HR analytics software boosts employee retention, lifts bottom line

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Agribusiness digs into turnover and costs with HR analytics tools

CGB Enterprises analyzes turnover with Quantum Workplace exit surveys, assures fair pay with ADP benchmarking and mines performance metrics with Visier Workforce Analytics.

When workers voluntarily quit their jobs, companies often interview or survey them to find out why they are leaving.

Using those traditional exit surveys as HR analytics tools and questioning only the individual who is resigning is problematic, said Mark Berry, vice president of human resources at CGB Enterprises Inc., a diversified company in the grain, transportation and insurance industries based in Covington, La.

"Most people, when they are leaving, they don't want to burn bridges, so they pull the punch in terms of honest feedback, or they go scorched earth and will tell you everything they don't like," he said.

Quantum surveys remaining co-workers

During a session at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Chicago, Berry said CGB Enterprises, which has 2,500 employees, is using software from Quantum Workplace to better find the root causes of people leaving the company.

In his presentation, Berry discussed the benefits of CGB Enterprises's use of several HR analytics tools, including Quantum Workplace, along with Visier Workforce Analytics, ADP Vantage HCM and ADP DataCloud for benchmarking. Berry and Don Weinstein, chief strategy officer at ADP, based in Roseland, N.J., held the session to outline some key ways to use HR analytics tools.

CGB uses Quantum software to not only survey employees who are exiting, but also to survey at least four peers and the manager. CGB aggregates the survey information at various levels, including individual, job group, division, department and function.

Specifically, the software helped determine the reasons employees leave the job. A particular area of interest for CGB was relatively new talent recruited directly from campus.

Voluntary turnover drops at CGB

Berry said the analytics helped show that pay was not the primary factor for employees leaving the company. The surveys found departure reasons that could be addressed at nominal cost, he said.

For example, the surveys found there was lack of clear development options or career pathways. The solution was to implement talent programs for both line managers and individual employees, he said.

The findings also suggested employees did not understand the direction of the company. That prompted the company to improve communications about business strategies and performance relative to company objectives, he said.

Ironically, in the time since the company began surveying, voluntary turnover has gone down, he said. The company publishes results of the survey, he said.

"We have made a commitment explicitly to our employees to do something with the results," said Berry, who previously was a vice president of human resources for commercial food ingredients and workforce analytics and planning at ConAgra Foods.

ADP and Visier provide HR analytics tools

ADP Benchmarking, introduced in early 2016 as part of the ADP DataCloud, allows users such as CGB to compare their data in near-real time with current industry averages in areas such as compensation, turnover and other workforce metrics. It provides the numbers for particular jobs, locations and company size.

CGB Enterprises is using the benchmarking tool to ensure its pay is competitive to local markets. On turnover rates, the tool allows CGB to compare its numbers with specific industries and jobs, Berry said.

The company went live with the benchmarking software in the spring of this year. With the software, the company can find out what it should be paying for positions at more than 100 operating locations in the country, he said.

To fuel workforce analytics in Visier, the company pulls variable personnel costs from the ADP general ledger and human capital management (HCM) system, which gives the company a way to plan, analyze and forecast those costs down to the level of the individual employee.

Berry said the company uses Visier to provide head count, hiring, terminations and other key performance metrics at the levels of departments, functions, businesses and enterprise. Visier also provides the costs, the trend of costs and how that compares with budgeted costs.

"If it is higher, then what do we do to bring that in line?" he said. "If it is lower, then what can we do to either benefit from those savings or make further investments in people with those savings?"

ADP Vantage provides range of HR functions

The numbers in Visier are refreshed weekly and are as real time as is needed, considering the financials are updated monthly for the company, he said.

ADP Vantage also went live in October 2016 at CGB Enterprises and offers self-service for employees and managers. The company uses the full Vantage HCM suite, including payroll, benefits, recruiting, onboarding, compensation planning, reporting, performance management, learning analytics and succession planning.

Previously, the company went live with Visier analytics in the fall of 2015. One of the company's businesses is scheduled to pilot Visier Workforce Planning in early 2017.

Berry, who is a member of ADP's executive client advisory board, has provided feedback on the user interface for ADP's predictive analytics for flight risk of top employees. He said ADP is rolling out predictive analytics in December.

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