by Leo Jakobson | August 28, 2018
As 20th-century people-management systems with a focus on employee satisfaction give way to the modern emphasis on employee engagement and emotional commitment, there is room for incentive, recognition and reward professionals to fill a gap left by HR and compensation departments.

To do this, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) says that reward program professionals need to embrace modern machine learning and predictive analytics techniques to monitor and analyze talent continuously. Indeed, a recent PwC survey finds that 86 percent of human resources organizations plan to advance their people analytics capabilities in the coming years.

This is the focus of the IRF's latest report, "Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in People Management," which looks at the ways "companies are currently using artificial intelligence to identify, monitor and analyze their talent continuously."

According to Melissa Van Dyke, president of the IRF, "Reward program owners should look to firms like Google, WL Gore, Tesla and dozens of others that now use predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to recruit, retain, teach and engage their employees. We also see the tremendous opportunity to use artificial intelligence to more quickly identify top performers and deliver personalized rewards."

And in fact, most large organizations already have the data necessary for advanced people analytics, the IRF says, pointing to employee surveys, polls, peer recognition portals, emails, texts and data from employee badges, among other sources.

Already, artificial intelligence is used in a variety of ways, the IRF says, including to:

 --Attract, hire and provide customized onboarding of better talent
 --Predict attrition and identify employees likely to leave the company
 --Find hidden talent across the organization and deploy it expertly
 --Deliver real-time feedback and recognition
 --Develop and deliver highly engaging, hyper-personalized instruction
 --Conduct real-time performance management

In September, the IRF will release a second report on this topic, "The Impact and Potential of Artificial Intelligence in Incentives, Rewards and Recognition." This study, the IRF says, "will examine the tools and techniques that incentives, rewards and recognition professionals can use to incorporate artificial intelligence into their program design."
 
 Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in People Management was supported by IRF Research Advocacy Partner, Hinda Incentives.