HR reporting design: part 4 – The need for measurement

By this stage you hopefully have identified what information that you need to show that will help answer the key questions that you’re audience is likely to have.  At the top of the list will be information that is actionable, followed by that that is useful and finally interesting.

From the understanding of the user-need you’ll have identified the core data building-blocks that will enable you to construct the information.  Now you need to identify where the information is being collected and stored.

Most of what you have will be within HR information systems though fundamentally there is no reason why this needs to be the case.  As a general rule, the fewer systems that are generating the data the better.

If coming from multiple systems the data needs to be linked.  The two typical ways of linking the data is by employee (all the information about an employee can be linked) and by time, for time-series analysis

Typically when you’ve identified what data you have you’ll be able to show what has happened.  Only rarely will you have the data to show why it is happening.

To really understand why employees behave in the way that they do you need to understand their needs and expectations.  Whilst the information that you have can be coerced to show you how they behave it won’t tell you why they behaved this way.  To have a realistic chance of influencing this behaviour you need to understand the key drivers.

We believe the next big step in HR is applying techniques used to develop detailed understanding of customer insight to understanding employees.  To do this will require a linking of experience-related information with event based information.  HR needs to segment employees not just on the skill-group or hierarchical levels it currently does but on employee needs or employee behaviours.

Few companies at present have the information structures to enable managers to do this.  Linking the two data-types, especially at the individual-level will move organizations’ to a far greater understanding of what influences the behaviour of their workforces.

Typically the flow of information on a workforce/HR report needs to be:

  • What is happening? – looking at changes in a granular manner
  • Who does this concern? – developing and understanding segments, how they are mapped to the organization, probably the value (current and lifetime) of each segment
  • Why is this happening? – linking expectation and experience information to the segments.

Where data is being collected on expectations and opinions it is typically being linked to organization structure.  To move this form interesting or useful to actionable it needs to be linked to behaviours, and this data is likely to need measuring.

Next: part 5 – Putting it together

A little plug

Our LifecycleView product has been designed to capture information to enable HR to understand employees experiences at key stages in the employment lifecycle and therefore help explain why the observed changes are happening.  It includes needs-based segmentation data capture and analysis.