Friday, 26 February 2016

HR Analytics training in Australia

I've been touring through Australia delivering HR analytics training with Clariden for the last few weeks so have got a bit behind with a few things, including blogging, so I'll be making a quick attempt at catching up over the next few days.

But first a few thoughts on my four two-day sessions in Australia.  Firstly it was great to be there.  It was my first trip back since speaking at AHRI's national convention last August and the Summer is even nicer than the Winter.  I got to spend quite a bit of time outside and was particularly pleased to get an opportunity in Perth to walk a mile in the shoes of a shark attack survivor courtesy of Roman Krznaric's Empathy Museum (see my post on Roman's session at HRPA in Toronto last year). 

But other than the weather it was great to hear everyone (Perth excluded) talking about growth in their businesses and corresponding opportunities in HR.  I sometimes forget that the ongoing tentative approach to investment so prevalent in the UK isn't the global norm.  Australia is helped by its closeness to Asia rather than the EU but I think their generally more sunny disposition is part of their advantage as well.

Secondly I was pleased that my Aussie participants weren't as wedded to a hard HR measurement approach as is often the case in the UK (that measurement always needs to be quantitive and ideally financial, that more analytics means dispensing with intuition, etc).  The Australian perspective on this seemed much more open to recognising and tolerating the squishy nature of HR outcomes and the qualitative and subjective response to HR analytics this implies.  I normally manage to convince UK participants of the need for this perspective but it was nice in Australia to have this understood without having to sell it.

I'm aware that other HR analytics commentators may feel the difference in perspective means that Australia is further back in their development of analytical approaches but to me it means they're more mature and will be able to make more progress in their use of measures and analytics too.

Reflecting back on the trip I'm also wondering if my two insights are partly connected.  Is the more positive economic environment connected to the more mature analytical perspective too?  I wouldn't suggest that the two things are causally related any more than I'd suggest a real link between shark attacks and ice cream sales but there might be a real causal factor underpinning the two - for example a less US oriented focus on short-term earnings?

Anyway, I look forward to going back again soon.

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