HR is becoming increasingly savvy about the benefits of well-managed data. But at the same time (or even as a direct result), HR information is becoming more complex as processes move online, teams record more about employees and further trends are identified which need analysing. A good HR data management process – one that gives HR, line managers, and senior management access to data at their fingertips – has become essential.
Data management will only ever be a means to an end. You can let your teams get bogged down in all the reporting and analysis in the world, but it’s what you do with the results that will make the difference to your organisation. When HR can use data to make policy and organisational changes, measure the success of these changes and report back to the Board, the department will finally get the recognition it deserves.
For many HR directors, discussions around HR’s presence on the board are nothing new. However, in light of the recession, this debate has become relevant once again – surely at a time of restructuring and potentially low morale, those people in the business in charge of people management should be reporting in at the highest level?
It might seem obvious to HR professionals, but they can still have a fight on their hands for recognition at board level. When money is tight, sales directors can show how they’ve boosted the pipeline. The procurement team can calculate how much they’ve saved by squeezing suppliers. What can HR do?
Through clear reporting and easy-to-use dashboards, the HR director can show how a review of benefits offered to employees has improved absence levels for example – which will have a very clear impact on the bottom line. Alternatively, identifying a positive trend in employee churn will help demonstrate what you’ve saved the business on the cost of recruiting new starters. In hard economic times, cost is everything and having the right data to hand at short notice to enable the organisation to make informed decisions about the workforce, can mean justifying HR’s existence at the highest levels of the company.
We might sometimes feel as though we are drowing in data, but used in the right way HR data can be hugely beneficial. If HR professionals have the right information at their fingertips, they can report clearly and succinctly to the Board, which in turn will help put into numbers the difference HR is making to the business.
Used intelligently, data can be used to predict potential issues at work and evaluate the success or failure of a particular project. It can help justify HR’s existence but it’s important to always remember the golden rule – ultimately, your HR data will only prove its value when it’s used to make positive changes.
For advice and guidance about getting the most out of your HR data, making improvements and tools for Data Analysis call NorthgateArinso on 0800 035 0545