Employers and human resources departments acquire a variety of employee data. Regardless of an organization’s size or sophistication of its human resources information system (HRIS), at the Workforce Innovation Center, we often find companies are not optimizing that data to inform talent-related decisions. The result is misaligned investments in resources.
When organizations invest in an intentional data strategy focused on relevant employee data collection and analysis, they are positioned to make strategic pivots that fuel hiring, increase retention, and foster equity. At the Workforce Innovation Center, we believe in crafting solutions tailored to our client’s unique contexts and helping them use data to improve their workplaces.
When it comes to data strategy, there are three guiding principles that we bring to our client engagements:
- Disaggregated data
- Sustainable processes
- Layered analysis
A strong data strategy will go beyond reporting out basic employee data. It builds systems that enable the collection and disaggregation of data that in turn illuminate what strategies are leading to success or what might be at the root of persistent challenges.
When you disaggregate data, you can identify trends and articulate a hypothesis from which you either devise strategies to dig deeper or move into data-informed strategic shifts. This layered approach to collecting and analyzing data is the cornerstone of ensuring equitable decisions.
For example, when you can disaggregate retention data by level, department, tenure, and demographics, you can better understand what factors might be driving employee engagement. With one of our clients, we led them through a data discovery that uncovered that while the company was being hampered by high attrition, there was one department experiencing strong retention. With this insight, we were able to lead intentional focus groups to uncover why this department was seeing these results, and then chart a path to replicating those successful strategies in other departments.
While a robust data strategy requires intention, it also must be sustainable for those who manage it. We see first-hand that many HR teams are capacity-strapped, therefore we believe in embedding processes of data practice that flow with a typical business cadence. We do this with our clients by clarifying who will benefit from the data analysis and what are the most meaningful data points to examine. For example:
- The HR team likely benefits from a monthly data analysis to inform operational direction or pivots.
- A talent acquisition manager might look at data points related to source productivity or the applicant-to-hiring manager interview data to examine process improvements.
- The executive leadership team may seek data to ensure talent initiatives are progressing and remain in alignment with the overarching organizational goals.
Once a manageable process is defined for data collection and analysis, it’s important for the HR team to conduct analysis that produces meaningful, layered insights to continue fostering an equitable and inclusive culture.
Some examples of these might be:
- Instead of stopping at measuring turnover as a total organization, examine: Are there trends or disparities emerging at the job level or for specific departments?
- Instead of only looking at applicant or total hire diversity, ask: Do you see the same demographic representation at the applicant stage as you do in the final interview stage?
Putting Data-Informed Strategies into Practice
At the Workforce Innovation Center, we have partnered with clients to streamline their data collection and review efforts, unveiling insights into emerging and persistent trends. We offer clients researched practice recommendations and best practice strategies to utilize their data to bolster equity, culture, and engagement within their organizations, which ultimately fuels effective talent attraction and retention.
Connect with us to transform how your business uses its employee data to improve your workplace.
Workforce Innovation Center