Workforce reporting is an important way of demonstrating good people practices to the stakeholders of organisations. But what does good workforce reporting look like? How should organisations report on important 'people risks' to their organisation? This analysis of UK FTSE 100 annual reports investigates how organisations report on their workforce, and explores ways by which reporting can improve. 

While these findings are based on the UK, the broader implications will be of relevance wherever you are based.

Our report, Hidden figures: how workforce data is missing from corporate reports, looks at the people risk and workforce reporting by UK FTSE 100 organisations. Workforce reporting helps organisations improve the quality of work individuals experience, and the extent to which they deliver benefits to individuals, organisations and wider society.

Our research shows that there are a number of things HR professionals can do to improve workforce reporting:

  • HR professionals should work closely with those compiling annual reports to ensure that people risks are clearly articulated and transparently reported with good quality data.
  • HR professionals should look to improve reporting on key areas of employee voice and help internal stakeholders to understand the importance of effective engagement with employees. This includes ensuring that evidence of employee voice activity is demonstrating in annual reports.
  • HR professionals should ensure that all major risks relating to the workforce (for example including cultural, health and well-being and D&I) are clearly measured and reported using the People Risk Reporting Framework. This should help to frame conversations with internal stakeholders about key risks playing out in their organisation. 

Report: Hidden figures: the missing data from corporate reports

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Executive summary: Hidden figures: the missing data from corporate reports

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Seven areas of people risk

Talent management

Risk associated with recruiting, retaining, developing and managing employees. May include: 

  • potential skills shortages and poor L&D practice 
  • lack of succession planning for key/senior roles
  • unfair or misaligned reward practices.

Health and safety

Risks associated with the health and safety of employees. May include:

  • unsafe working environment 
  • mental health and stress related to line management and/or workload.

Diversity and equality

Risks associated with low diversity and equality. May include: 

  • sexual harassment in the workplace  
  • bullying and harassment of staff
  • poor representation of diverse groups at senior levels.

Employee relations

Risk associated with employee-employer relationship. May include:

  • risk of industrial action
  • low engagement and morale
  • lack of employee voice in decisions relating to the workforce.

Business continuity

Risks associated with events which may prevent business-as-usual operations to occur. May include:

  • cybersecurity threat posed by disgruntled employees to workplace IT systems
  • loss of senior team due to unforeseen catastrophe.

Reputation risk

Risks associated with impact on business brand and reputation. May include:

  • high profile litigation against senior company officials
  • poor people management practices resulting in danger to customers and stakeholders.

Employee ethics

Risks associated to employee practice and behaviours in the workplace. May include:

  • risk of whistleblowing employees being 'outed' through poor HR practices and inappropriate behaviour by management.

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