Balancing data and human behaviour




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Decoding AQ with Ross Thornley Feat. Tomeka Hill-Thomas - PhD

Show Notes

Tomeka - is a Senior Principal, of Workforce Strategy and Analytics at Mercer -  A People Analytics Expert | Data Scientist Lead | PhD Economist | Speaker | and Author.

Mercer is a firm with over 25,000 employees in over 130 counties who are helping redefine the future of work, reshape retirement and investment outcomes, and unlock real health and well-being.  

I am a Senior Principal at Mercer who works directly with client stakeholders in identifying and understanding what drives employee outcomes such as those related to pay equity, strategic workforce planning, turnover, performance reviews and promotions.  

I am passionate about data! I love to explore the use of new scientific and evidence-based practices and data visualization tools to provide insights on employees and how they drive success in a company. I talk to stakeholders about research in a way that demystifies the numbers and provides actionable solutions. I am a distinguished speaker and author with an extensive list of publications and presentations that address current issues in people analytics and labor economics. I have also been interviewed for several podcasts and HR publications.  

Ross and Tomeka talk about predictions, data science, passion, making an impact, savings, the culture of work, technology, skills focus, workforce transformation, hiring, training,  aligning people, mapping skills, shifting teams, improving soft skills and unlearning. The pair also discuss data management, analytics, innovation, succession plans, breakdowns, holistic views, work relationships, champions support, dips, resilience, the Chicago Marathon, new experiences, incremental steps, accomplishing goals, purpose and reaching out.


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  • 00:32 Introduction to Tomeka
  • 01:39 Galaxies in the universe
  • 02:41 Balancing data and human behaviour
  • 05:51 Retirement
  • 09:20 Forming different ways of thinking and a new age of workers
  • 12:38 Scaling up and reskilling
  • 16:23 Predicting the future and environment
  • 20:16 Key skills for future leadership
  • 26:20 Imagination playing it part
  • 30:50 Challenges with data and overcoming them
  • 37:07 The last time Tomeka did something for the first time
  • 39:17 Tips to help people through initial uncertainty
  • 42:39 Final thoughts

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