We had the opportunity to speak to Aki Ben-Ezra, Senior Director, HR Strategy & Diversity at Adidas Group during Insight222’s Global Executive Retreat. She shared with us how Adidas are evolving the way they measure employee experience and their journey to building their people analytics capability.
Check out the video of her interview below as well as the transcript from our discussion. For more videos on the future of HR, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
myHRfuture: How did people analytics start at Adidas?
Aki Ben-Ezra: I was asked to build the HR strategy department from scratch, and from the beginning we knew that we would put in quite a few topics that go across HR. So, things like project management, portfolio management and diversity were in there, but we also included people analytics. We called it people analytics but it was not really an analytics function at the start.
At the very beginning our focus was to essentially re-engineer our engagement survey. Every company has one, and one thing we were sure of was that we wanted to completely reimagine ours, moving away from this being a once per year survey where you have to wait for months until you get results. That felt very old-fashioned to us so we said "let's see what marketing does?". We are a marketing company at Adidas so things that work in marketing usually also work in other parts the company. So, we looked to them, we knew that they were using Net Promoter Score in the consumer area, specifically "How likely are you to recommend this brand or this product to other people?" was the leading question and it was something that was already quite well established in the company.
So, we said, could we maybe ask the same question to our employees? How likely are you to recommend Adidas as a great place to work? and use that as a key KPI or a leading KPI for HR. At the same time, we were also asked by finance to come up with a KPI that would prove the effectiveness of our people strategy. So, we combined these dynamics and decided to introduce what we called an employee Net Promoter Score as a measurement for Adidas, and that was the beginning of people analytics for us. We went from engagement to measuring employee experience and by the end of it our KPI eNPS was also picked up by the corporate strategy office as one of the key KPIs to measure the effectiveness of HR.
myHRfuture: What has been the reaction to the new measurement approach?
Aki Ben-Ezra: The way the business responded to the change was interesting, we had to do quite a lot of convincing around the frequency of measurement. Firstly, we transitioned from an annual measurement to a monthly measurement which forced us to go from 80 questions, which is what we had, to about five. Obviously, there was scepticism around whether we’d still capture what was important to our employees. We also added an open comments box, these were really the main differences.
We went from prompting people for topics that the company was not necessarily willing to change, to an open text box where we could really pick up on what our employees really cared about. Behind this was the strong belief that people will tell you what bugs them the most if you just ask them an open question, this that allowed us to go from a very long process to a very short one.
myHRfuture: When it comes to employee experience with Adidas – what’s next?
Aki Ben-Ezra: Well, we introduced employee experience management for the office population very quickly and learnt a lot there. We also have a large retail population that we look after, they make up more than 50% of our organisation, we've been discussing how we can capture the sentiment of our employees in retail. It’s an interesting space because we should be able see a correlation between how likely employees are to promote our brand, our produce and our company with how well they serve our consumers. That's something that we're looking into right now however, we probably need to look at an alternative way of introducing the concept as many of our retail employees don't have a computer, they’re focused on selling and being there for the consumer, so we’ll need to tweak our approach there a bit.
If you are looking to learn more about how to get started in people analytics then check out the myHRfuture academy online course on people analytics titled 'An Introduction to People Analytics' that is taught by David Green and Jonathan Ferrar. It's a great introductory course for anyone interested in learning more about people analytics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ian Bailie is the Managing Director of myHRfuture.com and an advisor and consultant for start-ups focused on HR technology and People Analytics, including Adepto, Worklytics and CognitionX. In his previous role as the Senior Director of People Planning, Analytics and Tools at Cisco Systems, he was responsible for delivering the tools and insights to enable and transform the planning, attraction and management of talent across the organisation globally. Ian is passionate about HR technology and analytics and how to use both to transform the employee experience and prepare companies for the Future of Work.