Having useful HR data

Three key workforce reports that every business needs (and how to get them)

First the world was shrinking. Now it’s gone transparent.

We know what the president of the US is thinking because it’s there on Twitter. Websites know what we buy and what our hobbies are. Even our homes are becoming connected.

But it’s not just data that’s readily available. Executive and corporate responsibility have been transformed as companies realise that it’s now almost impossible to bury bad news. Corporate compliance has become a hot topic.

Today’s HR suite of software and services allow HR to play a vital role in managing an organisation’s reputation and ensuring it remains competitive.

As a minimum, HR needs to supply these three reports

Gender pay by position — the World Economic Forum’s The Gender Gap Report 2017 found “a stalling of progress at the global level”1 and predicts that it will take 217 years to close the economic gender gap globally.2 Fair pay is coming under increasing scrutiny. Companies who fail to pay equal salaries are risking potentially costly and damaging equal pay claims and could find themselves unable to attract the best talent. Fairness and openness about pay is good for both employee engagement and productivity.

Payroll tax reports — managing taxes in any organisation can be complicated. Managing taxes in a multinational organisation can be extremely challenging as you try to keep up with different rates and rules. In order to minimise employment-related tax and payment compliance risks and help manage government tax services, any organisation should be able to produce a detailed report, broken down by period or type, on demand.

Employee cost-to-functiontime and attendance solutions vary greatly. The best HR suite will allow you to cross-reference and break down relevant information, while enabling you to take into account costs beyond salary. It may include benchmark and targets, and it will provide all the data necessary to make clear and informed management decisions.

All news travels faster than ever

Even in an age when information is instant, the old adage that good news travels fast, bad news travels faster, still holds true. But false news travels fastest of all. USA Today recently reported on an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) study in which: “Scientists calculated that the average false story takes about 10 hours to reach 1,500 Twitter users, versus about 60 hours for the truth. On average, false information reaches 35 percent more people than true news.”3

Whether it’s fake news or just plain bad news, organisations must be ready to respond immediately to limit reputational damage. Wired.com reported on a recent attempt to harm Monsanto’s reputation by blaming them for birth defects in Brazil.4 Internationally respected newspapers and global celebrities were quick to repeat the story.

Organisations need to have accurate and up-to-date information to hand. With modern HR suite software holding so much data, HR can be key to protecting an organisation’s reputation. Provided the relevant people have immediate access to the information they need, it’s possible that the HR department could be key in avoiding a costly court case or damage to share prices.

What is ‘useful’ data?

So many people tell us how valuable data is, that it’s easy to lose sight of what it really is. Raw data needs to be ‘cleaned’ - that is, inaccurate, incomplete and irrelevant information needs to be corrected or removed. Otherwise, any analysis based on this data will be incorrect.

‘Useful’ data is extremely valuable. You can help to ensure your data is useful by having a single system of record. This will help keep your data compete, accurate and up to date.

Reports for growth

The three must-have reports could save your company, but the future of HR isn’t just to be reactive and provide information when called upon. HR is becoming key to any organisation’s planning.

Human Capital Management (HCM) software can increase efficiency, help develop strategy and improve employee engagement. It provides the visibility you need to see when employees are overworked, or need upskilling, or should be rewarded. As reported by the Society for Human Resource Management, Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman says, “The data from transparency can be accessed, evaluated and applied to better understand the sentiments of the workforce, learn from ongoing feedback and improve recruiting, retention, and skill and career development.”5

In order to increase transparency, your HR suite should be easily accessible. Not just on a strategic level, but individual employees should be able to log in easily from any device, so it’s easier for them to manage their own information, and to book holidays and find out about pensions and benefits. Security is actually easier to control than when there are multiple interfaces and log-ins.

Bringing your data together helps you ensure real transparency. Transparency that doesn’t just mean that your organisation has no hidden agendas, but transparency that makes the information you need for reporting, for collaboration, and for clear strategy development and decision making, readily available. It’s not just about using transparency to mitigate risks, it’s about making you more efficient, more competitive and more people-focussed.

  1. https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2017
  2. https://www.weforum.org/projects/closing-the-gender-gap-gender-parity-task-forces
  3. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/03/09/false-stories-travel-way-faster-twitter-than-true-ones-do-study-finds/409872002/4
  4. https://www.wired.com/2016/02/zika-conspiracy-theories/
  5. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/transparency-future-hr-glassdoor.aspx