5 steps to humanise your process to generate buy-in

Tony Latter | 14th October 2016

Humanising your process is a key factor when trying to create more buy-in for your people analytics program. This is particularly relevant within your wider team, where trust and transparency are key qualities to boost response rates.

Put simply, it is the ways that you can transform your data into relatable and easily-digestible insights, that can be understood by people at all levels.

Here are five steps you can take to humanise your process and generate more buy-in.

Choice of language

Albert Einstein famously said “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This highlights his feelings around the importance of simplicity to clearly convey a message.

Before you can communicate effectively, you should first analyse your audience and learn what makes them tick. Ensure that your choice of language coincides with the vision and values of the company – this will strengthen the authenticity of your message and increase the likelihood of your insights being acted upon.

It is important to carefully consider the way your message is being communicated. By ensuring that your tone is helpful, engaging, simple, consultative and human you can influence the way it will be interpreted. In order to widen the reach of your message, you must ensure it is void of complex jargon, industry terminology and unoriginal thought – “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

To limit any confusion around the meaning of your text, you must clearly define each point – e.g. when you say leadership are you referring to the head of a specific team, or the head of the entire company?

By testing out all of these elements on a varied sample of people, you can ensure that your message will be understood by employees at all levels – not just Data Analysts and HR Directors.


The use of interactive tools will immerse your customers in the tech and provide them with a richer and more insightful experience.

By encouraging users to make use of the interactive nature of your tech you will create a dialogue in the form of a two-way conversation. It will also serve to make the process more human and enjoyable for your users.

Instead of asking your users to manually type in the score or check a box, you should incorporate a slider. This interactive tool will increase engagement levels, by making the process more enjoyable and less painstaking for those participating in your pulse surveys.

Allowing your users to decide whether they wish to be anonymous or not will help to cement trust. It provides the user with a degree of control and places them right at the centre of the process.

When people first use your technology, they will typically choose to proceed anonymously. This is often a by-product of them fearing the repercussions of leaving negative feedback without the safety net of obscurity. As time progresses they will start to witness their colleagues having their issues resolved – this leads to them placing more trust in the process.  This will continue to develop and they will notice that the next set of actions can be directly targeted at them if they remove their anonymity. Again, by giving the user a choice you are building trust and establishing your tech as something that works around them – not the inverse.

Peer to peer comparison

People analytics provide you with the ability to segment your data, in order to isolate specifics and get a more rounded view of your organisation.

By dissecting the data, you can add context to your insights and start to draw comparisons – Our London branch is less productive than our Hong Kong branch, what are they doing differently? Through this technique you will build richer and more comprehensive results.

Filters will help you to isolate specific elements to further gain further insight. For example, if you add a filter that segments by a team leader or manager, then you can measure if the manager was the main reason a specific team was happy/unhappy.

Contemplate what to segment and what factors will affect your results most. A good starting point is to consider location, department, management, salary-brackets and job grade.


We all remember how fun and easily-digestible picture books were right? Through the use of relevant imagery your technology can follow suit.

People learn and digest information in their own unique ways. By incorporating visuals as well as the numbers, you are ensuring that your tech will be accessible for everyone. Imagery will help to create more convincing cases and produce empathetic action plans.

By choosing a platform that uses multiple visualisations, you will prevent the process from becoming time-consuming and intimidating. Through the use of images, dials, bars, charts, line graphs, donuts, scatter graphs and word clouds you are better-equipped to transform raw data into easily identifiable outcomes.

The more visible your results are the more trust you will generate from your users – this leads to an increase in the number of people actively wanting to be surveyed and the honesty of their answers.

Use of stories

Information becomes real when it is shared, and one of the most effective ways to share information is through the telling of relatable stories.

Through the use of stories, you can transform your technology into something more human and significant. This will assist you to better engage and influence your audience.

To ensure that your users trust the tech, you will first have to prove to them that you will convert their feedback into positive actions. A good example of this was when the word coffee was repeatedly flagged as something that needed to be changed for a client of ours. They utilised their tech by listening to their users and installing a high-end coffee machine. This was an instant success as it boosted engagement levels and created ambassadors for the feedback process. It also acted as an anchor point to highlight the visible output of people analytics, whilst reminding the users that their data is being put to good use. By adopting a similar approach, you will build better emotional connections and strengthen the psychological contract between your company and its staff.

In order to build a strong case that the board can understand, you must first create a compelling reason for change. The use of stories, combined with all of the aforementioned processes will help to bring your case to life and convince your audience of the benefits of actively providing honest feedback.