Is employee relations data the window to organisational health?

Nicole Currie

Written By Will Symons - Analytics Team Manager

14th June 2023

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Employee relations (ER) data plays a crucial role in understanding various aspects of an organisation. Metrics like sickness absence, disciplinaries, and grievances provide valuable insights into potential challenges related to company culture, management capabilities, and training gaps. However, these insights are often overlooked due to inadequate tools for analysing data and extracting actionable trends.

Integrating key people metrics into employee engagement strategies enables organisations to proactively address concerns, align practices with employee needs, and create a positive workplace culture. Recognising the immense potential of ER data in identifying the root causes of employee engagement issues, HR departments must prioritise capturing this information in a manner that facilitates proactive action and decision-making.

This blog delves deeper into the importance of employee relations metrics and why organisations should leverage them effectively to drive positive employee engagement and improve organisational health.

Understanding people metrics

People metrics are quantitative and qualitative measurements used to assess various aspects of an organisation’s workforce. They contribute to strategic workforce planning, talent development, and organisational success.

In the context of employee relations, people metrics refer to specific data points and analytics gathered from ER case management systems and tools that provide insights into employee relations matters. These metrics are essential for understanding and improving the dynamics between employees and their workplace environment.

Many organisations encounter challenges with gaining valuable insights into ER data due to inadequate technology enablement, which makes it challenging to collect, analyse, and utilise this data effectively. Common issues include:

  1. Systems that are not fit-for purpose: Some organisations still rely on outdated or manual systems such as Excel or Google Docs for data collection and analysis, making it difficult to gather accurate and real-time people metrics. Relying on outdated processes prevents the use of predictive analysis to gain valuable insights from people metrics, resulting in delays, errors, and inefficiencies when tracking and analysing employee relations data.
  2. Lack of integration: In many cases, organisations struggle with disparate systems that don’t seamlessly integrate with each other. This fragmentation makes it difficult to obtain a holistic view of employee relations metrics and hinders the ability to spot trends and draw meaningful insights from the data.
  3. Data security and privacy concerns: Organisations may be concerned about data security and privacy when dealing with employee-relations data. This can create hesitancy in adopting new processes or technology, limiting the ability to improve data collection and analysis.
  4. Lack of direction: HR teams often possess the necessary skills required to use available technology or more advanced solutions, but they may lack access to the required data or clear processes and direction on how to utilise it effectively. It’s crucial to ensure that any analytics provisions are properly configured to align with the organisation’s specific objectives, processes and reporting requirements. Failing to do so may result in insufficient management information (MI) being generated.

To overcome these challenges, organisations need to prioritise technology investments and ensure they have systems that are fit for purpose. This may involve upgrading software and tools, integrating siloed HR systems, and providing training and resources to employees. By leveraging fit-for-purpose technology, organisations can enhance their ability to collect, analyse and utilise employee relations data to improve decision-making, reduce ER cases and improve case outcomes.

The right technology transforms employee relations management

An organisation’s ability to derive actionable insights from employee relations data is key to improving organisational health and addressing barriers to positive employee engagement. ER data can provide a unique lens on the challenges faced by employees and managers, helping to uncover the root cause of issues such as high absenteeism rates, or a high amount of conduct issues. By understanding more about these factors, HR can proactively address issues and build a more people-first culture.

Effective management of employee relations requires robust processes. However, organisations often lack workflows and systems that are dedicated to processing ER data in a way that surfaces actionable insights and improves employee experiences.

The traditional approach to obtaining employee relations data often involves manual analysis of data input into spreadsheets, help desk or ticketing systems, which comes with several limitations and drawbacks:

  • While spreadsheets can be useful for basic data management, they are typically prone to error and inconsistency
  • Spreadsheets are not comprehensive or as specialised as dedicated technology platforms that enable one source of truth
  • It can take a significant amount of time and effort to collect data from multiple sources, compile it, and ensure its accuracy.

To enhance efficiency in employee relations case management, it is crucial to implement a dedicated ER case management system that allows all involved parties to input and access up to date, accurate information in real-time.

Adopting technology that is tailored to employee relations procedures not only saves time and reduces errors, but also offers timely insights into crucial people metrics enabling effective management of employee relationships.

Organisations need to define objectives, responsibilities and accountability

The responsibility for inputting employee relations case management information can vary depending on the organisation’s structure and processes. However, typically it involves a collaboration between multiple parties, including managers, ER case advisers and HR Business Partners. The first step in ensuring that you capture the right data in the right way is to identify who manages ER data and how it is managed.

When choosing an employee relations technology solution, organisations will benefit most from a purpose-built solution that offers efficiency, data security, collaboration, advanced analytics, workflow automation, and compliance features tailored to the needs of managing the complexity of employee relations cases.

But most importantly, HR leaders need to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of those inputting ER data, ensuring the right resources and governance is in place to prevent cases from being mismanaged by anyone within the process. This is vital because the mismanagement of ER cases could result in legal ramifications.

Visualisation and actionable ER insights are vital for a modern workforce

Employee relations data extraction and visualisation can be a streamlined process with the right tools and techniques. By efficiently gathering relevant data from multiple sources and transforming it into meaningful visual representations, organisations can quickly identify patterns, trends, and issues that require action, leading to more informed decision-making.

This enables organisations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their workforce, uncover potential issues or areas for improvement, and take proactive measures to enhance employee satisfaction, productivity and overall success of the organisation.

To implement a data-driven approach with actionable ER insights, organisations can follow these steps:

  1. Define objectives
  2. Align system configuration with reporting objectives
  3. Identify relevant data sources
  4. Implement data collection mechanisms
  5. Ensure data quality and integrity
  6. Select appropriate visualisation tools
  7. Develop data-driven strategies
  8. Build in-house data analytics capabilities
  9. Communicate and act on insights
  10. Monitor and measure results against defined benchmarks.

Embracing a data-driven approach to managing employee relations matters enables organisations to gain valuable insights that lead to more effective and strategic actions, fostering a positive work environment that supports long-term growth.

Assess your organisations ability to derive insightful people metrics from ER case data

AdviserPlus are dedicated to assisting organisations in embracing data-driven decision-making and improving their overall management of employee relations.

Take our diagnostic assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of your ability to derive insightful people metrics from your employee relations case data.

Please contact us if you want to learn more about how we can support your organisation.

Introducing a revolutionary ER technology solution

empower® by AdviserPlus is uniquely designed to reduce the complexity and risk in the management of employee relations matters, because it empowers line managers to self-serve employee relations matters in a risk managed way, with guided journeys and safe-guards throughout the process, ensuring HR are engaged as and when required.

With a solution like this, fewer cases need to be escalated to HR, because they are dealt with effectively by the line manager. This means that talented HR teams can spend less time dealing with simple, tactical ER tasks, and will have the data and analytics to hand to be able to focus on complex issues and strategic initiatives. In addition to these functionalities, the system provides oversight of cases, offers dashboard visualisations of volumetrics and trends, and offers an unparalleled of analytical insight to inform decision-making. Click here to find out more.

“This is why I really like this system, because it’s self-service you can do a hell of a lot yourself and use a lot of templates that have already been pre-written for you without the worry of making mistakes. I have found it much quicker to deal with someone now.”​ – Virgin Atlantic





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