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People Operations professionals are tasked with many responsibilities. Talent acquisition. Onboarding. Company culture. Diversity and inclusion. Compensation. Benefits. Employee engagement. Performance management. Training and development. Employee retention. Offboarding.

HR reporting can help People Ops professionals prioritize which areas need the most attention, and track the progress made on each. This allows them to make more strategic, data-driven People decisions.

9 ways you can use HR reporting to build a more strategic People Ops function

  1. Turnover rate: Track your turnover rate over time to find patterns, identify potential issues, and plan for backfilling positions. For instance, you may find that your turnover rate increases after each of your quarterly bonus payouts, so perhaps you switch to monthly bonuses to spread out your turnover. Or you may find that a leadership change coincided with above-average turnover, so you know you need a smoother transition for the next leadership change. These insights can help you improve employee retention.
  2. 90-day turnover: Keep an eye on your 90-day turnover rate so you know when too many people are leaving before they reach full productivity. A high 90-day turnover can be indicative of issues with your recruitment or onboarding processes. Give candidates a realistic preview of the role and the company during the recruitment process, and allow them to self-select in or out. This can help you hire people who will stay. Then, fully support new hires in their first 90 days and beyond with a comprehensive onboarding process. Help them become fully acclimated to their new role, and assimilated to the company culture, so they feel comfortable during this key transition period.

  3. Demographic information: A diverse workforce is often more innovative, ensuring your company’s long-term success. It’s also more inclusive, ensuring your people feel comfortable at work, so they can be productive and engaged. Review workforce demographic information regularly so you can make strategic improvements toward diversity. If you learn that a specific department is largely homogenous, sit down with the manager to discuss areas for improvement. Perhaps you need to source passive candidates, undergo unconscious bias training, or ensure equal pay for equal work. Also look at demographic information by seniority to ensure diversity at every level of the organization. As leadership roles are increasingly more difficult to fill, look within your organization to develop and promote a diverse slate of high-potential employees.
  4. Turnover by demographic: Compare your overall turnover rate to your turnover rate by various demographics. If certain groups are higher, you probably have some diversity and inclusion work to do to improve retention. Utilize an employee survey or sit down with an employee resource group to learn where you have opportunities for improvement. For instance, women leaving at higher than average rates could be due to a lack of promotions, poor work-life balance, or lower compensation than their male peers. Pinpoint the causes of turnover by demographic group so you can learn how to retain them.
  5. Time off balance: Large amounts of accrued time off can be detrimental to your company. Employees need time off to ensure a good work-life balance and unwind. When they don’t take it, or aren’t permitted to take it, they can easily become burnt out and quit. In addition, many states require employers to pay an employee for unused vacation time, which can become costly. Track your time off balances and encourage your employees to use theirs. If time off balances are unusually high for a specific manager, you may need to have a conversation about the importance of work-life balance for employee productivity, engagement, and retention.
  6. Compensation history: Compensation is a top reason for employee turnover. Reviewing employee compensation history regularly can ensure that your company isn’t overlooking anyone for raises—especially your top performers. It can also help you monitor for pay equity over time so you can pinpoint any issues and take action toward inclusive compensation practices. For instance, you may find that your top performers aren’t actually your highest paid employees, because other employees are simply more aggressive about negotiating raises. Compensation history data can help you make needed salary adjustments.
  7. Promotion rate and job history: Career progression is another common reason employees quit. Track your promotion rate to ensure that employee development, internal recruitment, and succession planning are being done consistently. Drill down into your top performers’ job history to ensure they’re being promoted as appropriate. Career pathing and development plans should be done early in the employee lifecycle to help employees envision their future at your company. This ensures you can fill your future talent pipeline with strong internal talent to maintain a high promotion rate.
  8. Employee anniversaries: Work anniversaries can be a common time for employees to quit, as they feel they’ve put in their time, or as their stocks vest. Keep track of upcoming anniversaries so you can begin discussing promotions, raises, or stock refreshers. Celebrate anniversaries so employees feel appreciated and valued. This can help boost retention and engagement.
  9. Employee engagement rate: Engaged employees go above and beyond to meet their goals, making them more productive—and making your company more profitable. Employee engagement surveys can help you measure your engagement rate at a point in time. Consider quick Pulse surveys weekly or monthly, as well as longer semi-annual or annual engagement surveys to check engagement levels throughout the year. Track your engagement rate over time to identify and address issues. For instance, a low engagement rate around the time you conduct annual performance reviews could indicate a new process is needed. This is fairly common, and many companies are doing away with the annual review in favor of continuous performance management.

Final thoughts on HR reporting

In today’s competitive talent landscape, People Ops teams need to be more strategic in order to attract, engage, and retain employees. HR reporting helps People Ops professionals make data-driven decisions so they can focus resources where they will make the biggest impact. This can help you build the workforce your company needs to stay innovative and relevant.

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