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​How to retain great talent #7: Be serious about people data

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author: Handle Recruitment
The People Experience - Handle Recruitment
This one could also be titled: ‘Listen to people’.

As a people professional, data is your way of listening to what employees are really  telling you about their experience at your company. And it is one of your smartest tools in being able to retain the people you want. But 70% of our People Experience community have said they don’t feel their people data is being used to its full potential. 

  • Why are people leaving?

This is maybe the most obvious use of data in retention. Work out the where’s, when’s and why’s of people leaving - and you can identify some focus areas for improvement. 

  • Are there certain departments that seem to consistently lose people at a higher rate?

They might naturally turn over for reasons outside of your control, but it also may be a structural or management issue to address. 

  • When are people leaving?

If you’ve got lots of people hitting a certain cap and then leaving, maybe you need to consider the mobility and development opportunities that are open to those people? 

  • Is it mostly managers leaving? 

They may be unequipped to deal with the extra requirements of employee wellbeing and success, and you may need to consider how they are supported. 

The real importance of identifying these potential problem areas is not to make quick judgements from the data alone, but to pinpoint the issues you need to focus on during exit interviews and employee pulse checks, so these can be as effective as possible in forming your people strategy. 

  • Why are your employees staying? 

This is just as important as working out why they are leaving. Before you engage in pulse checks, you need to define the purpose of your efforts, and ensure that after you’re ready to actually action some things. Nobody wants to give their thoughts for there to be no changes made afterwards! 

Pulse checks should stay short (so people actually do them), anonymous (again, so they’re done), and allow people to be really honest about the issues they are experiencing, as well as what is going well. For specific issues (financial wellbeing, burnout, etc), you may want to be sending out individual pulse checks alongside the more regular ones. 

  • What your data should be doing 

Data gathering should take place in recruitment, and during the time employees are with you, to determine engagement, learning needs and whether people think they are rewarded in the right way for their efforts. Don’t silo the data - it should be seen as a holistic process that encompasses the entire employee lifecycle. It’s your chance to get inside the heads of the people who work with you and make decisions that will benefit (and increase) their time at the company.

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