Presented by TriNet

Human Resources is a business’s vital operation and strategic ally. HR’s job is not only to onboard employees and manage employee lifecycle, but it should also keep a pulse on HR data.

HR data can provide small and medium size business (SMB) owners and decision makers with information that can provide actionable insights and help make informed decisions.

Marrying the human element of HR to data means your company gains visibility on key metrics. And because the holy grail of HR is developing and launching an agile, engaged, and happy workforce while maintaining cost efficiency, digital HR solutions are key.

With the right technology, HR managers and business decision makers gain essential data, line managers accomplish their goals more efficiently, and employees gain more control over their HR information, from vacation balance to payroll history. So, you not only make strategic HR decisions, but also better meet the day-to-day needs of your employees who can now work faster and smarter.

More than 97 percent of HR departments gather metrics — but 95.5 percent of HR professionals experience problems with both gathering and analyzing HR metrics, mainly due to data systems that are poorly integrated, and uncertainty over what to measure.

The goal of HR metrics

Measurement of key metrics gives HR and business leaders insight into employee performance. It enables them to understand top employee concerns and helps them proactively identify patterns.

HR metrics encompass a complex variety of factors, both easy to calculate, such as the number of time-off requests, and more general metrics like employee sentiment. And some of that complexity also comes from the fact that so many of these metrics are inextricably linked in myriad of ways.

The traditional method of human resources decision-making — an HR person’s instincts — is not defunct, but combining gut feeling with data significantly amps up your ability to know what’s really happening in your organization, and how to act on it.

How to gather the right data

To harness the power of data, stay on top of what is working within your organization and make informed, strategic decisions, you need a unified view of critical HR data that can be provided by a technology solution.

An HR technology solution is essential to capture HR analytics updated in real time, make it easy to keep an eye on how your teams are performing, and analyze your data to uncover what’s needed to drive your company forward.

Technology platforms and apps are emerging from both tech start-ups as well as full-service HR solution providers, such as TriNet.

“The freedom to manage HR on the go can help businesses attract and retain key employees, while operating in a more effective and efficient manner,” says TriNet Vice President Analytics David McMath. “And now, we’re meeting a challenge that SMBs have been grappling with — providing your employees 24/7 access to their valuable HR data on mobile devices.”

What is the benefit to this kind of technology? It provides both a high-level view for HR and other decision-makers along with a whole new way for employees to access their HR services and information, as well as communicate across the company, while on the go, anywhere, anytime.

On the data side, a tech platform like TriNet offers a top-down look at important metrics like leave accruals, compensation overview, turnover, and organizational growth by function, role, or location. You can access HR and business data easily, ideally with options to export reports.

On the people side, with the recently updated TriNet app, you can ensure both you and your employees can access payroll information, view benefits, and submit time-off requests from anywhere. It gives your employees the flexibility to manage their HR needs 24/7. Additionally, employees can access a company directory and communicate directly with their teams through the app — which can enhance employee engagement.

What should you be measuring?

The HR data you collect and the metrics you can monitor should be directly linked to your business goals, which are obviously as unique as your organization. Internally, you have metrics that measure the effectiveness of the human resources function, such as the success of training or meeting recruiting goals. Then there are the metrics that align with employee satisfaction goals, such as employee retention.

Once you’ve chosen the metrics that align with your business objectives, you need to choose the HR systems and infrastructure best suited to deliver the data, along with actionable insights from that data

HR data is one of your key assets. It’s essential to helping you be more strategic, allowing you to understand and predict patterns in the data, and be intentional in your HR decisions. It can be leveraged to make an impact on the company culture and optimize processes. But most importantly, HR data helps you understand your employees. Because, after all, employees drive your business.

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