Research* reveals almost half (48%) of HR professionals feel their involvement in strategy setting has increased over the last two years – but HR teams will need to invest more in employee data if they are to cement this strategic position, especially as current economic challenges push for stronger more data-driven strategies.
Using metrics to drive decision-making within the function and wider business has been an HR goal for some time, but access to clear, meaningful employee data is needed to achieve this.
The research found nearly six in 10 (57%) HR professionals believe their department does not gather enough data to measure the HR department’s performance, with insufficient information systems to store and process data (66%), a lack of time to gather and analyse data (63%), and issues with unreliable or unavailable data (38%) cited as the leading barriers.
Despite this, there has been a marked increase in data collection and analysis across the HR function – one in five (21%) professionals cite data and metrics as a top HR priority for 2023, meanwhile a third (32%) of departments have individuals with analytical skills and experience, up from 26% last year.
The leading areas HR collects data are absence management (92%), exit interview feedback (87%), and staff turnover (84%). These insights can help employers understand gaps in engagement and contribute towards strengthening retention strategies. Without access to such data, HR would struggle to quantify employee experience and identify areas that require their attention.
Bar Huberman, HR strategy & practice manager at XpertHR, comments: “The pandemic sparked a huge change in leadership mindset and prompted a shift in business strategy. People were placed at the heart of company policy, and the C-suite looked to HR for its support. The HR department answered the call and played an integral role during the pandemic, certainly earning its seat at the table. However, with the pandemic now in the rear-view-mirror, what does HR need to do to retain this spot?
“HR has a wealth of experience in leveraging human insights and is often at the centre of employee issues, so it is certainly well positioned to underpin this new-look, post-pandemic business strategy. This will be increasingly important as organisations consider how they will attract and retain talent in the post-COVID age, where employee experience is so important, and how they will meet the talent needs of the future, with advances in technology happening so rapidly.
“However, a lack of data access is holding HR back in cementing its role at a strategic level. In order to achieve this, businesses will need to do more to ensure HR has the tools to gather meaningful data, and then analyse it, to support decision-making and wider business strategy.”