stranger to data analytics. For many years there have been generations of HRDs slaving away over spreadsheets to understand ROI on L&D spend, employee turnover or sickness and absence, to name a few. But people analytics is the new kid on the block.

The technology, approaches and understanding have now developed to allow the collection and interpretation of the breadth of data a workforce produces.

HR professionals have long been forced to rely on enviable instincts and people skills to understand how their employees feel and how their culture is shaping productivity. These skills will continue to be indispensable and firmly at the heart of HR, but people analytics can provide an evidence base to complement, inform and measure- which as organisations grow will increase impact on the individual employee.

This will create a picture of not just what employee engagement looks like right now but also, once more predictive analytics take hold, how it will change in the future, - allowing you to understand your people at a granular level and the impact of initiatives on every employee in a meaningful way, customising your engagement strategy accordingly.

Mark Davies Pardon me, Mark here. I hope you're enjoying this blog post. If you're interested in better understanding how you can use data to drive HR decisions, please book a demo and we'll share with you how we are helping organisations such as the NHS, InterContinental Hotels Group and one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK to transform their approach to HR.

This is incredibly exciting. But should we be bothering to make sure our people management is working? Does employee engagement matter?

Does employee engagement matter? (Yes!)

We’ve researched the term employee engagement with over 100 HR Professionals across a range of different companies and we’ve found that the term can be as elusively vague as it is certainly desirable.

For some it is an intangible positive feeling perhaps best summed as culture. For others it is a KPI measured each year, coupled with correlated changes in productivity. However your organisation chooses to treat and understand your employee’s engagement, you should have no doubt that it matters.

Marginal gains can have a massive impact on your P&L

Engaged employees cut costs. They will come to work on time, take less sick days and produce less waste.

And it’s not all about saving the pennies either. They’ll also be more innovative and produce work of a higher quality.

Gallup found that when it came to supercharging your employees; a more engaged workforce, when compared to the bottom engagement quartile, produced:

The saving and competitive advantage a higher level of engagement produces doesn’t dry up. What is incredible is about this study is it was first conducted within a growing economy, then repeated during a tougher economic climate, and the results remained consistent. The figures don’t lie; employee engagement isn’t just for when the times are good.

It’s not all metrics either, it genuinely means happier and healthier employees

Facts and figures do a great job of backing up business cases, but for most of the HRDs we spoke to it’s about the employees too. So let’s see what these statistics mean for the people.

Finally- never estimate the marketing power of a happy employee. 52% more of the general public hold highly engaged organisations in high regard. Source: Microedge

Hopefully by now you’re in a position to convince everyone in the boardroom that aiming for more engaged and motivated employees is in every organisations best interests.

Isn’t it one size fits all? (No!)

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about ‘customising’ your strategy or understanding ‘every employee’ - it can seem intimidating! The sheer amount of work associated with understanding the needs of every single employee, never mind meeting those demands, has meant the annual touchpoint with it’s corresponding yearly strategy has remained something of a necessity.

While people analytics can equip you to carry out this level of customisation without it becoming your life’s work, you might wonder why it’s so important- does investing in engagement have to mean understanding everybody?

For the rest of the series we’ll be focusing on how the expectations of the workforce are changing, as the experience they get in the rest of their lives raises the bar for what they expect at work, why that makes employee engagement more important now than ever before and of course, how people analytics can help you meet these demands.

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Mark Davies

This post was written by Mark Davies on

Hi, I'm Mark, an insight analyst at ThanksBox. I've bought my love of data with me from my previous life as a physicist and I'm interested in the future of how technology can improve professional relationships.

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