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Unveiling the Metrics: Insights from the Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study

Jun 25, 2024
Deb Muller

As organizations evolve, so too must their approaches to managing and understanding their workforce. In the Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study, it’s clear that employee relations (ER) metrics are our guiding light for trends and informing strategic decisions.

Here, I’ll dive into some of the ER metrics organizations are analyzing, how data is used to inform business decisions and why it’s important to share insights across the business, including HR and the C-suite.

If you missed our previous Benchmark blogs, you can catch up here and here.

Key Metrics Organizations Are Analyzing

Metrics are crucial for gauging the effectiveness of your employee relations practices. To truly succeed, you need a clear picture of the issues at hand and how often they occur. Most ER teams have the ability to determine this, with 79% of them analyzing core metrics such as issue type and issues by location or by department/function and issue disposition.

But it’s not just about understanding the issues within your workplace; you also need to make sure you’re responding appropriately. This year’s Study showed that about three-quarters of organizations prioritize analyzing issue disposition, time to initial response and time to close. Looking at how long it takes to respond to an issue is crucial—it can help you mediate any lags in the process to ensure you are stepping in as quickly as possible. Looking at time to close also provides insight into issue complexity and helps identify areas in need of process improvements.

Understanding the volume of issues and how effectively they are addressed is critical for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. But let’s not stop there—we need to dig deeper. Trends over time, analyzed by 58% of organizations, can reveal commonalities or hot spots so you can plan for proactive intervention. Looking at remedial action taken, analyzed by 60% of organizations, can be useful to determine whether the actions taken were effective at improving the situation. This kind of data-driven approach provides a comprehensive look at what’s going on within your ER team and business, so you can ultimately reduce business risk, improve and streamline practices and processes and enhance workplace culture.

Using Data to Guide Business Decisions

With a wealth of employee relations data at our fingertips, organizations can make more informed business decisions and proactively tackle workplace issues. Leveraging ER data means not only resolving current problems more effectively but also anticipating and preventing future ones. Let’s dive into the top three ER metrics being used to make more informed business decisions:

  • Identifying Training Needs: A significant 68% of organizations use ER metrics to pinpoint training requirements. This helps ensure procedures are followed diligently, leading to consistent and improved issue resolution. These metrics can also be used as a valuable tool to educate employees about policies or how to report issues and training managers about how to respond. By identifying areas where additional training is necessary, organizations can improve and streamline their responses to workplace challenges.
  • Developing Data-Driven Insights: 67% of organizations harness ER metrics to help them stay ahead of challenges and create proactive initiatives. By analyzing trends and patterns in employee relations data, organizations can identify emerging issues early on and implement measures to address them effectively, minimizing potential risks and disruptions.
  • Creating Better Policies: Roughly half (54%) of organizations leverage ER metrics to evaluate and improve their employee relations policies. By aligning policies with insights gleaned from data analysis, organizations can promote fairness, transparency and inclusivity, thereby enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement.

These insights are just a glimpse into the transformative power data holds in employee relations. ER metrics are a treasure trove of information that can guide smarter, more informed business decisions. By leveraging this data, you can proactively address issues and ultimately drive your organization forward.

Keeping HR and the C-Suite Informed

Sharing employee relations data provides HR and the executive team with a solid grasp of what’s happening across the organization, allowing them to assess the overall health of company culture and get a pulse of employee issues. Providing this level of insight to leadership is crucial in advocating for investments in ER programs and resources and driving process improvements.

So, which ER metrics are typically reported to leadership? Roughly half of organizations share issue disposition (56%), trends over time (54%) and issue volume or category (53%) with senior leadership. These are all core, common metric categories that provide insights into the state of the organization—how well it’s delivering on its mission and values. This data also paints a picture to inform business decisions that are needed.

Also, about 2/5 of organizations go a step further by sharing data with leadership related to case complexity and analyzing equitable treatment of employees based on demographics. This information is incredibly valuable, as they look at the intricacies of individual cases and identify whether there are disparities in how employees from different demographic groups are treated.

In contrast, HR receives a more detailed, broad range of metrics. A substantial 80% of organizations share trends over time and 78% report issue volume or category with their HR teams. Additionally, 68% of organizations report issue disposition and 71% share remedial actions taken. This comprehensive reporting ensures that HR teams are well-equipped to understand the dynamics of employee relations and can take timely, informed actions to address any concerns.

Case complexity, reported to HR by 64% of organizations, along with quantitative and qualitative feedback reported by 76%, enables HR to tailor interventions, ensuring a strategic and responsive approach to employee relations. By honing in on both the complexity of cases and the feedback from employees, HR can craft a comprehensive strategy that truly meets the needs of the workforce.

The takeaway is clear: leverage your data to tell a compelling story to your executive leadership and HR team. Use the metrics to highlight successes, identify areas for improvement and advocate for the resources needed to drive change. This approach raises the ER function to the level of a strategic business partner, enabling contributions that directly influence an organization’s most valuable asset – its employees.

To take a closer look at these insights and explore how your organization can benefit from advanced employee relations analytics, download the full Eighth Annual Employee Relations Benchmark Study here.

Ready to see how HR Acuity can transform your employee relations strategy? Book a demo with us today and take the first step towards a more transparent, data-driven approach to employee relations.

Deb Muller
Deb Muller is the CEO of HR Acuity, employee relations case management and investigations software that combines documentation, process, and human expertise so organizations can meet the challenge of managing employee relations in the modern world.