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Enhancing Employee Engagement Through Personalised Strategies With People Analytics

4 minute read

By Elmen Lamprecht, Engen’s Talent Acquisition and Sourcing Manager

Employee engagement has emerged as a critical factor for organisational success and productivity. Countless studies over the past decade have proven that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and business performance (revenue, profit, client satisfaction, etc).

The trouble is that traditional approaches to engagement often relied on broad, one-size-fits-all strategies that failed to address the individual needs and preferences of employees. I have served in very large corporates (10,000+ employees) where employee engagement strategies (and the accompanying investment) were based on gutfeel and water-cooler gossip. Lately, we have seen HR departments try to use data to develop better engagement strategies, but the analysis is still too broad, viewing individual employee groups as homogenous entities.

This is exactly where People Analytics has revolutionised HR by enabling organisations to understand each individual employee better and therefore create personalised engagement strategies tailored to each employee. In this article, we will explore the importance of investing in People Analytics capabilities to empower organisations to treat employees as individuals and enhance their overall engagement.


The most basic element of employee engagement always comes down to balancing the needs of the organisation with the needs of its people. HR is tasked with ensuring high engagement (focus on the employee) with the purpose of driving business outcomes (focus on the organisation). Engaged employees are more productive, and employees feel engaged when they can personally relate to and feel welcome and supported by the organisation. Optimising engagement requires us to acknowledge that every employee is unique, with different needs, aspirations, motivations, and work styles. Recognising and catering to these individual needs can significantly impact their level of engagement and commitment towards their work.

Getting to know anyone requires gathering as much data as possible about that person, and then analysing the data to understand current behaviour and predict future behaviour. Humans have done this for millennia – albeit informally, in our heads. Think about it: The difference between a stranger and a friend is nothing more than years of data gathering and processing, allowing us to ‘know’ that person and to predict their future behaviour.

People Analytics formalises this process and provides a data-driven approach to uncovering insights about employees at an individual level, empowering HR professionals to gain a deeper understanding of their workforce. By utilising People Analytics, organisations can gather and analyse various data points such as psychometric assessments, demographic data, performance metrics, employee surveys, feedback, and personal preferences. This wealth of information allows HR teams to identify patterns, trends, and individual preferences, enabling them to develop targeted engagement strategies for each employee.


Personally, I find it ironic that almost every business is willing to spend a lot of resources (money and time) to understand their customers and develop individualised sales and marketing strategies, while refusing to invest in understanding their employees under the guise of ‘cost containment’.

Just consider the following:

  • Companies with advanced People Analytics capabilities showed 8% higher sales growth and 24% higher net operating income compared to their peers (Source: IBM and MIT)
  • Companies using advanced People Analytics showed on average a 4% higher profit than their peers (Source: Gartner).
  • Astoundingly, a study by the Melbourne Business school found that analytics laggards generated 81% less profit than analytics leaders.

Investing in People Analytics capabilities unlocks the potential to design personalised engagement strategies that align with the needs and aspirations of individual employees. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, organisations can use data-driven insights to tailor initiatives, programs, and interventions specific to each employee.

For instance, People Analytics may reveal that certain individuals thrive on autonomy and prefer flexible work arrangements. Armed with this knowledge, HR can offer flexible scheduling options or remote work opportunities to enhance engagement for those employees. Similarly, others may be motivated by professional development and growth opportunities. By identifying such individuals, organisations can provide tailored training programs, mentorship, or career advancement pathways to fuel their engagement.


Using People Analytics to create personalised engagement strategies brings several benefits to both the organisation and its employees.

Improved Employee Experience: By catering to the unique needs of employees, organisations can create a more satisfying work environment and boost the employee experience. Employees feel valued, understood, and supported, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and overall engagement.

Enhanced Performance and Productivity: As mentioned already, countless studies have proven that engaged employees are more productive and committed to their work. By aligning engagement initiatives with individual preferences, organisations can unlock employees' full potential and continuously improve performance.

Retention and Talent Acquisition: In the same way individualised customer engagement strategies can cultivate customer loyalty and spend, individualised employee engagement strategies can cultivate loyalty and productivity. Personalised engagement strategies demonstrate an organisation's commitment to its employees' growth and well-being. This fosters a positive work culture, increases employee loyalty, and helps attract and retain top talent.

Employee Development: Tailored learning and development initiatives that focus on individual needs increase ROI on training spend. Additionally, they foster continuous learning which improves productivity. When employees perceive growth opportunities aligned with their interests, they are more likely to invest in their personal and professional development.

In conclusion, in the function of employee engagement, the days of one-size-fits-all approaches have come to an end. Organisations that leverage People Analytics to create personalised engagement strategies will attract and retain talent better than their competitors. Improved engagement that acknowledges the individuality of employees also leads to improved employee productivity. By investing in People Analytics capabilities, organisations can gain valuable insights into their workforce, develop tailored initiatives, and foster a culture of engagement. This holistic approach to employee engagement not only benefits individuals but also leads to improved organisational performance. And that is the very point of employee engagement.

About the author

With nearly 2 decades of experience, Elmen Lamprecht is an industry expert who has witnessed how HR has evolved and can predict how it will likely continue to develop. As the Talent Acquisition and Sourcing Manager of one of Africa’s leading energy groups Engen, Elmen advises businesses on how they can unleash the potential of their most important asset: their people.

Learn more about Elmen in our interview here.

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