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By Todd Horton • July 24, 2019

How the Rolling Stones Can Make You Appreciate Machine Learning

I was listening to Spotify the other day and the Rolling Stones classic song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want “ As you may know the song with the line with “you get what you need.” The song came on at a perfect time because I was set to meet with a customer soon after to talk about the KangoGift machine learning based solution.

Up until recently you really couldn’t get what you want. In the modern HR world of buzzwords over solutions you can get something like what you want, which will cost you a lot of money and make you invest in lots of man hours and then still get something that breaks down a lot which you probably don’t like. Obviously that doesn’t make for a good song.

If the Rolling Stones are right with their lyrics then in order to get what you want and get what you need then you need something that is machine learning based. A solution that will provide the opportunity to develop a solid analytical benchmark providing the analytical data needed in today’s data driven world. We can now move beyond the anecdotal and into the realm of hard data!

The driver of this tremendous advance is machine learning. As I see machine learning being successfully deployed by innovators and leaders in HR it has consistently shown that:

  • It prevents issues from becoming problems from becoming crises
  • Moves HR investment from the guessing game to a hard, data-driven allocation program
  • Builds a program that immediately responds to the human aspect by integrating it with the machine learning driven analytical side

Let’s talk about these issues in more detail.

It Prevents Issues From Becoming Problems From Becoming Crisis--When I’m talking with HR innovators about making their programs even better, everyone of them has the story about the huge blow up that could have been prevented if it had been identified early enough. I am always happy to share with them that with a machine learning based solution like KangoGift’s, its very purpose is to do just that.

‘The fact that a machine learning based solution is able to identify a problem in real time is one of the elements that makes it essential. Let’s say there is friction in one group and that results in a few reports to HR. Let’s say that maybe there is an issue with this managers’ style? Using the old approach you may hear about this anecdotally and by then the issue is now a problem. While you’re trying to figure out that matter it could spiral into a crisis.

The contribution to your return on investment (ROI) in machine learning solutions is that they immediately flag these issues. So before anything you can be on top of these matters before they result in costly problems, (diversion of resources, employee replacement, engaging outside parties) resulting in a stronger ROI for your investment because valuable resources are directed towards growth not damage control.

Moves HR From A Guessing Game To A Data Driven Allocation Program--In my 20 plus years of involvement in HR I have seen a great many things with the most consistent being human resources is based on what has happened and what we think will happen. History dictates future based on what we think will happen based on the past.

Now there is the chance to improve the overall ROI for human resources. The HR team can now effectively measure how well, or not, people are doing based on hard data. For example,how effective is a certain manager. With a machine learning based solution like what KangoGift offers the manager can be measured and coached in a real time basis using a number of different variables.

A key differentiator machine learning solutions like the one offered by KangoGift is that they recognize that each culture is unique and that a machine learning based solution can be adjusted to recognize this, allowing for real quantification to happen. By comparison most solutions on the market are the one size fits all, or fits none, solutions that require massive inputs of additional time and resources.

Machine learning learns from your culture and makes recommendations allowing an ever stronger contribution to your bottom line by empowering you to make those necessary adjustments to greatly reduce the likelihood of problems becoming costly in time and resources.

Builds a program that immediately responds to the human aspect by integrating it with the machine learning driven analytical side-- Machine learning is about more than preventing problems. It does as you would likely expect. It allows you to view data for such things as employee engagement and managerial satisfaction.

What your new type of machine learning solution does is that it breaks down the old wall between the human aspect and the analytical aspect. Simply put you can now account for the human side when it comes to measuring HR performance. I can not understate how critical a development this is in overall employee engagement and the measurement of return on investment of your human resources teams.

Here are a few takeaways about how machine learning is improving the ROI for your organization:

  • It will detect issues very early so they don’t become something much more serious
  • Moves HR from a guessing game to a data driven allocation programs
  • It will now allow for the easy measurement of data, adaptable to your own culture, that will provide you with a true measurement of how well your organization’s HR programs are working
  • Combines the human and analytical side ensuring that data driven decisions include the humanity we need to work in a group called HUMAN resources

Let me leave you with this one parting thought that will provide you with the type of human resources department that is designed to succeed. The Rolling Stones were partially right when they said you get what you need. But they missed the mark when the said you can’t always get what you want. If they’d known about machine learning and how it will improve your ROI then the song would be you can always get what you want.