The idea of human capital data transparency or sharing people analytic data openly with the workforce has been on the rise, especially in the area of sharing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Historically, people, analytic data was reviewed by Human Resources and shared with leadership but was not usually available for open consumption across the workforce. As the workforce (and the world) gets more interested in how companies are faring through a workforce demographics and DEI lens there is a need to increase data transparency for the internal workforce, external clients, and potential candidates.
Companies should develop a focused people analytics plan to assess and disseminate their workforce data that is designed to keep individual personnel data confidential while sharing valuable insights through percentages, comparisons, and trends. When developing the people analytics plan companies should focus on areas that are of interest to the workforce and will also help leaders identify and support potential barriers or inequities across groups. A good starting point is to look at the company holistically and by demographic groups (race, gender, age, disability) across the human capital life cycle (e.g., hiring, leadership position, promotions, attrition).
Increasing data transparency is important on many fronts. It has been shown to increase employee engagement and build trust with the company. Data transparency provides an opportunity to bring everyone onto the same page with the same level of understanding as it pertains to the health of each workforce demographic. Having a level playing field of knowledge across the company supports better decision-making in working to improve disparities across groups.
Here are a few options for getting people analytics into the hands of your workforce to improve data transparency:
Infographics are a quick and easy way to share demographic data with your workforce. They can provide a high-level look at a particular demographic across the human capital lifecycle or focus on one area (e.g., hiring) across multiple demographics.
Develop a Dashboard
Dashboards can provide an interactive place for your workforce and leadership to explore demographic data across the human capital lifecycle and filter the data to see the content that is most interesting to them. Additionally, dashboards provide the opportunity to have a lot of valuable information in one place.
Embark on a Data Roadshow
Every company has team meetings, quarterly meetings, or annual meetings. These are great opportunities to brief the workforce on the “Demographic State” of the workforce. There are a few bonuses to going and sharing the information personally with the workforce; 1) not everyone is going to take the time to looks at an infographic or dashboard, but in a meeting, you may have a chance to catch their undivided attention and 2) there is an opportunity for a real discussion around the data and what it means for the organization.
To help improve data transparency, companies should develop a communication plan to support the dissemination of people analytics and getting the data into the hands of the workforce.
Joy Papini, PhD, is the President of CIDIS LLC, a Management Consulting firm located in Reston, VA. For more information please visit www.CIDISConsulting.com.