SHRM annual conference.  HR needs better data.

SHRM annual conference – HR needs better data

The world’s biggest HR event, the SHRM annual conference, took place this week June 28-July 1, 2015. Sarah Payne, of Globoforce, listed the need for better data as her #1 takeaway from the conference:

HR needs better data. 61% of performance management data is more about the rater than the person being rated. Marcus Buckingham, Tuesday’s keynote speaker, said this results in bad data. While we all know that HR stands for human resources, he pointed out that LinkedIn often knows more about our people than we do. It’s time to invest in HR tools that give team leaders real-time, reliable insights on the productivity and engagement of their teams.”

Payne or Buckingham probably weren’t thinking about absence management when making their comments but the same rings true in this field, too. The team are often heard repeating the mantra “good absence management starts with good data”. In many organisations absence management is a reactive activity with management actions based on poor or no data. This results in personalities having a disproportionate impact on managers’ decisions: those who manage to fly under the radar could have much higher absence and no repercussions than a colleague who just rubs the boss the wrong way.

Having good data takes the emotion out of absence management. After all, absence management should be about facts: Has the employee been absent more than is acceptable? Is the employee frequently absent and therefore unable to complete their tasks on time? Is there a pattern of absence emerging that needs to be addressed? These questions can all be answered if proper absence data is collected about the dates and reasons for absence. The input doesn’t have to be complex but it is important that same information is collected about every absence and recorded in a timely manner. It is of little use to find out that someone has been absent for 8 weeks with stress 2 months after the event. It is also important that all employees are treated equally, regardless of how they get on with their direct line manager or, indeed, which line manager they happen to work for.

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About SHRM

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates.