Tag: employees

Book tip: On the Clock

Book tip: On the Clock

Suppose you operate a warehouse where workers work 11-hour shifts. In order to meet your productivity KPIs, a significant number of them need to take painkillers multiple times per shift. Do you…

  1. Decrease or change the KPI (goals)
  2. Make shifts shorter
  3. Increase the number or duration of breaks
  4. Increase the medical staff
  5. Install vending machines to dispense painkillers more efficiently

Nobody in their right mind would take option 5… Right?

Yet, this is precisely what Amazon did according to Emily Guendelsberger in her insanely interesting and relevant book “On the clock(note the paradoxal link to Amazon’s webshop here).

Emily went undercover as employee at several organizations to experience blue collar jobs first-hand. In her book, she discusses how tech and data have changed low-wage jobs in ways that are simply dehumanizing.

These days, with sensors, timers, and smart nudging, employees are constantly being monitored and continue working (hard), sometimes at the cost of their own health and well-being.

I really enjoyed the book, despite the harsh picture it sketches of low wage jobs and malicious working conditions these days. The book poses several dilemma’s and asks multiple reflective questions that made me re-evaluate and re-appreciate my own job. Truly an interesting read!

Some quotes from the book to get you excited:

“As more and more skill is stripped out of a job, the cost of turnover falls; eventually, training an ever-churning influx of new unskilled workers becomes less expensive than incentivizing people to stay by improving the experience of work or paying more.”

Emily Guendelsberger, On the Clock

“Q: Your customer-service representatives handle roughly sixty calls in an eighty-hour shift, with a half-hour lunch and two fifteen-minute breaks. By the end of the day, a problematic number of them are so exhausted by these interactions that their ability to focus, read basic conversational cues, and maintain a peppy demeanor is negatively affected. Do you:

A. Increase staffing so you can scale back the number of calls each rep takes per shift — clearly, workers are at their cognitive limits

B. Allow workers to take a few minutes to decompress after difficult calls

C. Increase the number or duration of breaks

D. Decrease the number of objectives workers have for each call so they aren’t as mentally and emotionally taxing

E. Install a program that badgers workers with corrective pop-ups telling them that they sound tired.

Seriously—what kind of fucking sociopath goes with E?”

Emily Guendelsberger, On the Clock
My copy of the book
(click picture to order your own via affiliate link)

Cover via Freepik

People Analytics: Is nudging goed werkgeverschap of onethisch?

People Analytics: Is nudging goed werkgeverschap of onethisch?

In Dutch only:

Voor Privacyweb schreef ik onlangs over people analytics en het mogelijk resulterende nudgen van medewerkers: kleine aanpassingen of duwtjes die mensen in de goede richting zouden moeten sturen. Medewerkers verleiden tot goed gedrag, als het ware. Maar wie bepaalt dan wat goed is, en wanneer zouden werkgevers wel of niet mogen of zelfs moeten nudgen?

Lees het volledige artikel hier.

Books for the modern, data-driven HR professional (incl. People Analytics)

Books for the modern, data-driven HR professional (incl. People Analytics)

With great pleasure I’ve studied and worked in the field of people analytics, where we seek to leverage employee, management-, and business information to better organize and manage our personnel. Here, data has proven valuable itself indispensible for the organization of the future.

Data and analytics have not traditionally been high on the list of HR professionals. Fortunately, there is an increased awareness that the 21st century (HR) manager has to be data-savvy. But where to start learning? The plentiful available resources can be daunting…

Have a look at these 100+ amazing books
for (starting) people analytics specialists.
My personal recommendations are included as pictures,
but feel free to ask for more detailed suggestions!


Categories (clickable)

  • Behavioural Psychology: focus on behavioural psychology and economics, including decision-making and the biases therein.
  • Technology: focus on the implications of new technology….
    • Ethics: … on society and humanity, and what can go wrong.
    • Digital & Data-driven HR: … for the future of work, workforce, and organization. Includes people analytics case studies.
  • Management: focus on industrial and organizational psychology, HR, leadership, and business strategy.
  • Statistics: focus on the technical books explaining statistical concepts and applied data analysis.
    • People analytics: …. more technical books on how to conduct people analytics studies step-by-step in (statistical) software.
    • Programming: … technical books specifically aimed at (statistical) programming and data analysis.
  • Communication: focus on information exchange, presentation, and data visualization.

Disclaimer: This page contains links to Amazon’s book shop.
Any purchases through those links provide us with a small commission that helps to host this blog.

Behavioural Psychology books

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Technology books

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Ethics in Data & Machine Learning

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Digital & Data-driven HR

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Management books

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Statistics books

Applied People Analytics

Programming

You can find an overview of 20+ free programming books here.

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Data Visualization books

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A note of thanks

I want to thank the active people analytics community, publishing in management journals, but also on social media. I knew Littral Shemer Haim already hosted a people analytics reading list, and so did Analytics in HR (Erik van Vulpen) and Workplaceif (Manoj Kumar). After Jared Valdron called for book recommendation on people analytics on LinkedIn, and nearly 60 people replied, I thought let’s merge these overviews.

Hence, a big thank you and acknowledgement to all those who’ve contributed directly or indirectly. I hope this comprehensive merged overview is helpful.

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Analytics in HR case study: Behind the scenes

Analytics in HR case study: Behind the scenes

Past week, Analytics in HR published a guest blog about one of my People Analytics projects which you can read here. In the blog, I explain why and how I examined the turnover of management trainees in light of the international work assignments they go on.

For the analyses, I used a statistical model called a survival analysis – also referred to as event history analysis, reliability analysis, duration analysis, time-to-event analysis, or proporational hazard models. It estimates the likelihood of an event occuring at time t, potentially as a function of certain data.

The sec version of surival analysis is a relatively easy model, requiring very little data. You can come a long way if you only have the time of observation (in this case tenure), and whether or not an event (turnover in this case) occured. For my own project, I had two organizations, so I added a source column as well (see below).

# LOAD REQUIRED PACKAGES ####
library(tidyverse)
library(ggfortify)
library(survival)

# SET PARAMETERS ####
set.seed(2)
sources = c("Organization Red","Organization Blue")
prob_leave = c(0.5, 0.5)
prob_stay = c(0.8, 0.2)
n = 60

# SIMULATE DATASETS ####
bind_rows(
  tibble(
    Tenure = sample(1:80, n*2, T),
    Source = sample(sources, n*2, T, prob_leave),
    Turnover = T
  ),
  tibble(
    Tenure = sample(1:85, n*25, T),
    Source = sample(sources, n*25, T, prob_stay),
    Turnover = F
  )
) ->
  data_surv

# RUN SURVIVAL MODEL ####
sfit <- survfit(Surv(data_surv$Tenure, event = data_surv$Turnover) ~ data_surv$Source)

# PLOT  SURVIVAL ####
autoplot(sfit, censor = F, surv.geom = 'line', surv.size = 1.5, conf.int.alpha = 0.2) +
  scale_x_continuous(breaks = seq(0, max(data_surv$Tenure), 12)) +
  coord_cartesian(xlim = c(0,72), ylim = c(0.4, 1)) +
  scale_color_manual(values = c("blue", "red")) +
  scale_fill_manual(values = c("blue", "red")) +
  theme_light() +
  theme(legend.background = element_rect(fill = "transparent"),
        legend.justification = c(0, 0),
        legend.position = c(0, 0),
        legend.text = element_text(size = 12)
        ) +
  labs(x = "Length of service", 
       y = "Percentage employed",
       title = "Survival model applied to the retention of new trainees",
       fill = "",
       color = "")

survival_plot
The resulting plot saved with ggsave, using width = 8 and height = 6.

Using the code above, you should be able to conduct a survival analysis and visualize the results for your own projects. Please do share your results!

Predicting Employee Turnover at SIOP 2018

The 2018 annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference featured its first-ever machine learning competition. Teams competed for several months in predicting the enployee turnover (or churn) in a large US company. A more complete introduction as presented at the conference can be found here. All submissions had to be open source and the winning submissions have been posted in this GitHub repository. The winning teams consist of analysts working at WalMart, DDI, and HumRRO. They mostly built ensemble models, in Python and/or R, combining algorithms such as (light) gradient boosted trees, neural networks, and random forest analysis.