July 11th, 2022

What Data Should Inform Your HR Strategy?

Whether your small business has an HR team or just one person, you need the right data to help your HR be more proactive and strategic in the organization. 

But utilizing data to come up with an effective HR strategy can be challenging when you’re working with limited time and resources. What data should you really be looking at? Which of the current workforce trends impacting your business merit closer exploration? And how can you align your HR strategy with the larger objectives of the business?

We’ll take a look at two types of data that can reveal some of the most pressing people-based concerns in your organization. Using this data, you can inform and execute a solid HR strategy that helps you build an engaged, competent workforce and positions your business for growth. 

Data About the Employee Experience

One thing that became clear over the last two years is how much the employee experience matters — that is, employees’ observations and sentiments from the point they’re interviewed, hired, and onboarded to the point they eventually leave their job. Employers everywhere have had to take a hard look at their workplace policies, practices, and culture to determine how to become a more desirable and supportive place to work — or risk more disruption.

Knowing what your employees are experiencing in the workplace is key to making improvements, retaining top performers, and adding to your staff over time. That’s because the employee experience is impossible to separate from your organization’s larger goals. When you think about where your business is headed today, and the values you want to instill or strengthen in your organization, the answers can be found — at least in part — in your employees. 

The employee experience can be hard to quantify because it’s so subjective: what’s important or salient to some people may not be for others. That’s why, in this case, gathering qualitative data is best. 

You can begin by creating a place or system where employees can anonymously share feedback and thoughts about any aspects of the workplace that you want to better understand. 

For example, maybe you want to know how you can more effectively motivate or incentivize employees. Maybe there are workplace tools, services, or support systems they’d really appreciate that you haven’t considered before. Or you can leave it open-ended and let employees share whatever is on their minds — positive or negative. You can then synthesize your findings and see what rises to the top. 

You may see that part of your HR strategy needs to include more dedication to employee engagement, including:

  • Communicating and reinforcing your organization’s mission and values more strongly so that every employee feels connected to and invested in them
  • Improving performance management so employees clearly understand what’s expected of them, what they’re doing well, what they need to improve, and potential paths for promotion or advancement
  • Implementing new workplace tools or processes that make it easier for employees to do their jobs

There are many possibilities that can come out of your analysis. The point is, that the employee experience is critical to a successful business. Taking your employees seriously and incorporating their feedback into your HR strategy is instrumental in creating an organization where employees feel happy, engaged, and cared for.

Data About Employee Turnover

These days, many people are rethinking work and leaving their jobs. Employers can no longer be complacent about employee turnover. Instead, every small business has to get real about why employees may leave and find ways to address the problem.

Employees leave their jobs for a multitude of reasons — both voluntary and involuntary. Someone might get a job offer with better compensation or benefits. Someone else might realize they want a career that more closely aligns with their personal values. Still, others suffer from overwhelming stress and burnout, and quitting feels like a relief. And a certain percentage of employees are going to be fired for bad performance or other reasons every year. 

In other words, some amount of employee turnover is both normal and expected. But during a high-turnover period — such as the one we’re currently in — having a strategy for dealing with it is imperative.

Unlike employee experience data, employee turnover data is easier to quantify. 

You can track information such as

  •  Which employees are vacating which roles — and why
  • The average length of time it takes to recruit and hire to fill an empty position
  • The average length of time an employee stays at your business

From there, you can figure out the biggest causes of turnover — whether it’s compensation-based, related to a lack of training or development, the result of vague job descriptions, or some other reason. Gathering this type of information usually requires HR software that automates the collection and management of employee data. 

Once you have the numbers in front of you, you can see where your business may be falling short — either by not hiring fast enough to mitigate the effects of turnover when it does happen, or by being too slow to recognize and respond when employees are experiencing high levels of job dissatisfaction. Part of your HR strategy could include:

  • Optimizing your recruiting and hiring process, including revising your employee value proposition to help you attract stronger candidates
  • Beefing up employee training and development
  • Adding a perk or two to your existing benefits package that better meets the real-world needs of employees (e.g., child or elder care, financial education and planning, or a fitness stipend) 
  • Empowering managers to make quick decisions

As you’ll see, employee turnover data is closely related to employee experience data in that they both point toward where you can do a better job of helping employees succeed — from the newest to the most senior employee. 

An HR strategy that’s dedicated to employee success can go a long way toward improving overall employee satisfaction and ensuring your organization is providing competitive compensation and benefits that attract and retain talent.

Improve Your HR Strategy with Obsidian HR

The pressures and realities of today’s workforce are continually evolving — and it requires a responsive HR strategy backed by data to keep up with them.

When you work with an HR partner like Obsidian HR — with services and expertise in performance management, workforce and compensation planning, benefits selection and administration, HR policies and procedures, and employee training — you can put together the kind of HR strategy that will be most effective for your small business. Obsidian HR takes care of all the administrative aspects of HR so that you have time to focus on an HR strategy that drives business growth. 

To learn more about how Obsidian HR can help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your HR strategy, download the guide below.

Download Our Guide: Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Your HR

Download this guide to learn the HR staff you need to have a truly effective and successful HR strategy and what happens if your HR is only focused on tactical responsibilities.

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