Enterprise Employee Relations Leverage More Data

Data Screens

The enterprise approach to employee relations is shifting as more organizations leverage technology to manage their efforts and more ER specialists emerge.  

In its fourth annual benchmark study, employee relations platform provider HR Acuity said ER has become a “strategic force” as enterprises apply processes, data and technology to workplace issues.

Enterprises are using technology to make more sophisticated use of employee relations data. #HR #HRTech @hracuity Share on X

The research from 200 enterprises, with 5.5 million employees, found that 52% of ER teams now report to the CHRO or the head of HR. Also, 59% use required investigation processes and more actively share data with employees.

Increasingly, businesses are approaching employee relations as a specialty, the report said. While cases are usually assigned by line of business, an increasing number are made according to subject matter or type of case. Specifically, cases assigned by line of business declined 13 points  from 2018, to 30%, while those assigned by subject matter rose 12 points, to 19%, and those by type rose 7 points, to 15%.

The shift may be due to both increased specialization among ER professionals and an increased focus on neutrality. As the report points out, assignments by subject or type facilitates management of issues by neutral experts rather than people tied to a particular line of business.

Employee Relations Tools, Data

In terms of technology, many organizations still rely on general tools to track issues. The number primarily using dedicated ER platforms (41%) is roughly equal to those using spreadsheets or basic databases (40%), or those tapping their HRIS (39%). However, 64% say they make some use of an ER-focused system.

The great majority of ER teams, 92%, now track related data. In the last year, those teams showed an increased sophistication in how they approached it, the report found. More companies track areas such as employee history and time to conduct investigations, while notably fewer focused on items such as case aging. That, the report said, suggests that teams are focusing more on strategic questions—such as thoroughness and effectiveness—and less on nuts and bolts, like the speed of closing cases.

Interestingly, more ER teams say they report tracking data to Compliance, D&I staff and managers, in addition to HR and corporate leadership. This indicates two things, the report said: an increased recognition of ER data’s usefulness throughout the organization, and a growing use of data by ER to help collaborate across the company.

You can access the report here.

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