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Top Tips for Using Basic HR Data to Enhance Business Performance, Identify Trends, and Increase HR's Credibility & Develop a HR Dashboard

Updated: May 1

Now we are using HR data they are listening to us
Fact based HR data decision making


Whether you're just beginning to monitor and measure your business's performance in terms of human resources (HR) data or seeking to improve existing practices, understanding key HR data and trends is essential. Without a firm grasp of your organisation's current state, it's challenging to demonstrate HR's impact on the business, think strategically about areas of focus, or justify investments in new systems and optimised workflows. However, by utilising data as a monthly measure of your organisation's health, you can illuminate both strengths and areas for improvement. This data-driven approach can also significantly enhances the credibility of HR within your organisation and encourages fact-based discussions using data points. This will help to shine a light on the importance of HR and get individuals involved in topical discussions, both in terms of celebrating success and helping to drive forward performance.

This data can be incorporated into a simple HR Dashboard that tracks and records progress. HR statistics/data serve as vital indicators of organisational health and performance, offering insights into various aspects of workforce management. Here are some essential measures to consider incorporating into your HR Dashboard:

1. Turnover Rate:

The turnover rate measures the rate at which employees voluntarily leave an organisation over a specified period, normally on a 12-month rolling basis, typically expressed as a percentage. A high turnover rate may signal underlying issues such as poor morale, engagement, ineffective leadership, or outdated compensation strategies. Whilst a low turnover rate indicates a stable workforce, often associated with higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. Monitoring turnover rates enables businesses to identify areas for improvement in retention strategies and employee engagement initiatives.

High turnover rates may necessitate a business to identify why individuals are leaving, better exit interviews, promotions, learning and development opportunities to increase job satisfaction, compensation reviews, and initiatives to improve employee engagement.

2. Average Time to Hire:

The average time to hire reflects the duration it takes for a company to fill vacant positions, from posting the job opening to extending an offer to a candidate. Lengthy hiring processes can result in increased costs, productivity losses, and missed business opportunities. Streamlining recruitment processes and leveraging technology can expedite hiring timelines, ensuring timely access to talent and minimising disruptions to operations.

Long time-to-hire rates may require a reassessment of recruitment strategies, resource allocation, or the adoption of new technologies.

3. Sickness Absence Rate (Days Lost) & Sickness Absence Rate (Occasions):

Employee absenteeism due to illness can significantly impact productivity and operational efficiency. Tracking metrics such as sick days lost and the frequency of sickness absences provides insights into workforce health and well-being. High absence rates may indicate issues related to workplace safety, employee wellness programmes, or organisational culture. Proactive measures, such as promoting work-life balance and implementing flexible work arrangements, can mitigate absenteeism and promote employee wellness, contributing to overall business performance.

High absence rates may prompt the design of new sickness absence procedures and manager training on handling absences, including return-to-work interviews.

4. Number of Open Positions Left Unfilled Based on Employee Size:

Unfilled positions strain resources, impede workflow, and hinder organisational growth. Analysing the number of open positions relative to the workforce size provides insights into recruitment efficiency and talent acquisition strategies. Identifying bottlenecks in the hiring process and adjusting staffing projections can help attract qualified candidates and optimise recruitment campaigns.

Other useful measures include:

  • Employee engagement using an Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS).

  • Progression.

  • Gender diversity matrices.

  • FTE (headcount versus budget).

  • Learning and Development and Training spend.

  • Cost per hire.

What can I do with this data:

Check industry norms for your industry and agree your benchmark for your business and the future aspirations and consolidate this into a monthly dashboard that can be updated and discussed with the leadership team on a monthly basis. Utilising an HR Dashboard to measure business performance enables comparisons with industry standards and informs the development of HR strategies to address real issues.


In conclusion, even basic HR data and statistics are pivotal for evaluating and enhancing business performance, guiding strategic thinking, and driving improvements. Understanding the organisation's state empowers HR to adopt appropriate strategies and justify resource allocations effectively. By closely monitoring key metrics such as turnover rates, time to hire, absenteeism, and vacancy rates, organisations can proactively address challenges, optimise resources, and cultivate a productive workforce. Leveraging HR data enables data-driven decisions, fosters continuous improvement, and fuels sustainable success in today's competitive landscape. Implementing robust systems for tracking and analysing HR statistics provides valuable insights into workforce dynamics and facilitates meaningful organisational improvements.

If you would like any HR support on this topic, please reach out to Progressive HR Solutions via email or website .

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