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UK businesses are European leaders in people data

A lack of insights into HR and personnel costs leaves many European organisations challenged

UK organisations are better at gathering and using insights about their people compared to many of their peers in Europe. These are the findings of a survey conducted by HR and payroll specialist SD Worx across 1,382 companies in eight European countries looking at how well businesses are managing their HR operations.

Overall, a quarter (26%) of businesses in Europe confess they have little or no insight into their HR and personnel costs. In addition, three in ten (29%) are unable to monitor how well their people are performing, yet over a third (35%) of companies feel pressure to reduce HRM and personnel costs. By contrast, 80% of UK businesses say they do have access to this type of data.

Bottom of the list when it comes to monitoring HR and personnel cost data were France and Austria, where 44% and 41% respectively say they have little or no insight into this information.

The same is true when it comes to measuring business efficiency: a large number of organisations across Europe struggle to evaluate staff performance. Austria saw the greatest number of companies with little or no information into employee efficiency (41%), followed by over one-third of businesses in France (34%). Again, the UK was ahead of the game with three-quarters of firms questioned (77%) saying they have a good or a very good overview of their business efficiency.

The survey also examined which aspects of HR and personnel costs companies pay most attention to when it comes to analysing costs and performance. Across Europe, the results show that four-fifths (81%) closely monitor their employees' total salary costs, while 79% also look at the total personnel costs. The costs of social consultations, such as talks with trade unions, are only closely monitored by 51% of the companies surveyed.

Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Worx says: "The UK is setting an example for many businesses in Europe when it comes to having good insights into wage bills, HR costs, and business efficiency. Accurate monitoring of data is the foundation that businesses must have to get the most out of their people management and HR analytics. Improved access to data allows companies to gain better insights into their people and to fine-tune their policies if needed, so that the company can work in an improved way in the interests of both the employees and the employer.”

    About the survey

    In order to gain a better understanding of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on trade and industry in Europe, HR and payroll specialist SD Worx had a survey carried out by market research company Ipsos. The survey asked 1,382 employers in eight countries a series of multiple-choice questions about the effects of the pandemic on their company. The survey was held in the following countries (showing the number of surveyed companies in each): Belgium (140), Germany (201), France (220), Ireland (118), the Netherlands (209), Austria (128), the United Kingdom (233) and Switzerland (133). The survey included both smaller and larger companies across various industries. Based on these numbers, the results are 95% accurate.