In 2016, Deloitte announced the launch of ConnectMe – and HR delivery platform that, using predictive analytics, will personalize and target information made available to an employee. For example, should it become obvious that an employee recently had a baby, the information targeted to he or she on ConnectMe would be about adding a dependent. The stated intent is to increase employee engagement through seamless information access and decrease the cost of transactional work for HR professionals. I’m skeptical of the product for a couple reasons outlined below.
One con is the perception of lack of privacy based on the data mined and the information shared across platforms. The most obvious potential pitfall is health data. Let’s take a hypothetical case: say Mary is diagnosed with a chronic illness that may impact her ability to perform at work. She may have not yet shared this information with her managers or mentors – and she presumes information indicating her diagnosis (such as specialist referrals or appointments) is sitting securely in her insurance portal. Should “targeted” information on medical leave begin to show up on her portal, she may lose trust in her personal privacy and sensitive data held by HR.
The second con is an unclear link between ease of access to HR information and employee engagement. It’s widely recognized that employee engagement has a positive impact on financial and organizational performance. However, Gallup categorizes employees as engaged based on ratings of workplace elements, such as encouragement by mentors and meaningful work. I’m skeptical that ease of access to HR information has as statistically significant – or as large of an impact – on employee engagement as other factors such as recognition and opportunities for autonomy in work.
Given these cons, I’m doubtful of whether or not the incremental effort of integrating back end HR data systems and applying predictive analytics – all while navigating the potential complexities of employee privacy – is worth the effort. Further, the last mention of ConnectMe on the web is circa 2020, and the link on Deloitte’s website no longer works (https://www2.deloitte.com/connectme), indicating the product is no longer offered. There may be a potential upside in efficiencies through streamlining the HR functions – freeing up HR professionals’ time to pursue more strategic projects rather than answering run of the mill questions from employees. There may even be an opportunity to use the infrastructure of ConnectMe – i.e., the algorithms and back end data infrastructure – for more directly impactful applications, such as predictive analytics on attrition or workforce allocation. However, as the product stands, I’m a skeptic. I think that if companies are to go through the effort of implementing predictive analytics across their people data, they should focus instead on the most impactful applications to make the investment worthwhile for the business.
 Eisenberg, A. (2016). Deloitte Launches Predictive HR Platform to Engage Workers. Employee Benefit News. https://www.benefitnews.com/news/deloitte-launches-predictive-hr-platform-to-engage-workers.
 Adkins, A. (2016). U.S. Employee Engagement Reaches New High in March. Gallup News. https://news.gallup.com/poll/190622/employee-engagement-reaches-new-high-march.aspx?g_source=EMPLOYEE_ENGAGEMENT&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.