First the world was shrinking. Now it’s gone transparent. 

Dating apps know what our “types” are. Websites know what we buy. Even our homes are becoming connected. 

But it’s not just data that’s readily available. Executive and corporate responsibility have been transformed as companies realise that it’s now almost impossible to bury bad news. Corporate compliance has become a hot topic. A leading supermarkets in Australia has been in and out of the media as it edged towards a total of 571 million Australian dollars in payroll under payments, with the current CEO predicting this figure to grow (and receive more negative media coverage) as the compliance review unfolds1

Today’s HR suite of software and services allow HR to play a vital role in managing an organisation’s reputation and ensuring that it remain competitive. 

As a minimum, HR needs to supply three reports

Gender pay by position — Job security for women was more vulnerable during the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, “women make up 39 percent of global employment but accounted for 54 percent of overall job losses.”2 Furthermore, the World Economic Forum’s The Gender Gap Report 2021 found “the COVID-19 pandemic has raised new barriers to building inclusive and prosperous economies and societies”3 and predicts that  it will take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide.4 Fair pay is coming under increasing scrutiny. Companies that fail to pay equal salaries are risking potentially costly and damaging equal pay claims and could find themselves unable to attract the best talent. Fairness and openness about pay is good for both employee engagement and productivity.

Payroll tax reports — managing taxes in any organisation can be complicated. Managing taxes in a multinational organisation can be extremely challenging as you try to keep up with different rates and rules per country. In order to minimise employment-related tax and payment compliance risks and help manage government tax services, organisations should be able to produce an on demand detailed report, broken down by period or type.

Employee cost-to-function — time and attendance solutions vary greatly. The best HR suite will enable you to take into account costs by salary, cost centre or project. It may include benchmark and targets, and it will provide all the data necessary to make clear and informed management decisions for rostering and scheduling of the workforce.

All news travels faster than ever

Even in an age when information is instant, the old adage that good news travels fast, bad news travels faster, still holds true. But false news travels fastest of all. USA Today recently reported on an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) study in which: “Scientists calculated that the average false story takes about 10 hours to reach 1,500 Twitter users, versus about 60 hours for the truth. On average, false information reaches 35 percent more people than true news.”5

Organisations need to have accurate and up-to-date information to hand. With modern HR software holding so much data, HR can be key to protecting an organisation’s reputation. Provided the relevant people have immediate access to the information they need, it’s possible that the HR department could be key in avoiding a costly court case or damage to share prices. 

What is "useful" data? 

Big data can help HR in many ways, from optimising the hiring process to gaining an understanding of growth opportunities, all the way through to increasing employee engagement. Many people tell us how valuable data is, but it’s easy to lose sight of what it really is. Raw data needs to be "cleaned" and maintained to reduce the accumulation of "dirty data", which refers to incorrect, inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent or duplicated data. Data becomes "dirty" in three main ways: user error (a typo or not completing all the information required), poor interdepartmental communication (your team is not clear on who has responsibility for data input and quality) and an inadequate data strategy (the value your data brings to your organisation). If not cleaned, dirty data may impact your data-led insights, resulting in incorrect beliefs and assumptions, poorly informed decisions and distrust in the analytics process.  

"Useful" data is extremely valuable. You can help to ensure your HR data is useful for all business units by having a single system of record. Limiting data sources and systems will help keep your data compete, accurate, up to date and streamline internal data capture processes.

Reports for growth

These three must-have reports could save your company, as HR is no longer a reactive business unit but a team who can provide data and information when called upon. HR is key to any organisation’s planning.

Human Capital Management (HCM) software can increase efficiency, help develop strategy and improve employee engagement. It provides the visibility you need to see when employees are overworked, or need upskilling, or should be rewarded. In order to increase transparency, your HR software should be easily accessible. Not just at the executive level, your employees should be able to log in easily from any device, so they can manage their own information, book holidays and find out about pensions and benefits. Security is actually easier to control than when you reduce interfaces and log-ins.

Bringing your data together helps you ensure real transparency. Transparency that doesn’t just mean that your organisation has no hidden agendas, but transparency that makes the information you need for reporting, for collaboration, and for clear strategy development and decision making, readily available. It’s not just about using transparency to mitigate risks, it’s about making you more efficient, more competitive and more people-focused.