Why HR analytics holds the key to evidence-based decision-making across the business

11 March 2021 - Reading time: 5 Minutes

International Payroll

Payroll & HR are the guardians of rich employee data. Successful organisations understand that access to this people data – presented as a single source of truth – facilitates evidence-based decision-making and stronger outcomes. It builds organisational resilience for the ‘never normal’ we are facing, optimising processes and managing risk whilst identifying viable initiatives. It also builds trust and transparency at all levels of seniority.

Whether for proactive reporting or in response to an event, procuring the right digital tools means you don’t need to be scientifically minded to extract and apply people data. This blog explores the insight a modern people solution can bring to the wider business, overcoming the limitations of legacy systems for confident, agile decision-making.

Challenges to effective HR analytics

Real-time, accurate workforce data is crucial for business maturity and growth but presents operational challenges. Organisations lacking an integrated HR analytics solution will encounter data errors, gaps, delays and duplication. In a recent study carried out by Circal on our behalf, only 30% of HR leaders interviewed said that it was easy to gather and provide the people data required to make sound decisions quickly. With the focus on reinventing HR to prioritise core competencies like employee experience, flexi work, smart talent management and adaptability, in-life HR teams have little time for laborious data management.

Modern solutions

The pandemic has highlighted the need to make sound decisions based on circumstances that change daily. From scheduling the workforce cost-effectively to managing health and safety, 74% of HR leaders said trusted people data was the key to enabling strategic decision-making during COVID-19. Today’s automated technology is more than capable of sophisticated people data analysis, removing complexity and human error. Cloud-hosted systems provide SMEs with affordable sustainable fit-for-purpose solutions with low CapEx, enabling them to think like a data scientist without being one! The right HR analytics solution amalgamates data from various sources, flagging anomalies or non-compliance. HR technology investment also boosts digital maturity and digital transformation for the whole business.

Leveraging people data for improved decision-making

Of course, it’s not how big your data is, but what you can do with it. Traditionally, HR analytics has used historical data rather than predictive intelligence to measure siloed business metrics such as attendance. For forward-thinking organisations, their HR focus has shifted to manage well-being, recruitment, succession, engagement and talent. 70% of employers found managing people’s health and wellbeing the prime challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak but leveraging data instead of guesswork is imperative.

In the war for talent, people data shows where to focus L&D. This reduces churn by investing in people’s career aspirations, rather than one-size-fits-all performance rewards, to build loyalty and a culture of transparency. Predictive techniques can show a potential candidate’s suitability for a role or likely attrition patterns, allowing a proactive approach to retain the best, diverse teams. By performing root cause analysis, business leaders can get to the bottom of recurring issues such as resignations, flight risk and the cost of absenteeism to make timely interceptions.

Workforce planning is optimised with accurate projected costs, mapping scenarios to find the best blend of buying, building and borrowing talent. In a crisis, you can quickly see how to adapt working patterns so that tasks continue uninterrupted whilst looking after workers’ well-being and safety. Employee communications and policies can then be managed empathically by HR teams. By measuring productivity and performance, organisations can see where people costs are spirraling, where they are being spent wisely, and where hiring practices need adopting. This may include onboarding more contingent workers with specialist skills or training internal candidates. Incorporating complexities such as personalised payroll, pensions and benefits helps pinpoint the best people for the task whilst staying compliant and within budget.

In terms of mental health and well-being, data from HR surveys or appraisals can be used to spot links between issues such as absenteeism levels and anxiety. This insight can be used to shape well-being policies and initiatives for a more productive and happier workforce.

Summary

Workforce insight today extends beyond the realm of HR. People management is one of the biggest challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and the key to handling it well is people data, say HR leaders.
Although 44% of HR leaders found their current systems made it difficult to gather people data and create reports, affordable cloud-hosted systems are available right now, bringing results even for small HR teams or those who outsource.

They remove the complexity of analytics without the need for specialist skills, enabling agile reporting and evidence-based decision-making.
Maintaining and acting upon the right people data allows organisations to navigate the future and be prepared for unprecedented disruption. It facilitates decision-making that not only boosts organisational resilience but also nurtures your greatest asset – your people.

Selecting the right technology for your organisation is key. Speak to us about smart data integration and start leveraging valuable insight for tomorrow’s decisions.

Reinventing HR.

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