11 pieces of people data you should be tracking and reporting

We have access to more people data than ever before. But what data points should we be collecting, monitoring and analysing? Here are 11 great places to start that could help you make more impact with HR data.

Petru Tinca • 
11 pieces of people data you should be tracking and reporting

Modern HR Systems are now providing HR professionals with the capacity to easily track and report on a wide range of people-data points. Automation technology means that data insights can be produced often in an effortless and timely manner giving modern HR teams the capability to deliver true data-driven decision-making to the organisation. But, with so much information available, what people data should HR professionals be tracking? Given historical considerations and the unique post-pandemic conditions of hybrid-working, sector-specific burnout, and elevated employee disengagement, we’d suggest prioritising these 10 pieces of people data.

1. Employee mood

While people generally feel that working from home is better for their mental health, research shows that there are some negative mental health impacts: 59% of homeworkers said they feel more isolated from their colleagues and 56% found it harder to switch off. Given these stats, a very pertinent piece of people data to be tracking is employee mood. It’s a kind of technological form of pastoral care! JLL is an example of a company that tracks the mood of employees using the moodbeam wristband. How does it work? Users can share how they feel during the day by pushing the yellow button for good and the blue for bad. The people data is gathered anonymously and can be used to understand challenges and critical stress points within your hybrid team.

2. Pulse data

Like appraisals, the annual employee satisfaction survey is arguably dead, rendered irrelevant by a dynamic, rapidly changing world. Given the ongoing volatility of corporate and economic life, HR professionals can’t afford to wait one year to understand the sentiment of the workforce. That’s why firms must start gathering pulse data, using one of the many apps on the market today, (Culture Amp is one such example). A pulse survey is a short and regular set of questions sent to employees typically monthly to gather employees’ views on working conditions, communications, relationships, and current events. This provides the organisation with a constant stream of pertinent, real-time, actionable people data to manage HR operations in a more agile and sustainable way.

3. Performance data

Remote working has put a greater emphasis on more frequent, results-based performance assessments of employees. Ideally, performance data, be that related to productivity, profitability, or sales should be measured on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis as appropriate, using HR software that can automate the process. 

4. Attendance data

It’s an oldie but goodie, but levels of attendance can be a good indicator of employee well-being and engagement.  By compartmentalising this element of people data, you may find poor attendance associated with specific departments, locations or positions which may need to be addressed at a managerial level.  This data tracking and reporting process can be fully automated.

5. Employee turnover

With staff engagement levels at all-time lows post-pandemic, it’s more crucial now than ever to track employee churn data. This needs to be a far more tactical analysis than we have seen historically: The volatile job marketplace means that employee expectations are constantly evolving, and employers must now have an up-to-the-minute grasp of churn data by function, location, department job title, and age so they can respond with targeted and timely, corrective strategies.

6. Early staff turnover

This people data marker measures turnover in the first year and problems here can often indicate that there may be issues with the hiring, onboarding process or even with the employer brand messaging. With it being so hard to attract talent now, it’s vital that you build a resilient and sustainable hiring process.

7. Line manager performance/turnover

A recent survey showed that 56% of employees would turn down a 10% pay raise to stay with a great boss, which shows that good line management boosts staff retention, making it a crucial marker to track in the current climate.  By looking at the mood, performance, attendance, and turnover data of individual line managers you may be able to ascertain how good/bad they are at engaging and retaining staff and take corrective action as appropriate

8. Internal career mobility

A lack of career prospects is a key reason that people leave organizations according to Linked-in data. In the current climate, it’s vital that you track, report on, and encourage internal job and career mobility to boost staff retention.

9. Merit increases

Tracking merit increases (above inflation pay rises) is an excellent way to highlight career advancement and promotion activity a key marker of staff retention.

10. Flight-risk employees

Given the issues around burnout and staff retention, it would be prudent to track flight-risk employees. You could do this by looking at one or more people data markers and setting trigger thresholds, such as a low employee mood for 3 months, disengagement, poor attendance or slipping performance. Eventually, you’d have enough historical people data to be able to predict flight risks more reliably, giving you time to take corrective action.

11. Employee autonomy

Linked-in’s behavioural data shows that someone working at a company where they feel empowered was 34% more likely to stay for 3 years compared to someone having less influence and autonomy. This is therefore a very important piece of people data to be tracked. Employee autonomy can easily be tracked and monitored using some targeted questions in an employee pulse survey.

By tracking these pieces of people data, HR professionals will be able to engage in powerful data-driven decision-making and optimise the effectiveness of employees and teams in a complex, challenging and constantly changing business environment.