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Optis Blog: Your Place to Find Our Bright Ideas

If you want to get a clearer idea of what Optis does, or if you're curious about our perspective on absence, risk, and data management, our blog is a great place to start. Feel free to leave comments or share our blog posts with any of your social connections.


 

The people analytics is growing — globally and in the ways businesses are using it. Changing employee demographics, the rise of team-based organizational models, the globalization of the workforce, and the increasing influence of technology are all driving companies to leverage people analytics to better understand employee data and its impact on business performance.

From the United States to Europe to the Pacific Rim, the percentage of enterprise-level companies saying people analytics is very important or important is universally growing, according to Deloitte’s “Human Capital Trends” (the highest percentage comes from fast-growing economies). The areas of people analytics range from talent acquisition in identifying the right talent to minimizing bias in hiring, retaining employees, and increasing employee engagement, as well as measuring culture, workforce readiness, employee experience, and more. 

Of course, the genesis of data-driven insights for HR started more than 20 year ago. Jac Fitz-Enz, a pioneer in HR benchmarking, laid out the ability and potential of HR to quantify and accurately measure productivity in its major functional areas in his 1984 classic of HR writing, “How to Measure Human Resources Management.” But the curve has accelerated very recently with technological advancements, cloud-based HR systems, advanced analytics, AI, chatbots, VR, AR, gamification, automation, blockchain, and more.

The result: a transformation in the way HR works by using people analytics to evolve from being transactional and reactive to strategic and proactive, and having an ever-greater impact on their organizations.

For companies that “compete in a people-intensive business and are seeking to hire, retain, and promote the best people in the industry … analytics can be the key,” wrote Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris in their book Competing on Analytics. But even more broadly, the authors make this point: 

“Organizations competing to identify, retain, and nurture the right talent are looking for distinctive business processes as a point of differentiation. This has shifted the spotlight to talent management and on HR analytics.”

So what, exactly, is HR analytics? We like this succinct definition by Baskaran Ambalavanan, a writer and technology consultant specializing in the HR sector: “HR analytics is the process of analyzing the available people-related data to measure the effectiveness of the HR programs and identify patterns in order to make meaningful business decisions.”

But it’s all possible only with the right technology and consultative support. It’s the kind of technology and services like those offered by Optis Insights employee and HR data-management software. Optis Insights mitigates risk and gives HR leaders greater insight into the data from all of their data systems. It removes the uncertainty and drastically cuts the time for getting high-quality, centralized data and total transparency into people data from any source or HR data system.

The upshot: data-driven intelligence tailored to an organization’s needs.

What are your organization’s needs? Equally important: How do those needs align with your readiness and ability to apply people data and business analytics? Gartner’s Business Analytics Maturity Model offers one of the most common methods for identifying where you’re at in using data analytics:

Stage 1: Descriptive Analytics — the foundation of business intelligence, primarily focused on what has happened (e.g., employee turnover, new-hire reports, time to hire)

Stage 2: Diagnostic Analytics — focuses on why something happened, taking a deep dive into data to understand the causes of events and behaviors (e.g., the reasons behind employee turnover)

Stage 3: Predictive Analytics — the basis of the big data, future-focused analyses that predict future patterns based on historical data (e.g., identifying flight-risk employees to help reduce employee turnover and improve the bottom line)

Stage 4: Prescriptive Analytics — the future of big data, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand future impact and determine the best outcomes

Optis Insights supports organizations regardless of the level of maturity of your people analytics.

Data Warehousing

With configurable data capturing and an intuitive interface, Optis data warehousing services for HR and people data can yield a clearer picture of your people data in real time. We currently store more than 650 million records of people data, helping companies integrate all of their workforce and human resources data.

Reporting and Intelligence

Optis HR reporting and intelligence delivers a combination of standard and custom reporting to give you the information you need, when you need it. We currently generate more than 5,000 reports monthly.

Analytics

Optis HR analytics help companies, including FedEx and Chevron, look deep into their people data to analyze absence trends, high-risk populations, healthcare cost drivers, and other employee benefits claims.

Data Conversion Services

Optis has more than 17 years of experience with big data, delivering accurate people data conversions in a fraction of the time companies could complete the work in-house.

Imagine having more efficient, secure, and effective control over how your organization acquires, integrates, manages, retains, and disposes of all of its disparate people data. The result would be high-quality, centralized data from any source or system, with total transparency into that data.

For more information, download our e-book “Turn Your Tsunami of People Data Into a Steady Stream of Data-driven Business Intelligence.”

Among the many challenges facing leave managers and human resource professionals, the No. 1 headache is dealing with the continuously evolving patchwork of laws around paid sick leave, according to a 2017 article by the Association of Corporate Counsel. An April 2018 article in Labor & Employment Law Perspectives summed up the situation nicely: “Paid Sick Leave Requirements Beginning to Resemble a Crazy Quilt of Legislation.”

The Association of Corporate Counsel advises that keeping up with recent developments is important to lowering the risk of missteps and potential litigation. It’s not an easy task. Just a few years ago, paid sick leave was a matter of employer choice. That all began to change when Connecticut became the first state to mandate paid leave for service workers in 2011.

Labor & Employment Law Perspectives has reported that as of July 1, 2018, nine states, the District of Columbia, and “multiple other jurisdictions” have enacted some form of paid sick leave requirements. The Association of Corporate Counsel says at least 33 counties and cities require employers doing business in their boundaries to offer paid sick leave.

  • States: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington
  • Larger jurisdictions: Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Philadelphia

In addition, federal Executive Order 13706 requires certain federal government contractors to provide paid sick leave to covered employees.

Yet, in an opposing trend, several states have prohibited local governments from enacting local paid sick leave requirements. Labor & Employment Law Perspectives reports that approximately 18 states have passed these types of paid leave preemption laws. Among them are Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Is your head spinning? If not, now consider the most common issues that a paid sick leave law or regulation will address:

  • Eligibility or restrictions on eligibility
  • Accrual rate and/or cap
  • Covered uses
  • Advance notice requirements
  • Ability to require documentation
  • Ability to require compliance with other call-in procedures
  • Annual usage or carryover requirements or limits
  • Requirements of rehire
  • Payout allowed or required
  • Retaliation or discipline prohibited
  • Tracking or notice requirements

To help deal with the headache of paid sick leave, an increasing number of companies are turning to automated leave management technology, such as Optis LeaveXpert and ADAInteract. Based on a survey last year of 1,203 employers by the not-for-profit Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), employers overall reported that using automated  leave management and collaborating with a technology vendor improved their ability to stay apprised of changing regulations and requirements, particularly given today’s high level of leave legislation activity.

Still, managing intermittent leave — separate blocks of time taken for a single illness or injury — remains the most difficult FMLA activity to manage for employers of all sizes and industries, the survey showed.

The answer is a leave management system that offers FMLA compliance resources, return-to-work and accommodation tools, and reports on the direct and indirect costs of leave, all at a price that can fit into any budget or pass any purchase-approval process.

That solution is not pie in the sky. You can most likely afford to do leave management better, and here are three reasons why: 

  1. You can try an online, dedicated leave management solution for free and use it immediately. LeaveXpert Essential is available for 30 days with a free trial — with no automatic purchasing trigger that gets pulled after 30 days.
  2. You can choose to get more power for your leave management system if you need it — and only when you need it. With Optis LeaveXpert Essential, Plus, and Unlimited editions, you can get full insight into how leave is being used and managed in your organization immediately upon sign-up and know you can expand your system as your needs develop and as you feel comfortable moving forward.
  3. A leave management system provides benefits you can’t afford not to have. In the U.S. today, absence costs employers approximately $100 billion annually. Defending an employment lawsuit — including one resulting from alleged noncompliance with leave laws — can cost an employer up to $250,000 per incident. 

Optis’ cloud-based leave management system, LeaveXpert, helps organizations of all sizes see bottom-line business results through effective leave and absence management. Designed in three editions to meet any organization’s situation and needs, LeaveXpert is purpose-built for speedy implementation and access.
 

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Solving the Puzzle of Leave Management

Based on an Optis survey of HR professionals, discover the leave management pieces that could reduce your compliance risk and cost of absences.

Download the Lightpaper®.

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Learn how Optis can help you manage leave and absences, conquer compliance, and bring all of your people data together.

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