People Analytics Podcast: Laurie Bassi – Debunking the Myths of Employee Engagement ¦ TPAP017

Laurie Bassi, a leading figure in HR Analytics for many years, as well as former Economics professor and co-author of the classic industry textbook 'Good Company', talks with Max Blumberg about the reasons why Employee Engagement fails to find traction outside HR, and how data and analytics can transform it from an HR cost centre to a demonstrable driver of business performance.


Laurie Bassi - CEO, McBassi & Company

max blumberg hr analytics
Max Blumberg
max blumberg leeds business school

Dr Max Blumberg is founder of the Blumberg Partnership, a Top 50 analytics consultancy which provides innovative analytics consultancy to organisations including Nestle, Lloyds Register, the BBC, Rentokil Initial, Barclays Corporate and the CIPD. Max is also Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds Business School; a Visiting Researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London; a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Episode 17: Busting the Myths of Employee Engagement

Max Blumberg talks with Laurie Bassi, one of the most senior figures in HR Strategy & Analytics, and co-chair of the People Analytics Forum 2017.

One of the mantras in HR, especially over the last decade, has been that Engaged Employees Are Good For Business. On this basis, HR professionals have looked for ways to measure, foster and improve this metric, but outside of HR, the enthusiasm for investing in this area has been significantly less.

The challenge, as with anything in business, is to demonstrate how and to what extent this somewhat ambiguous concept connects to the much more rigid world of profit and loss, financial growth and shareholder value. And as with so many areas of business, data and analytics offers a hugely promising way to tackle this, and create a proposition for investment that will satisfy even the most sceptical CFO and CEO.

In this week's episode, they discuss:

  • The relationship between HR and Economics,
  • The common misconceptions around Employee Engagement,
  • How technology is unravelling this complex relationship and the asymmetry between different organisations,
  • Advice for HR professionals on how to rethink the way they approach the question of employee sentiment and its impact,
  • Kinds of data that could be relevant, and how to frame everything in the context of finance and performance.

Laurie Bassi is the CEO of McBassi & Company, a leading-edge human capital analytics consulting company.  Since she founded McBassi in 2001, she has been working with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100s – to help them get better business results by using analytics to improve the management of their employees.

In the earlier years of her career, Laurie served as vice president for research at the Association for Talent Development, the director of research at Saba Software, the director of two U.S. government commissions, and a tenured professor of economics and public policy at Georgetown University. She is a licensed investment advisor who, for over a decade now, has been generating above-market returns by investing in companies with superior human capital management.

Laurie is a sought-after speaker – having spoken on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.  As a still-recovering academic, she is also a prolific author, with over 90 published papers and books.  Her most recent books are The HR Analytics Handbook and Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era (the winner of Nautilus Gold Award, for the best business/leadership book of the year).

Laurie holds a B.S. in mathematics from Illinois State University, an M.S. in Industrial Relations from Cornell University, and a PhD in economics from Princeton University.