people, organisation, analytics, impact, business, bit, workforce, turnover, partners, data, partnerships, employees, understand, framework, focus, external consultant, solution, work, deliver, thinking
Christopher Cerasoli, Kathryn Hume
Christopher Cerasoli 00:00
I was just having a conversation with one of my colleagues just before this. And we are really trying to start to get our hands around, what are the factors, predictive correlational, whatever that really, really matter to turnover. And in the health sector, you can apply that logic you would apply elsewhere to create predictive models of retention and turnover. And what’s really kind of cool that you can do is if there are places where you had difficulty retaining key talent, so for example, advanced practitioners, you want to bring people on because they’re going to help you focus there.
Kathryn Hume 01:13
Christopher Cerasoli is the Senior Associate Director of People Analytics at Boehringer Ingelheim. He has generated award winning research, cutting edge analytics and evidence based actionable tools for Government, Defence, Fortune 500, companies and internal clients. I read an article Chris shared recently and it resonated so strongly that I shared it with a large group of people analysts that I’m fortunate to work with. They like me were taken by the clarity Chris provided around how to determine where we invest our efforts and People Analytics to ensure we deliver the greatest value and impact. I’ll include a link to that in the show notes. Chris’s message was so clear and simple that I really wanted to explore and share it with others. Despite the difficulty of time zones, due to us being located on opposite sides of the world, Chris made time to chat with me several times. Chris, welcome to the Reimagined Workforce podcast, and thanks for making the time available to share your thoughts with us.
Christopher Cerasoli 02:10
Glad to be here, Kath , thank you for having me.
Kathryn Hume 02:12
It’s great to have you here. So could I ask you to share a little bit about your journey today and what you’re hoping to achieve in the future?
Christopher Cerasoli 02:21
Yeah, absolutely. So again, thanks for having me here. I think it’s easy to think where you are, right. So where I sit now. I’m an internal consultant and I bring data to help better stories and tell better stories to make better decisions. For me, my North Star has always been helping to solve issues wherever they might be in anything related to people and so that that’s really where I am today. And as, as I look back to the red thread of my career that’s really competitive where it’s led me. So I’ve been an internal consultant and external consultant. I’ve worked with teams and functions of departments both large and small. So, you note in the bio at the front, that had a pretty eclectic group of clients and partners who I’ve worked with. But what it all comes down to is, it’s funny, my wife and I, we have the same background as IO, industrial, Organisational Psychologist, people are people and whether they are in a coal mine 2000 feet underground, or at a cherry mahogany table on the 100th floor in downtown Manhattan. There is some rhyme and reason to how people tend to behave and react that’s always fascinated me.
So my story is I think back to where I’ve been publicly privately held organisations, internal external is really about just helping make those decisions around people a little bit more strategically, a little bit more systematically and with an eye towards impact. We only have so many hours on this on this on this earth, I would rather do an hour’s worth of work and have a million dollars worth of impact and make people’s lives a lot happier than do an hour’s worth of work and have 10 cents worth of impact. So for me that Northstar for me is impact. And that’s that’s really where my story goes. I’m happy to unpack that a little bit more. I also do like to throw on the front of any of these interviews I do just a quick little disclaimer, by the way. I’ve been very fortunate my career to work with a number of organisations and partners. But I just do want to be clear that the views I’m going to express here and share my experience, it’s really my own, and it might not necessarily reflect the views of any particular organisation, of course, great partnerships, but I think it’s always useful to say.
Kathryn Hume 04:35
Yeah, for sure and that’s very much understood. So could you describe for us what your reimagined workforce looks like, Chris?
Christopher Cerasoli 04:42
You know, I get this question a lot from our leaders and other leaders have, what is the sort of the future of the workplace and what are those sorts of things look like? Right. What does it reimagine workforce? I think they tend to focus too much on the modality of work, are workers in the office or at home and those sorts of things. I think it’s focusing on things that we should have been focusing on all along that we just aren’t and, and for me, it’s really kind of two things. It’s:
- better tools to match the person to the job or kind of talked about workforce planning
- it has better tools to empower employees to contribute their very best. Right? So do we have the right person for the right job? And do we have the right? Do we have the fertile soil for our employees to do their absolute best, and reap the rewards of doing so I can share a little bit more about each of those.
But I think about those, those two different things, which is very different from where are people working? What sort of technology in particular they’re using?
Kathryn Hume 05:35
And I think your background in IO psychology that you mentioned, is that what supports you to create that fertile soil do you think?
Christopher Cerasoli 05:46
It can, so it’s, it’s kind of taking two, two perspectives, right? So you can focus on the person or you could focus on the organization. The individual or the context within which they are and one of the main tenants of social psychology is the way that people act and interact in their form from a youngest age, it’s an interaction between the two. You hear the debate, nature versus nurture? Well, there’s a little bit of that that goes on in our development is as employees, and as leaders, it’s an interplay between kind of what we bring to the table and what the environment fosters. So as a as an IO psychologist, I think about that from both sides
How do we develop the individual?
How do we match the individual to the environment?
And how do we change the environment to be more supportive, other things really want that individual and that individual’s teams and those groups to be able to accomplish?
Kathryn Hume 06:35
I think it’s interesting, and I’ll call out the Insight 222 report that you were recently featured into and I really liked that marrying of People Analytics, but with Behavioural Science and Behavioural Economics. So understanding that we’re not dealing with widgets here, these people are humans. But it’s an interesting mix of skills and capabilities that we’re asking from people in the People Analytics function who look not wanting to generalise but tend to be more mathematically inclined, but then to bring in that Behavioural Science is a real dichotomy. I think there’s a bit of a paradox in what we’re asking of the People Analytics function.
Christopher Cerasoli 07:14
There definitely is that a bit of a paradox there. Right? So you’re trying to bring in the understanding of the people and data. And I think one of the reasons People Analytics has flourished and expanded in the past five years, is because the right mix of, I don’t know, the right mix of fuel and air was finally found, right? So what the foundation is, for a lot of people I know, it’s nothing new. I O psychologists have been doing this for decades, in fact, over a century, and you think back to Hugo Munsterberg, in the early 1900s of teens, and my history is a little bit rusty there, but some of the time and motion studies like we have seen in IO, psychology and social psychology, we have seen that the context drives how people think and behave and react. So the Hawthorne studies, right, you know, changing, it felt that changing weights was responsible for the for the changes in employee behaviour. It’s like no, the employees knew they were being that was about. And I think IO Psychology really had its birth and the, at least in the US and the 1950s and 60s through the United States Air Force and a lot of programmes they were really looking at to very scientifically understand how people not just mechanically are in the workplace, right, not just in a wheel, but how they thought and react and all those things. And so there’s been decades of empirical research that has shown that people tend to react these ways and think these ways, and these attitudes lead to those things. Job satisfaction has links to performance, intrinsic motivation, links to performance, you know, fairness, equity, all those things, but never really got traction at scale until People Analytics kind of came on and turned it on its head with People Analytics kind of manifested as is less of a focus on the science and more of a focus on the action. The problem with the business, the academic practitioner divide, and I can’t tell how many conferences I’ve been at, you know, in my field, and others where there’s so much hand wringing about this gap. People Analytics bridges that gap, we’re here to make an impact with the business, right, that’s my Northstar impact. But it’s supported and driven by what we know what research has shown over decades. And so when I think about that, that’s something we bring to the table that is now really kind of focused in the in the way that it should be.
Kathryn Hume 09:25
Yeah. And so how do you say that People Analytics function contributing to the future of work?
Christopher Cerasoli 09:31
I think in all kinds of ways, I think that what People Analytics can do is provide perspective. So like many organisations, ours is grappling with what’s, how do we think about the future of work and before COVID even started, you know, thinking about what, what is the future of work, what does it what does it look like? And I would say that I’ve heard conversations in multiple organisations that it’s just a lot of what we think this we think that toes in the sand sort of thing, right? If all employees are gonna have their toes in the sand, how can we be working with People Analytics can bring, if done right is, I would say three things. In rough order of importance:
- the first thing that bring is process. So a framework.
- The second thing is data.
- And finally, it’s partnerships that are really actually focus.
So framework data partnerships. And this almost goes beyond just just sort of the the future of work the reimagining workforce, but it really is providing a way for the business to actually talk about what that means. So for example, do we simply try to just dichotomise people who are always at home people who are always in the office, that doesn’t exist? Right, that that doesn’t happen? Before we had the pandemic hit? There were in the US, I think, has been kind of ahead of this, versus some other countries, which would people might be in the office three days a week, they might be on the weekends, but they would take off a Friday or a Saturday. And so how do you, you know, how do you add all that up? And people can provide a framework to think about that. It’s not all or none, it’s varying degrees, right? So 0% to 100%? How often are people in the office, those sorts of things, and then bring the right data to correlate that to predict things? So, for example, human experience isn’t linear, right? So it’s very hard to say in 10%, in the office is half as bad as 20%. It doesn’t work that way. We know that as, as IO psychologists, but what we can bring to the table as People Analysts is a way to just put that data and show it very, very quickly. Right? So let’s say we come up with the data, how often are people saying they are on site? It finally, does that really matter? Right? So we want to bring in partnerships that are gonna help to, as we work with the business help them to think through what do we focus on, right? So you find those bright places in the business where you can make an impact. And you’re really focused on the action. So there are some jobs, for example, certain manufacturing or production jobs, they got to be there. I mean, they have to be on site there. Now, the future of work tends to focus so much on without it there, what it loses sight on so that should be focusing on them, maximising their capability to produce it their excellent potential, right? So maybe they have to be there. But do you have to micromanage everything that they do in order, right? So do you actually have to require that they move right hand to left hand toothpaste cap screws three times up to two put it down, repeat 35 seconds later, know you could provide autonomy, right? So we know, autonomy is a moderate predictor of well being and job performance. So if we provide the framework to our business and say, Look, we know these things are important to successful production in these roles, but take your hands off for the rest, let them figure it out, empower them, and they’ll do a lot better. So People Analysts are expecting to bring in this framework for how we think about it, the data that actually, you know, fills out that story. And really working closely in that partnership, you can’t just drop the data and leave and walk out because it has to be ongoing for our partners,
Kathryn Hume 12:55
What I liked about what you said there was go out and find the people in the business who you can partner with to deliver impact. You know, I hear people say that it’s hard to get people to listen, and maybe we’re not talking to the right people. So maybe it’s about having a better understanding of who the people with the power bases are within the organization and looking at how you partner with them and bringing that consulting skills that you’re talking about to that function.
Christopher Cerasoli 13:21
I think that’s a fantastic point because I believe that People Analytics done right, is 90% Consulting 10% data, not the other way around. And all too often, we fall into the trap of our really cool sexy predictive models and artificial intelligence and all kinds of machine learning stuff, which is okay. But we tend to almost accidentally run to the place where we’re providing insights without action. and that’s just overhead. Right. I think that’s kind of a loose, loose quote from PS MyStore. On one of David Greene’s recent podcasts, but we don’t want to be in that place. And that’s where the partnerships really coming in finding where the opportunity areas and the challenges are, and the strengths are for particular function, and really delivering to that so we move, I have to keep moving away from this, this model is out there and it’s starting to go really grind on me. It’s the descriptive to predictive that like that is the journey. And the further you are on that journey, the better you are, well you can have more impact and organisation with the simplest stuff, eight times out of 10 than the most sophisticated stuff. I say stick with the simple stuff, the lower left is definitely more impact. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated to make a difference. And so that’s, that’s where I think we can really make a difference. And that’s and that’s also where we get better partnerships. Our Centre of Excellence partners, our Chiefs of Staff, who are just really key entry points into the organisation for those senior leaders. They are not PhDs and organisational psychology and maybe it’s just other things it in many cases, they’re their MDs, and even J is that there are folks who are very, very well trained in our field, but they’re not data people, data analytics experts. So we have to give them that more, we have to start with that partnership with them. And then we have to go from there.
Kathryn Hume 15:14
It’s really interesting. And in the article that you shared from Cole Napper that I mentioned, he talked about minimum necessary force. Do you want to share a bit about your thoughts on that with us?
Christopher Cerasoli 15:26
Yeah, absolutely. And that was, you know, I really do enjoy the the podcast that Cole and Scott are putting together, they’ve had some pretty good guests recently. In fact, I actually have a call with him a little bit after this. So he’ll probably be excited to hear me catch this. But he references something that he calls, you know, minimum viable force, over minimum necessary force, one of those who’s in the concept is generally do just, you want to spend just enough effort to achieve just a minimum viable product like that. So that’s sort of to achieve the desired outcome, right? There’s a parallel to that, you know, in the pharma industry, or notice a parallel to that you want to administer only the amount of a compound or drug or pharmaceutical that’s going to achieve the desired impact, while minimising any sort of, side effects, right? We don’t want to see any of that. And so there’s, an element of imbalance between only do what you need to achieve what you’re looking for. But there’s also a sort of an element kind of relate to that, like, a force multiplier, right? So a minimum force necessary is really thinking about how are you most efficient, but a force multiplier singing about how you can most scale? Right? So from my days, as external consultant did a lot of work with the US Air Force, for example, right? They had a lot of IO psychologists, so they were really friendly to us. And they’re great people. I mean, I can’t tell you, I didn’t work with them and our coalition partners, so the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, and others. And I will tell you that they’re all about the force multiplier effect, because they are, I’ve never met people in my life who are so skilled in something like that they have to be the machinery that they’re operating, the stakes couldn’t be much higher for the types of aircraft that they’re operating and the way they’re operating and the things that they carry, that really gave me an appreciation for something called a force multiplier. And that is essentially something that can take, a force of one or two or a small group of people and make it massively, massively outsized. Right. So I think the People Analytics counterpart to that is, we don’t want to get caught in the place where we’re doing one on one interviews for our data and driving out impact right there, right. I mean, that’s kind of the job of a clinician, right, you have a one on one, that’s the job of therapists, a lot of cases you work to improve the life of an individual. In People Analytics, we are in this unique position where we have very humbly, modest sized team, we can collect a lot of data from a lot of people we can deal with senior leaders and those who are to your point, those key positions of power are key gatekeepers, we can affect change it in very big ways. We’ve had a number of the organisation I’m currently working with, we’ve had a number of changes over the past year, that allowed us to just get force multipliers exponentially. So rolling out listening, employee pulse surveys, that’s been a really, really big, big win for us, working with our senior leadership to understand where our business feels empowered, and maybe where there are opportunity areas, and really helping them to identify to be when we talk about individually organisation, right things that they may be doing that could do better, and also things that the organisation can do better as well.
So when I think about, there’s that force multiplier for us to really make one hour turn into millions of dollars worth of impact. It’s also that minimum viable, necessary thing. So I don’t want a long survey with the shortest survey I can possibly get. I want something that flies under the radar, I want something that’s so small, you almost can’t even see it. And so it’s almost, unobtrusive, right. And that’s also kind of a philosophy head. And some of the work I did with NASA a couple of years ago on our team did with NASA, I want to really take a very light touch, and I want to get the maximum impact out of that. So again, just that minimum viable thing, which we don’t do a scientist very inherently. But that’s where People Analytics, we get it. Right, put your scientists had off from it and think about how can you do this, because it’s not about doing less work. It’s about prioritising so that you can really, truly focus on building partnerships with the business. And also really keep putting your energy into things that are going to have bigger and bigger impact and better consultants than I and Peter block and Alan Weiss and others who I love, they’re really, really good at thinking about this, because they’re not just be dazzled by the data we are so not to say that they aren’t but we need to be a little bit more in their camp and really focusing on that 90% of our work being consulting and only 10% of the data and that’s where we really bring a lot of value to the to the organisations.
Kathryn Hume 19:48
Yeah. And it probably lends itself into that concept then around how do we pay for ourselves that call spoke about too and I will put a link to that in the notes because I’m particularly in Iove with that podcast recently, too. But yeah, that concept of how we pay ourselves. Can you explain how you apply that in your work?
Christopher Cerasoli 20:08
You know, that’s, that touches on a number of things because People Analytics externally for an external consultant world hasn’t really blown up yet. It’s kind of the billion dollar project that’s ready to go. I think, again, David Greene’s team with Insight 222 their, I think your Orgnostic team as well, I think they’re moving in that direction. So I think about how we pay ourselves it’s not net formal billable hours way that uses an external consultants. So most of the work is still being done in internal consulting and to my knowledge, most organisations and partners I’ve connected with, they don’t charge back for their services, right. So IT, for example, information technology is common to have chargebacks there. So if you want to have for your team, you want to have new monitors different technology in particular software, it charges back the cost of that to your cost centre. So there actually is a very clear understanding similar things like talent acquisition, there can be some very clear costs that are incurred, if you bring in an agency that they charge, people on looks for the most part, in my experience, they don’t charge back. So it’s, it’s kind of a danger because it can be viewed as a free service. Right. So when people look at something that’s free, they value it differently than something that they pay even modestly for. And so like a lot of People Analytics teams, they actually go under, because they’re so driven to establish their relevance and their value, that the one thing that they have to say is yes.
So the way that they are bringing clinical, I’m doing air quotes of value to the business is by saying yes to the things that come down, everything that comes down the pipe, they say yes to, that provides satisfaction in the short term, and partners are satisfied, but it’s not sustainable. And so then the business isn’t paying for that service. So they ask for things. And all of a sudden, the people who are just team just can’t deliver, because they’re overwhelmed with all these transactional things that just don’t bring them a lot of good. If then all of a sudden, the business doesn’t see value the businesses and paying for it, they just kind of shut down, they walk away, or they go somewhere else, or they get frustrated.
So I don’t think it’s so much necessarily the issue of the organisation paying for us and us trying to pay for ourselves, it’s more, how do we make ourselves relevant? So I will say, we have to make ourselves relevant in three ways:
- We have to be relevant to our COE partner. So primarily, each of us as partners, we have to be relevant first and foremost to them as people, their kids, their family, their dogs, you know, the they go for a golf trip this weekend, I missed the mine. Being relevant to them as a human being. And this seems backwards, right? Because we tend to think about, hey, what am I gonna show this person, but it’s first being relevant to them as a person
- Then it is being relevant to the work that they are doing? Right. So what is this HRBP living and breathing and dying, workforce planning, succession planning, just counting the people that have in Topeka, Kansas, right? That’s the second thing. And again, part of the reason IO hasn’t been successful is they forgotten one, they didn’t really think about two, and three,
- The third one is being relevant to the organisation strategy, as it pertains to that person, right. So if I’ve got an HRBP, who’s maybe a little bit lower on the totem pole, he or she may be focused on one thing, but if I go up the ladder to their, their VP, they may be focused on something else. And the thought that the link between business strategy and what they’re doing, I have to attract articulate for every one of those.
So that’s what I think, again, like we talk about, how does People Analytics pay for itself, People Analytics sells itself in terms of relevance in those three ways.
Kathryn Hume 23:43
I love your call out around, finding that person’s why and linking it to strategy, because I think we can fall into the trap of we know our stuff, we want to share it with people, we think it’s really interesting. And we say the linkages, but if we’re not making that clear for people, are we really helping them because ultimately, we’re trying to help people make decisions and action, their insights. If we’re not making that connection, we might be going 99% of the way but we’re not getting all of the way that gap could be make or break really.
Christopher Cerasoli 24:15
And I love that you said find that person’s why right. So it is we think back to any of the Simon Sinek speeches, right? One of his more famous ones is the was that the golden circles? Right? The why the why the how and the what? Yep, that’s what resonates with people if you tell them the story in the right way, right? So if you find out their why, and then you build a story backwards from that it’s going to resonate with them and they’re going to run with it and I’ll tell you for me, like my Northstar, the thing that really drives me it gets me out of bed just gets me in front of this computer for my clients travelling the globe sometimes the biggest thing is impact make a difference, but after that, it’s gratitude. Yeah, I love the feeling of when my partners are just like that. Wow, that was fantastic. Like, you made me look good. I love making them look like it’s fantastic. I love making them look good, I love giving them a way to do more with less. I don’t think I’ve ever met an HR business partner who’s worked below the 100% capacity line. If you think of all of us, sometimes we’re a little bit harder a little bit easier, it should average out to 100. They’re typically at 130 140. So for me to come in and say to them, I want to figure out a way to do less work for you. I’m going to come I’m going to help you to get this for you, you’re going to get smarter about it, and you’re going to do less work like they love it. So that’s how that that’s that’s really just gets me out of bed.
Kathryn Hume 25:37
Yeah. And that probably leads into our next question that we had around, you mentioned that you just love problem solving and that’s just been what you’ve done throughout your whole career. So do you have a process that you work through? Or is it more you feel your way through?
Christopher Cerasoli 25:52
So I probably should sit here and say, Yes, so I, I am a sucker for teaching frameworks. I’ve been teaching in my spare time for a little bit over kind of over a decade now. I teach graduate students in Organisational Psychology, one of the courses in a lot of them revolve around problem solving. One of the courses I teach is consulting in organisations and I impart with them a framework for thinking about how do you go about this? I don’t focus on problem solving so much as consulting a little bit more broadly. How do you how do you approach consulting and it gives you a couple of frameworks to think about it. I’d like to say that I take a very linear approach to sitting down to do like a, like a like a needs analysis or a situation analysis, right to sit down and with a piece of paper and tell me what’s going on what happened before you were here. Have you tried to do X? Have you tried to do Y and a lot of tactics and techniques can go with that. But I’ll say the first thing I want to do as cliche as it sounds, I want to listen. It’s so tempting for me, and I think for a lot of folks who have been in IO psychology and even people Alex as well. It’s very tempting to be solution oriented. But it takes a lot more work to be problem oriented, right, that design thinking those those first principles thinking right is, is a you know, thinking to what you hear Elon Musk talking about quite a bit on podcast that he’s done taking that problem. And understanding that truly, and then working backwards to create a solution. That’s difficult that begins with just listening. But my wife will tell you, I can always, always do more of that. But it is something I definitely take to heart and in my professional life, and really just try to hear what they’re what are they saying? What are they not saying? Probing with some questions that before jumping to solution, which believe me through COVID, we had to do, we had to do a lot of that you ended up being just very quick to find a solution to a problem. But in a lot of other things, you really want to hear what’s going on. Because if you listen correctly, you’ll start to hear the things that aren’t said. So OK I worried about this launch of this product is like well, okay, tell me more about this product and what you care about, they’re not really worried about the launch of that product, they’re worried about how their team is going to look if they don’t deliver on time. Solving for those two things is a very different set of skills and knowledge. So I think I start with listening, I build the partnership relevance in those three ways. So I want to be relevant to the person I want to be relevant to what they’re working on are relevant to their strategy. And then I really just scope what do you really need out of this? What can I do to be to be a partner for you? So I really tried to focus on the consulting side and asking questions and posing and pausing letting them confirm, you know, I’ve had mentors in the past encouraged me to take those pauses. So I think it’s also always healthy to take a pause. I’ve also found that when periodically, depending on the organisation I work with some clients may be impatient for a solution. Yeah, if you’ve built the right relationship, you can let that person know this may not be something that we can do for you within this time frame. Of course, always taking the engineer’s trade off, right? So cost time quality, if you give me too like a flex on the third. So you I think about the bridge and you know, in Sydney Harbour, if you want to built fast and you want to bid Well, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. But if you don’t have a lot of money, you can have it built fast, it’s just not going to be very good quality. And of course, the third follows from that. So when I think about solving problems, it’s less about trying to go in and solve a problem and more about trying to hear what that person or individual has a pain point it with. empathise with that and then co architecting a solution.
Kathryn Hume 29:37
Do you know I love the human centred design process because I can actually put it in front of someone and say, no, no, we need to focus on the problem first, and this is why and it’s reassuring to people because we are living in this fast paced environment. We want solutions fast and explaining to them we’ll come up with a solution for sure. We’re great at finding solutions is that the right solution. And I’m just thinking about looking at wellbeing in my role at the moment. And we’ve done a lot of listening. And we kept coming back to the fact we people felt that we didn’t have enough staff, and that was impacting their wellbeing. So whilst we initially were supporting people through meditative practices, or standing up intranet sites, with resources for people, ultimately, if we didn’t address that capacity issue, then it was kind of irrelevant to try and address the others. And that was a really good example for me of where we need to understand that problem, because that solution is completely different to what we were delivering. And yes, we need both. But that foundation or capacity was such a breaking point for everybody, which probably you mentioned that you have done some work in healthcare in the US, which I’m really intrigued about to hear where you apply People Analytics in that space.
Christopher Cerasoli 31:02
Yeah, I mean, it’s healthcare touches everything in the US, I think, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20% of our GDP has something to do with health care wellbeing or or, or medical related issue. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a massive, massive industry. In the US, I currently work for a global pharma company, and in the US, and in many cases, just a very, very large component of that overall portfolio. And the US is also undergoing the Great Resignation. Now, as I’m sure that it’s it’s happening elsewhere, right, we have people leaving their roles at unprecedented rates, we have structural changes we’re seeing in the workforce. So we have people, we have a large group of the population that has dropped out entirely, we have a large, very quickly growing proportion of the population that is now taking gig work through things like Uber delivering for Amazon. So there’s just lots of dynamic changes in both the talent pool and businesses and elsewhere. And so I think, broadly speaking, more people on always can bring brings a lot of values, that ability to take a sort of strategic perspective. And I think within healthcare, that’s a place where a lot of that is needed. Healthcare in the US is a bizarre market, because it is not truly what I would say it’s, it’s, it’s not what you would think of as a competitive capitalist party. Right. So for example, you fall and you break your ankle. In many cases, you know, you pick up the phone, and you call the emergency number, you don’t 911 In the US, you’re not picking and choosing which hospital you go to, you’re not picking and choosing the aspirin that you might get, you know, if you have angina, heart pain, or something like that. So it’s a very bizarre market. And that I think, impacts talent in, in really, really odd ways. Right? So certain practitioners, for example, are very, very difficult to attract, select and retain.
We tend to think about medical systems as being sort of led by MDs and PhDs and physicians, but there’s increasingly, a lot of them are advanced care practitioners, right? So they may be a Registered Nurse, they may be a Physician’s Assistant, or something similar to that, to get those groups of people has become much more challenging. And one of the things that I found working in healthcare, it’s not a problem, you can just throw money at. Yeah. So travelling nurses, for example. So you can get upwards of 100 US dollars an hour, as a Registered Nurse for going down the road two miles and working for a facility and you can dictate the hours that you want. And how do you hold on to those people if you don’t care about your employees or people or those can provide particular for the healthcare industry is targeted insights for what keeps that particular population of to stay right. So I was just having a conversation with one of my colleagues just before this, and we are really trying to start to get our hands around, what are the factors, predictive correlational, whatever, that really, really matter to turnover. And in the healthcare sector, you can apply that logic you would apply elsewhere to create predictive models of retention and turnover. And what’s really kind of cool that you can do is if there are places where you have difficulty retaining key talent, so for example, Advanced Practitioners, you want to bring in people analysts because they’re going to help you focus there, right? So for example, you could look at the cost of turnover for clinicians versus non clinicians. And then maybe just a control for and I did that with a with one organisation, I worked for a very small group of individuals who their job was to be sort of the keepers of the torch, if you will for training and upskilling advanced care practitioners for recruiting them retain them and all those sorts of things and they desperately needed funding. But even though that, you know, The turnover is really high for this group, they never really seem to get the funding they needed. So one of the things that I did is I brought them a framework to say, look, this is what it costs these practitioners a year and turnover. And if your team, if you can take credit for reducing turnover by 1%, you can show a $35 million cost savings. And so we took this and were able to go to senior management, they say, Look, you bring in two extra headcount to this team, we can bring your turnover down to half a percent. If we bring it down to half a percent, that’s going to save you X million dollars, the cost of those two FTEs are going to be 300k, something absolutely not. So it’s like this, this wild, wild ROI. And they were able to do that actually, I went back to them a year and a half later, after I did that, they said, this is fantastic. We need this more, but our turnover is even higher this year. So well, that’s good for your business case, but we can help leadership to really focus to see not just the not the absolute dollars, right? Like those are eye popping numbers. But even if you’re somewhere we again, we come back to Scott and Cole at directionally correct. Whether it’s a savings of 15 million or $20 million, it’s kind of irrelevant. It’s if you hold this group and that group to the same standards, so clinicians and non clinicians, if you focus more of your attention to clinicians, you’re just gonna have a bigger delta and the cost savings you could have. So People Analytics, in the health care space, as I go back to what I said earlier, can really provide that holistic strategic view that helps leaders to understand where they go. And that’s just an example of turnover, it’s possible that maybe they’re having more of a challenge is getting the talent in the first place. Right. So again, if you put a relative cost to that, you can say, where do we focus? We could focus more on the dollars that we’re spending trying to get people? Or do we focus more on the dollars that we’re spending trying to lose people? It turns out, it’s a little bit more on the back end. But when you bring that holistic perspective, you say, well, you actually want to focus on the back end. But don’t forget, you need to understand the employee value proposition EVP Why are they here in the first place? So while you’re making sure that the barn door stays closed, you got to make sure that the horses are happy, healthy and fed. And I didn’t actually use the horse metaphor for that but they got the point. And because it just is such a massive, massive industry that is growing in leaps and bounds. It needs this worker oriented, yet strategic approach that people aren’t always right.
Kathryn Hume 37:23
And it’s so compelling that those numbers that you’re talking about, it just supports that decision making in such a great way and the viability of these organisations is relying on this sort of analysis to be able to work out you know, there’s a limited supply of resources just to support these organisations. So how can we utilise it to get the biggest bang for our buck if you like?
I think we are running out of time. Sadly, I could stay on the call all day now. My husband was worried about the fact I believe the Yankees got delayed yesterday. I think the and he was wondering if you do graphically right in the middle of Boston and New York and he was wondering which one do you follow? Or is there another baseball team that you might follow?
Christopher Cerasoli 38:06
Like this? I am uh, I’m terrible. When it comes to sports in the weather, at least in the Northeast in the US was particularly rough yesterday, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were rained out. I am honestly a fan of whoever has the best beer at the game. I can be bought off very, very, very easily. But it is a beautiful stadium. It’s a new stadium if the if they were in New York, so I hope both you and him get the chance to take the what is it a is a 17 hour flight from, from Sydney to Dallas and then Dallas to New York?
Kathryn Hume 38:42
Yeah, we have done it. I’ve actually done it twice. And I’m very fortunate but gee, it can be a long game I tell you.
Christopher Cerasoli 38:49
Yes, it can it absolutely can. I saw I was watching the game when the when the Red Sox won the World Series I want to say it was in the first time it was 2006 2007, something like that. and I was like, wow, this is kind of historical. So I certainly made sure to to drink some some Boston lager from Sam Adams and supportive.
Kathryn Hume 39:15
Awesome, awesome. Well, we’re very fortunate to live in the same time zone. All right, so I will finish it here. But Chris, you’ve been great. Throughout all of our conversations. I love following you on LinkedIn, I love seeing all of the things that you’re doing. And all the simplicity that you bring to something that I think a lot of people can feel is a little bit more complex and it that it is and I love the way you just make it human and that you make it about the consultations and the partnerships and how you can really deliver value by just engaging people and keeping it simple. So thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it and hope you have a great afternoon.
Christopher Cerasoli 39:54
Thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it as well.