HR Function

8 interesting HR facts and figures for 2021

reading figures

As we move deeper into the year 2021, I thought it would be nice to look at 8 of the most interesting HR facts and figures I’ve come across recently. These figures and statistics have helped me to build a better picture of HR in 2021, and each one has its own story to tell.

1.  Sickness absence is at its lowest since 1995


On the 3rd March 2021, the UK’s Office for National Statistics released data showing that sickness absence was resting at just 1.8%. This is the lowest it has been since 1995. Could this be a symptom of more people working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic?

2.  Highly engaged teams see a 41% absence reduction


Engagement specialists at Gallup claim that highly engaged business units realise a 41% reduction in absenteeism. These same units see a 17% increase in productivity, achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings, a 20% increase in sales, and achieve 21% greater profitability overall.

3.  A bad reputation makes hiring 10% more expensive


If you think it isn’t worth investing in a strong employer brand, then this article published by Harvard Business Review might convince you otherwise. You see, data pulled from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that employers with a bad reputation need to offer salaries that are at least 10% higher in order to fill a position. And that’s assuming candidates even consider you! The same data showed that half of all candidates outright refuse to consider a job at a company with a bad reputation!

4.  78% of employees stick around for opportunities


You might think that plenty of employees are happy stepping into a dead-end job. After all, not everybody has huge career ambitions – some people just want to pay their bills. But according to Mercer, that’s not quite the case. In fact, 78% of employees said that they would remain longer with their employer if they could see a career path ahead of them. And with the cost of replacing an employee standing at an average of £12,000, encouraging employees to stick around longer should definitely be part of your HR strategy.

5.  Burnout is responsible for nearly half of turnover


So, you want to increase retention and reduce turnover? A study by Kronos revealed that 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover. And while not all HR leaders reported such high levels of negative impact, a massive 95% of them still agreed that burnout does indeed affect employee retention.

6.  89% of HR leaders support ongoing peer feedback


That’s nearly 9 in 10 HR leaders, agreeing that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins have a positive impact on their organisation. But assuming the claim by SHRM is correct, how can you do more of this for your organisation? Well, you can start by exploring pulse surveys to track real-time sentiment of your workforce. And of course, you should consider a performance management software which offers 360 degree feedback, to help build that full picture from an employee’s peers.

7.  80% of small businesses use HR software


One study published by Capterra in November 2020 found that in the U.S., 80% of small businesses now use HR software – or plan to use it in the next one to two years. This is a massive shift in sentiment towards HR technology, and is one of the many HR facts and figures which shows that more organisations are now shunning the HR spreadsheets which stunt business growth.

8.  Inclusive teams perform 80% better


That’s right. According to Deloitte Australia, inclusive teams out-perform their peers by 80%. Which means that diversity is worth more than just satisfying a quota – it delivers better results, too. Some employers attempt to create more naturally diverse workforces by employing tactics such as “Blind CVs” to remove subconscious bias from within the recruitment system.

Want more HR insights like these?


The People HR blog is a leading source of HR information and insights, including deep dives into the kinds of HR facts and figures listed above. To make sure you never miss a beat, just scroll down and pop your email address into the box you see. I promise I’ll only ever email you about the stuff I post on this blog – and I’ll never add you to our other marketing lists or sell your details on.