Alexis Saussinan heads the Global Strategic Workforce Planning and People Analytics team at Merck Group, with a workforce of 50,000 employees. His team supports Merck’s three business sectors (Healthcare, Life Sciences, Performance Materials) on strategic initiatives related to shaping Merck's future ways of working and developing future-oriented critical capabilities aligned with Merck’s Group strategy. The team is also in charge of driving Merck’s transformation with regards to leveraging advanced people analytics, machine learning and AI to support strategic business and people decisions.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Alexis, who will be speaking at People Matters TechHR Singapore 2020 on translating HR data into value-adding insights, shares the key trends in analytics and how organizations can leverage people analytics to drive true business value.
Meet Alexis Saussinan at People Matters TechHR Singapore 2020 on 20th February 2020 at Marina Bay Sands.
What are some of the key trends in people analytics making waves globally?
More and more data, more and more possibilities to complement human intelligence with artificial intelligence, I personally believe that companies that are able to make the most out of people data and analytics, in a sustainable manner and with the perfect balance between business performance, human focus and ethics will be best positioned to drive sustainable high performance and innovation.
“People analytics is here, and here to stay, however, I still see a lot of companies who are not sure how and where to start, while others are already quite advanced on that journey.”
What are some of the key questions people analytics (and HR) leaders should be asking themselves to ensure they’re on the right path for business impact and differentiated employee experience?
Some of the questions organizations need to ask are if they the right foundations to create and deliver people analytics at scale for the business (e.g. governance, infrastructure, technology, quality data). How are they influencing their companies to create a truly data-driven culture in HR, and outside HR, when it comes to strategic people and business decisions?
We also need to ask where and how are we driving and prioritizing impact and value delivered by people analytics, always ensuring that we can balance people analytics solutions at scale to benefit most of the organization day-to-day with innovative advanced analytics and AI to ensure that our business and people are future-ready.
What are some of the business challenges that could potentially be solved through the insights offered by people analytics?
Some of the challenges that analytics could solve could be-what is the sweet spot in terms of team/people diversity to drive business performance or innovation? How can we ensure that new hires will deliver high performance before we hire them? How does our organization really work (beyond org charts) and who are our key influencers or opinion leaders? Who are our “hidden gem” (top talents, top leaders not yet officially recognized in corporate talent plans) in our organization?
Analytics can also ensure that organizations make unbiased decisions during talent identification and development.
How can organizations leverage people analytics to drive true business value as well as positive employee outcomes?
To deliver its maximum potential, I personally believe that people analytics should become part of the DNA of a company and be naturally and smoothly embedded at every step of business leaders’ and employee journeys. It is a mindset. Leveraging people analytics offers endless possibilities and application areas; however defining clear strategic cases, as well as transparent ethical guardrails, where and how people analytics will deliver maximum business and employee value is key. And getting strong executive business and HR sponsorship at the highest level of the organization is a pre-requisite.
As soon as we have a clear strategic people analytics roadmap, focusing on delivering and measuring business and people value delivered step-by-step and build-up is a powerful way to go I believe.
What are some of the opportunities offered by people analytics whilst navigating the challenges of digital transformation?
“People analytics can help position and support companies during their digital transformation in several ways.”
It helps strategically identify and plan for the critical skills that we need today and tomorrow to deliver our business strategic objectives. It helps understand, through facts and data, how the external world is truly evolving and thus helps avoid being wrongly influenced by emotional reactions or, even worse, fake news. It helps support the development of our employees for them to be future-ready with the right skills. It helps to practically complement human intelligence with artificial intelligence. Lastly, it helps measure where we are and why, as well as predict where we could go and how.
Join us in Singapore for People Matters TechHR 2020, Asia’s Largest HR & WorkTech Conference on 19-21 February 2020. Click here to register.