A new report from the CIPD states that if people are an organisation’s greatest asset, then workforce data needs to clearly and consistently show the risks and opportunities associated with people.
However, according to an analysis of annual reports, the quality of workforce reporting in the FTSE 100 remains inadequate. For example, only one-third (33%) reported recruitment data, just 6% reported the cost of hiring contingent workers and a mere nine companies reported their ethnicity pay gap.
A company’s workforce is central to its long-term success. The provision of secure, safe, fulfilling and fairly-paid work should therefore be a priority for companies. Clear and relevant reporting on workforce matters is in the best interests of companies; this information is valued by investors, who recognise people matters as a key element of company strategy and view poor employment practices as a business risk. Disclosure of workforce data in corporate annual reports is also essential in enabling stakeholders such as workers, trade unions, customers, policy-makers and civil society organisations to hold companies to account on their employment practices.
To improve workforce reporting practices, organisations should:
- report equally on workers under all contract types, rather than just direct employees, to ensure that contingent workers are included
- build on the success of gender pay reporting and introduce mandatory ethnicity pay reporting to help tackle racial inequality and discrimination at work
- invest in information systems that allow HR to collect the right information, in the right way, at the right time, to facilitate effective disclosure
- provide data analytical training and development for people professionals to ensure they can interpret and act on what the data shows
- ensure workforce engagement mechanisms are designed to give voice to employees, rather than being a one-way form of communication
- ask HR leaders to facilitate discussions with internal and external stakeholders about the information that they would find useful, either for decision-making and/or reporting purposes.
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