A new report has found that many firms have very limited insight into a number of different key workforce issues because they do not collect the data they need.

The report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) entitled “Effective Workplace Reporting: Improving people data for business leaders” found that about half of the organisations they surveyed for the analysis did not collect data on recruitment and retention, workforce diversity, employee health and wellbeing, or training and development.

It also found a significant gap between data that the companies collected and the data that they actually reviewed. This, said the CIPD, indicated that too much information was being collected without really knowing why.

For instance, while 47 per cent of the organisations surveyed said that they collected information on wellbeing, only 26 per cent said this was reviewed regularly. Likewise, data related to culture/engagement was collected by 43 per cent of organisations, but only regularly reviewed by 29 per cent of leadership teams.

Almost half of respondents (46 per cent) said that their organisation collected information on employee diversity but, again, just under a quarter of business leaders (24 per cent) reported that they reviewed this data regularly. In terms of disciplinary/grievance case data, 34 per cent of organisations gathered this information, but only 17 per cent reviewed it regularly.

The survey also provides some indications of why some leaders are not satisfied with the information about people that they receive or how the impact of the data could be enhanced. The most commonly cited concerns were linked to lack of context or explanation for the information presented. In addition, concern was expressed about the limitations of the data with the result that leaders of the relevant organisations surveyed said that they never got the full picture.

The CIPD said that this could be because different areas of people management and development are connected and interdependent. For example, information on health and safety needs to include data on causes of absence, including work-related stress, as stress is linked to a higher risk of conflict, mistakes and accidents, and is an indicator of organisational culture.

The survey was conducted online between 22 August and 15 September 2022 by YouGov, commissioned by the CIPD. The total sample size was 1,560 (made up of 779 HR decision-makers and 781 senior decision-makers) and is representative of senior decision-makers and those in the HR profession in the UK.

To read the report in full, click here.