So, you want to start producing useful insights that will help your business grow, but you don’t know what the best HR reports are, or where to start with them?
I asked a few experts, and today, we’re going to be exploring some of the best HR reports that could help you take meaningful action with your workforce metrics.
Three useful HR metrics to report on
Susan Hosage is a senior consultant, who has worked as an in-house HR professional in many different industries throughout her career. And she says that despite labour generally representing a company’s greatest expense, she is surprised at how little attention is actually paid to HR metrics.
“Data-based decision making will always be more predictive than anecdotal theories” she says, “yet many HR professionals fail to utilise even the standard reports that are available through almost every HRIS.”
Susan advises that you want to be producing reports such as:
- Employee turnover rate. Make sure to break this down by job title, location and department, as this will make it easier to identify where you may have the biggest problems, and why.
- Equity within job titles. Remember that according to equity theory, if employees feel unfairly paid compared to their peers, they will not be producing their best work.
- Excessive absence. This report should not just look at the individual absence patterns, but should look for trends such as which managers are failing to follow up on it
She also says that the best HR reports are those which turn over stones that you may not have previously thought to look beneath.
“You might have employees who are working part-time hours, but collecting full-time benefits” she explains. “Or how about managers who are permitting overtime when the sales and revenue don’t support it?”
Be careful how you report on certain metrics like age
Another metric that many experts agree is a good thing to report on, is the age make-up of your organisation. However, make sure that you are doing this for the right reasons – after all, age is one of the nine protected characteristics of discrimination.
“Reporting on age accomplishes a few things” says Nate Masterson, HR manager at Maple Holistics. “It helps to facilitate succession planning – retirement is a crucial factor for HR departments to keep track of. But it is also a useful too for tracking seniority and experience within your company.”
Of course, as well as avoiding discrimination in your reports, remember that there are also certain reports which some companies are required to produce by law. For example, companies of a certain size in the UK must now produce a Gender Pay Gap Report.
How to make HR data more compelling so people take notice
A little while ago, we looked at the three reasons HR reports get ignored. And one of the reasons we noted, was that HR sometimes fails to communicate information effectively. Or, in other words, HR reports are boring.
Here is a recap of the seven ingredients that will help you make your HR reports more compelling:
- Have a streamlined story. Don’t just include the numbers. Numbers on their own are boring, and very few people will actually absorb what the numbers are actually saying.
- Spell out the impact. Don’t let people reach their own conclusions – write a statement or two that says something explicit, such as “these turnover figures are affecting our business because the cost of re-hiring is draining our budget, which we could be spending on training and development of existing employees”
- Make it human. People respond better to stories with a human element.
- Visualise your numbers. Add a splash of colour, create infographics, use charts that are easy on the eye.
- Use visual language. Don’t be afraid to add graphics, pictures, photographs…
- Make it interactive. If your reports are being delivered digital, and it is possible… make them interactive! People will always enjoy something more if they can have a play around with it themselves.
- Use the element of surprise. If you deliver something that the reader is not expecting, you might have a better chance of holding their attention.
And you don’t need a marketing or design degree to complete the above steps, either.
Create explosive reports with People®
We recently introduced a custom report writer into our software, to help our customers deliver on some of the steps above. While many HR systems let customers generate queries, very few make it easy to do anything particularly exciting with that data.
In the video above, our product manager Sam talks about how our custom report writer lets you get creative with your HR data, to create colourful and creative graphs and charts that the rest of your business will love.
You can try this function free of charge, by taking a free trial today.