Discusions online: people reporting

Here are some edited highlights from our online forum. For the full debates and to add your views, go to www.personneltoday.com/discussionforums

As an HR professional, I am keen to give my line managers and directors something to measure the success of my department. I want to be able to show them how the HR team has added value to the organisation. Has anyone got any ideas on this? I’m new to the company and HR is seen within the business as a cost centre that is mainly an admin function.

Answer 1: Set up a service agreement with the departments or outline your annual objectives and what you hope to achieve.

Answer 2: My department’s key performance indicators are: labour stability, hours lost due to absence, accident rate per employee, training hours per employee.

I’ve just moved into my new role with a legal partnership and am currently looking at HR management reporting for the organisation, and was after any tips or ideas anyone may have. The organisation is approximately 100-strong including 12 partners. In the past, I’ve reported on headcount and forecasting, sickness trends, etc, but was wondering what others reported on? I’m trying to avoid reporting for the sake of reporting, and looking for something that will be useful.

Answer 1: I work as the personnel analyst for a large manufacturing company – current headcount of around 3,800. I report on the following on a monthly basis: new starters/leavers, headcount and forecasting in general, labour turnover, attendance, forthcoming resourcing activities, general demographics (such as age profiles, length of service, gender profiles, etc), salary comparisons (such as averages for the same grade across certain functions, etc), and disciplinary activity. Our management team finds all of the above useful. Some are reported on a monthly basis and some quarterly.

Answer 2: I report on the following: perfect attendees, attendance, staff turnover, performance reviews conducted, progress on projects, budget adherence, vacancies, and candidates per vacancy.

Answer 3: Assuming that you are reporting on a monthly basis, I suggest a cover sheet with a brief bullet point commentary on key HR activity for that month. Do not necessarily have a format, as it can lose its impact. Have a fresh start each month. I think the data you mention – such as headcount, forecasting and sickness – should be attached as an appendix. Adopting this approach avoids the HR management report being seen as yet more data that no-one reads or understands.

Answer 4: With a relatively small number, you are completely right not to try to report for reporting’s sake. However, you could consider monitoring gender in relation to posts (including recruitment) and also grievance/disciplinary, on an annual basis. This would be to highlight any areas for potential discrimination claims. An equal pay audit is also worth thinking about.

Answer 5: I used to find that most HR reporting was only interesting to the participants if they had a particular problem with something. However, some of the interesting things to look at – not necessary each month – might be the length of time to fill a vacancy from requisition (if you use them) to start date. Also the cost of recruitment is quite interesting to look at – we are all being encouraged to reduce our costs. Age profile, average length of service, sex and ethnic background are all interesting to do every six months to a year.

Answer 6: We report on the following on a quarterly basis: turnover of staff, sickness, employees with over 12 months service (%), training per employee, training per sales revenue generated, highlights/lowlights in the department.

Petition the government right now!

The government’s Operating and Financial Review regulations are out for consultation until 28 February.

As they stand, the regulations have all but ignored the Accounting for People Taskforce requirements for organisations to measure and report on their people policies each year. If you believe that meaningful data on people policies should be included in annual company reports, then sign our petition, which Personnel Today will present to the Department for Trade and Industry. See the front pages of this week and last week’s issues for details.

Now is the time for the true value of HR to be recognised. Don’t delay – sign up at www.personneltoday.com

Go to www.personneltoday.com/27894.article  for more information on the draft Operating and Financial Review regulations

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