Just under half (47%) of organisations collect data on employee health and wellbeing, and within this, only 26% review it regularly, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The CIPD surveyed 1,560 HR and business leaders for the report ‘Effective workforce reporting: Improving people data for business leaders’, which found that employee health and wellbeing was one of the top four challenges currently facing UK organisations, alongside labour shortages and wage inflation.
Employee health and wellbeing was a particular concern among employers in the healthcare (37%), education (38%) and public (29%) sectors.
The number of organisations collecting data on topics such as workforce diversity (46%) and recruitment and retention (46%) were similar to the figures for employee health and wellbeing. For diversity, only 24% reviewed the data regularly, but retention and recruitment data was reviewed more often, at 33%.
Some reasons cited for this gap between data gathering and review were the fact that the data did not provide the full picture (30%), and a lack of clarity on how it connected to organisational priorities (22%).
Katie Jacobs, stakeholder lead at the CIPD, said: “Given the rise in external reporting requirements, and current workforce challenges, it’s more important than ever to understand how organisations value and use people data to inform decisions. However, the gap between what’s being collected and what is being reviewed suggests there’s a way to go in translating people data into commercial impact and business outcomes. Another ‘dashboard’ isn’t going to be the answer.
“Reporting needs to be clear, timely and provide actionable insights beyond numbers to be effective. It will be important for people professionals to provide leaders with a strong narrative to indicate where workforce opportunities and risks lie, and how they can be best managed.”
Responding to the CIPD data, Pippa Andrews, director, corporate business, at Vitality UK, told Benefits Expert that the past decade has shown a clear and definite link between a healthy workforce and productivity and business success, meaning effective data use is in the best interests of organisations.
She added: “To understand whether a wellbeing programme is making a difference, a data-led approach is key. Business leaders need to start by measuring and gathering data on their workforce in order to truly understand which interventions will make a meaningful difference. After all, there is no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to addressing the specific needs of a business and its workforce.
“It’s something we offer for free to all businesses and organisations with Britain’s Healthiest Workplace – a survey that gives business leaders insight into their employee base, including lifestyle, physical and mental health.”