Digitalisation & Transformation

People Analytics - Trust and Leadership in the Digital Era

The time has come to seriously re-think People Analytics!


Programme Description

People Analytics applications are growing in significance in the business world. This is not only in response to the changes occurring in the modern workplace in the aftermath of COVID-19. The demand is also driven by the idea that HR management decisions that are based on employee-related data are more effective and accurate than those based primarily on intuition, experience, or personal recommendation.

In everyday business, however, it quickly becomes clear that the mere collection and analysis of employee-related data is not enough. More is needed and buzzwords like «Algorithmic Discrimination», «Taylorism 4.0», «Data Gold Rush» or «Big Brother» vividly illustrate how People Analytics can pose a threat to employees’ work life, their unique value contribution, and the organizational culture.

In our new online programme, you will acquire a solid foundation in applied People Analytics and learn how to foster the two most important features of leadership in the digital era: digital literacy and trust.

Target Audience

The programme is targeted towards senior-level leaders whose role is at the intercept of strategic management decision making, organizational development and technology. Roles might comprise senior-level HR managers, senior compliance officers or heads of organizational learning and development, amongst others as well as people/data analytics professionals, project managers, directors and functional heads or employee representatives.


Start Dates
8 bi-weekly sessions (MO 08:15-10:15 & FR 11:30-12:30 CET)
Application Deadline
Number of ECTS Credits
Level of Experience
Senior Manager
Functional Manager
Functional Specialist
High Potential
Programme Type
CHF 3'600.-
Special Discounts
10% Early Bird reduction until 15 August 2022
Please contact us regarding special group discounts..
Individual Modules Bookable
Flexible Entry
Programme Language


This online programme delivers expertise in applied People Analytics, digital literacy, and trust so that you can successfully shape your company’s digital transformation agenda for the good of the business and your employees!

Course Structure

The course consists of eight modules, divided into two sessions each.

The first session of each module is an “online live” lecture taught by a faculty member (Monday 08:15-10:15 CET), while the second session is a “transfer session” which aims to apply the material covered in the lecture (Friday 11:30-12:30 CET).

Participants will receive access to preparatory readings and video materials.

Solid foundations of applied People Analytics

The first half of the course will focus on «What is Good Evidence?». You will be equipped with the critical root-cause thinking capabilities necessary to apply People Analytics effectively. We will also address «Good Evidence» as a matter of data and measurement quality, in addition to experimentation and structured piloting.

You will gain practical insights into how to organize existing employee data and how to adapt your People Analytics function, including the intangible assets of your organization such as engagement, trust, and leadership effectiveness. In all, these insights will help you to unleash your People Analytics potential and broaden your strategic analytics focus.

Distinct leadership expertise in digital literacy and trust

In the second part of the course, we will target leadership skills and capabilities that enable you to implement People Analytics applications effectively and to engage diverse stakeholders. Our focus will be on two core building blocks of leadership in the digital era: digital literacy and trust. You will learn to effectively balance technology-induced dilemmas that may arise once People Analytics is rolled out. You will also gain practical insights into the changing requirements of leadership, corporate and legal governance issues, and how to manage unwanted consequences for your employees.

The latter is essential in building trust - a critical component in the People Analytics equation. You will be equipped with concrete leadership tools to maintain trust in times of digital change and to succeed in your leadership role as a trusting employee champion. In all, these insights will enable you to implement People Analytics in a digitally literate way so that you can fully profit from the benefits of data without compromising on employees‘ needs.

Content & Faculty

Each week, a different facet of People Analytics will be explored. The lectures cover both academic and practical insights. The transfer sessions will consist of peer-to-peer exchanges where participants can share their experiences in applying the course knowledge and analytics to their current work.


Kick-off - Dr. Simon Schafheitle

6 October 2022, 09:00-16:30 CET, hybrid

During the first session you will get to know the faculty, e-meet each other and clarify your expectations as well as the general learning objectives.

Networking event with alumni reunion

6 October 2022, 16:30-21:00 CET


Module 1: People Analytics – It’s not just about Data but also about Mindset! - Dr. Simon Schafheitle & Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

People Analytics is a popular new trend and powerful tool for improving HR decision-making. However, to unfold its full potential, leaders need to change their mindset and implement digital literacy and trust as prevailing principles inside the organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the basic principles of evidence-based management to familiarize yourself with the change of mindset
  • Translate complex business challenges into root-cause relationships suitable for People Analytics practice 
  • Experiment with an evidence-based mindset using concrete people issues from your business practice

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 2: Beyond Happy Sheets – How to Turn People Analytics Insights into Business Impact! - Dr. Simon Schafheitle & Dr. Lucia Görke

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

Who hasn‘t heard the phrase «garbage in, garbage out» before? The full potential of People Analytics can only be achieved if the quality of the data is good.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the basic premises of social science metrics to become an advocate and critical sparring partner in People Analytics projects
  • Learn how to improve the data of your current People Analytics projects
  • Apply best practices in collecting and analyzing the right data and turning the results into concrete business recommendations

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 3: Fail fast, but fail small: Why #Experimentability is today’s most important management resource - Gerhard Fehr

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

Reduce complexity and uncertainty in your organization. In an increasingly digital, rapidly changing world, human behaviour is fundamentally changing.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the impact of experimentation on business success
  • Learn how to implement a culture of experimentation
  • Discover how to design a good experiment
  • Learn from best practices how to change your company with #Experimentability

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 4: Happimetrics - How Measuring Emotions with AI Increases Individual Happiness and Business Performance - Prof. Dr. Peter A. Gloor

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

Knowing what makes you happy will make you happier! Analyzing people’s communication patterns and making them self-aware by mirroring their behavior back to them in a privacy-respecting way will increase individual happiness and team performance.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how Positive People Management and Trust lead to organizational excellence
  • Learn how HRM contributes to employee engagement and happiness
  • Discover the secret to positive teamwork. Know what roles HR and Inclusive Leadership play

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 5: Implementation and Use of People Analytics from a Legal Perspective - Prof. Dr. Isabelle Wildhaber & Dr. Boris Dzida

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

Our empirical studies show that data-based People Analytics tools are being tried out and implemented very widely, but often rather carelessly.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the legal framework for using People Analytics tools
  • Understand legal issues from an employment law and data protection law perspective
  • Recognize the legal risks related to the implementation and use of People Analytics tools

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 6: Leadership & Decision-Making in the Age of AI - Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel & Léa Steinacker

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

In this module we present results from our empirical study on decision-making in the age of AI and discuss the benefits, pitfalls and emerging issues around the changing nature of work and leadership due to its increasing automation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain insights into new data on leaders' reaction to the integration of technology into their practice
  • Evaluate the advantages and challenges of AI-enabled decision-making 
  • Reflect on the key socio-technical and psychological effects arising from the deployment of such systems

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 7: Death by the leaderboard and other follies How to use People Analytics in a thoughtful way to drive employee outcomes - Dr. Anastasia Sapegina

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

People analytics is a rapidly expanding area of people management in organizations. Collecting and analyzing complex chains of employee data holds many promises for well-informed and evidence-based workforce decisions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain insights into the potential "dark side" of People Analytics
  • Understand how different features of People Analytics impact employee outcomes at the individual and team level
  • Understand how to use People Analytics in a balanced way- to drive employee performance, well-being, and collaboration

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Module 8: You Cannot do it Without Trust - Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel

Date tbd, 08:15-10:15 CET

People Analytics and Datafication are powerful tools – however, a fool with a tool remains a fool.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the centrality of trust for business excellence and People Analytics
  • Design technological solutions in a way that enhances or at least does not undermine trust
  • Understand a «being digital» culture that enables «machines to serve humans» and not vice versa

Transfer Session, 11:30-12:30 CET


Follow-up, farewell & virtual apéro

Date tbd, 18:00-19:30 CET



Dr. Simon Schafheitle: University of St.Gallen (FAA-HSG)
Simon Schafheitle is an International Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Chair for Human Resource Management of Antoinette Weibel at the University of St. Gallen (FAA-HSG). He received his doctorate from the University of St. Gallen in 2020 focusing on the impact of datafication technologies on 21st-century workplace architectures, particularly emphasizing the dual relationship of trust and HR control. Currently, he is launching a research project aiming at a more nuanced understanding of how “intelligent” technologies impact Performance Management Systems, for instance, what it means if a robot sets employees’ goals or if an algorithm incentivizes or punishes employees. His research interests lie in the areas of "SMART Workplaces", new technologies in human resource management and leadership, digital mindsets, trust in and between organizations, employee engagement, and motivation, as well as in the tradition of evidence-based management. In terms of research methodology, he is particularly attracted to creative research methods that have received little attention in management research to date, including mixed-methods designs, field experiments, Boolean algebra, as well as design thinking, and inventive engineering approaches.

Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel: University of St.Gallen (FAA-HSG)
Antoinette Weibel is a Trust- and Organization researcher and Full Professor for Human Resource Management at the University of St. Gallen. She is the Director of the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the University of St. Gallen (FAA-HSG) as well as President of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance. Antoinette Weibel is the outgoing President of the First International Network on Trust Researchers (FINT). Her most recent research projects focus on how algorithms influence trust in the workplace and what companies can do when they are confronted with stakeholder distrust.

Dr. Lucia Görke: Nestlé
Lucia Görke currently works as a Senior Data Analyst and Employee Experience Lead at Nestlé in the People Analytics department. Previously, she completed her PhD at the Graduate School of Decision Sciences at the University of Konstanz and at NYU. Thematically, she worked on how autonomous teams show better performance compared to managed teams when using goal achievement strategies. During her PhD, Lucia also worked as a consultant for a Swiss financial services company. Prior to that, she held numerous roles at Allianz SE. When Lucia is not analyzing data at Nestlé, she is teaching at the University of St. Gallen and goes hiking in the mountains.

Gerhard Fehr: Fehr Advice
Gerhard Fehr is an applied behavioural economist, executive behavioural designer und CEO of Fehr Advice & Partners AG.

As an entrepreneur, he was the founder of one of the first business consultancies specializing in behavioural economics back in 2010. Over the last ten years, he and his team have made it the European market leader in behavioural design and experimentability. He is a personal advisor to many politicians, board members, CEOs and top managers in companies. His personal mission is «to enable companies and politics to experiment with plenty of inspiration»

His passion: #Experimentability #Behavioral Design #Leadership

Prof. Dr. Peter A. Gloor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Peter A. Gloor is a Research Scientist at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT where he leads a project exploring Collaborative Innovation Networks and Happiness.   He is also Founder and Chief Creative Officer of software company galaxyadvisors, and Honorary Professor at University of Cologne and Jilin University, Changchun, China. Earlier he was a partner with Deloitte and PwC, and a manager at UBS. He got his Ph.D in computer science from University of Zurich and was a Post-Doc at the MIT Lab for Computer Science. His most recent books are “Sociometrics and Human Relationships” and “Swarm Leadership and the Collective Mind”.

Prof. Dr. Isabelle Wildhaber: University of St.Gallen (FAA-HSG)
Isabelle Wildhaber, LL.M., is a Full Professor for Private and Business Law at the University of St. Gallen. She is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland and to the Bar in New York First Department, having worked for Swiss and American law firms in Basel, New York and Frankfurt a.M.

She has conducted research and published on the legal implications of artificial intelligence and robotics at the workplace, with a particular focus on Swiss law.

Dr. Boris Dzida: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Boris Dzida is a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and a member of the firm’s global Executive Committee. He is also the global head of the firm’s People & Reward practice group. His practice focuses on employee data protection and privacy, employment law in M&A transactions, and the restructuring and reorganisation of companies. He is also a lecturer at the University of Hamburg.

Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel (MCM-HSG)
Miriam is Professor for Communication Management at the University of St.Gallen and the founding publisher of "ada", a training platform to equip organizational change makers for the digital age. From 2014-2018 she was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine WirtschaftsWoche, Germany's weekly business publication. Before joining WirtschaftsWoche, Miriam was the Managing Director of the Institute for Media and Communication Management at the University of St.Gallen. Previously, Miriam spent four years in politics at the Office of the Premier of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, first as Undersecretary for Media and government spokeswoman, then as Undersecretary for Europe, International Affairs, and Media. Miriam is an award-winning speaker and a bestselling book author who has published prolifically on the development of the Internet, digital life and the future of journalism.

Léa Steinackerada
Léa Steinacker is an award-winning journalist, researcher, and entrepreneur. She is the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of "ada", a technology start-up for organizational development that equips workers for the future. Previously, Léa served as the Chief Innovation Officer of WirtschaftsWoche, Germany's leading business magazine, where she covered the future of work and socio-technological change. Prior to joining Handelsblatt Media Group, Léa worked with social justice NGOs in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader, one of Medium Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 journalists, and an Atlantik Bruecke Young Leader. In 2011, she was awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse Prize. Léa holds degrees from Princeton University, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and has defended her PhD dissertation at the University of St. Gallen on the social implications of artificially intelligent systems.

Dr. Anastasia Sapegina: University of St.Gallen (FAA-HSG)
Anastasia Sapegina, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Work and Employment Research at the University of St. Gallen (HSG).  She received her Ph.D. at the Chair of Human Resource Management at the University of St. Gallen. Anastasia’s research focuses on the dark side phenomena in organizations. It investigates the role of people management practices in inducing adverse employee outcomes in organizations (e.g., malicious envy, knowledge hiding, and employee “ill-being”). Anastasia is also a scientific project leader to a project on distrust in stakeholder networks at the Institute.

Further information


The program has been very insightful and time well spent: looking at people analytics from very different perspectives with a broad range of experts and an interesting group of participants has been inspiring and thought provoking.
Photo Philipp Heller
Philipp Heller
Head of Reward & People Analytics @ PwC Switzerland

Why HSG?

Executive education at the University of St.Gallen (HSG), one of Europe's leading business universities, provides you with an optimal preparation for the future. The University of St.Gallen is more than just an educational institution; it is a place of inspiration that stimulates you to think. You will acquire up-to-date knowledge that is of great practical relvance, and gain valuable insights. This will enable you to make an important contribution to social and economic progress and to your own personal development. "From insight to impact" is not just our message; it is a promise against which we can be measured. 

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