HR making commercial and data driven decisions where it counts.

HR making commercial and data driven decisions where it counts.

If you read yesterdays’ post, you will see we mentioned HR making decisions based on it being the ‘right’ thing to do and not being encumbered by policies and procedures. Let’s now contradict ourselves (slightly). A great HR person will consider all aspects and at the end of the day ultimately enable the business to make a commercial decision. Part of making a commercial decision is having data; data will show you patterns of behaviour, trends of examples, history and causal relationships. All of which enables an organisation to make a commercial decision.

Too often we see organisations wanting to terminate an employment and when we ask why we get told Jane has always been a problem when it comes to her attendance. ‘Let’s have a look at it then’ we say. Surprisingly, there is very little data to enable us to really get to the ‘why’. Had the data been there we could have seen that Jane is repeatedly late on alternate Mondays. We would have then asked the question, ‘what is the impact on the team and/or business if Jane doesn’t start work until 9.30 on a Monday?’. Maybe Jane is the first point of contact for clients, maybe she must be ‘present’ by 8.30am. Do we know why Jane is repeatedly late on a Monday? Does Jane understand the impact on the team and/or business with her lateness? It’s very hard to argue subjectively against data.

What about your high turnover of staff? Do you know when in their service they are leaving? Is it a particular team, function or location? Do you know why they are leaving? If you carry out exit surveys do you collate quantifiable data rather than comments? We see many exit surveys that ask lots of subjective questions such as ‘How did you feel about your workload?’ ‘What type of relationship did you have with your supervisor/ manager? These kinds of questions are not quantifiable, and we would even be so bold to say absolutely no use to you whatsoever!

Having the data enables constructive, objective discussions which will ultimately lead to an informed commercial based decision.


Hint: if you don’t have a HR system (HRIS) get one, it needn’t be massive and cumbersome. There are some good entry level systems out there that will automate your processes and give you quantifiable data. However, they are only as good as the data you put into it.

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