Episode 31: What does better data offer the HR department?

THE HUMAN SOURCE — a podcast for tomorrow’s HR and Payroll professionals.

Does a specific department have high churn? Is an employee struggling to meet objectives? Are hybrid workers performing better?​

There are endless HR questions and endless ways to make a bigger impact, but one thing is needed: good data.

Data has the power to catalyse the effectiveness of your people management and create a happier and more engaged workforce.

In this podcast, Steph Kelly, Chief People Officer at IRIS Software Group and Jason Averbook, Senior Partner at Mercer and Author of ‘The Ultimate Guide to a Digital Workforce Experience’, explore how data can support strategic decisions and the role of AI in transforming operations.

Podcast overview:

How can the HR function re-image itself from a support function to a strategic powerhouse?

A decade ago, a global study conducted by Oxford Economics found that 24% of HR leaders worldwide occupied a ‘seat at the table’.

However, Oxford Economics’ 2022 data found that 52% of HR leaders now currently occupy those coveted seats.

HR has transitioned into debatably one of the most essential functions in any workplace’s structure.

As HR professionals, we know there are endless questions that need answering every day. For example, does a specific department have high churn? Is an employee struggling to meet objectives? Are hybrid workers performing better? The key thing needed to answer all these questions is good data.

Research from McKinsey shows 90% of professionals see analytics as a core component of HR strategy, but just 42% have a data-driven HR function.


The KPIs for HR leaders to report to the board and be measured on

Every business is different, so a blanket approach can’t be taken – your KPIs should reflect the wider business goal.

At IRIS our four key company goals include increasing our revenue, cloud revenue, Americas revenue and cash conversation.

In HR, we have metrics for things such as social purpose and the gender pay gap which ultimately support with attrition and the overall direction.


Why HR leaders struggle to use data effectively

HR is 1.6 times more effective in organisations with high data analytics maturity, according to McLean and Company’s HR Trends Report 2023.

Most (77%) HR leaders conduct basic data analyses that produce limited results, according to a recent SHRM study – this often results when HR only uses existing data to evaluate past events.

Actively surveying staff and implementing software with real-time data plays a huge role in overcoming historic data challenges.


Is the human touch lacking in HR?

It is key businesses understand where people need a digital touch and where a human touch is required. Many situations can be automated, but there will be scenarios which require a more delicate and personal approach.

According to Forbes, 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention.

Stephanie Kelly
Chief People Officer

Jason Averbook
Senior Partner at Mercer