The CIPD is delighted to launch a report into the Effective Workforce Reporting today. The report reveals that organisations are unlikely to perform well in the long term unless decisions taken at board and executive management level are informed by an in-depth understanding of the value of their people. It also offers practical tips for HR professionals to consider when working on or with people data.

Key findings of the report include;

  • The importance of non-financial metrics to businesses has gradually increased in recent years and looks set to increase further
  • Recruitment, retention and pay are current priority people issues for business leaders, potentially crowding out other areas due to the external climate
  • Employee engagement surveys are the most common way of gathering employee voice (used by 58%), with other mechanisms like advisory boards less commonly used
  • People issues are most commonly discussed at main board level, although only 12% of boards discuss people matters every meeting
  • There exists a significant gap between the data that is collected and reviewed. Much more data is collected than reviewed by leaders across the business, suggesting the creation of an ‘industry’ around people data with value not always obvious
  • Dissatisfaction from leaders with the people data they receive is linked to lack of context and data being too narrow, with leaders not receiving a holistic picture of the impact the people information is having on business outcomes

Katie Jacobs, stakeholder lead for the CIPD, said: "Given the rise in external reporting requirements, and current workforce challenges, it’s more important than ever to understand how organisations value and use people data to inform decisions. However, the gap between what’s being collected and what is being reviewed suggests there’s a way to go in translating people data into commercial impact and business outcomes. Another 'dashboard' isn’t going to be the answer. Reporting needs to be clear, timely and provide actionable insights beyond numbers to be effective. It will be important for people professionals to provide leaders with a strong narrative to indicate where workforce opportunities and risks lie, and how they can be best managed."

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.