HR data round-up September 2012: Back to basics on performance management?

XpertHR’s HR data round-up for September 2012 looks in detail at data relating to performance management and performance management training. We also provide links to all the latest additions to XpertHR Benchmarking and present our regular round-up of the best HR data blog posts.

Time to get ‘back to basics’ on performance management processes?

A crisis in employee productivity levels means it’s time for employers to get “back to basics” on performance management. HR data can play a key role here. This is according to research from consultants PwC.

“European companies’ employee productivity levels are at a five year low,” says PwC.

It recommends a “back to basics” approach on performance management in order to combat this situation:

[M]any companies need to go back to basics and improve their performance management processes to ensure that people of all levels are delivering value. For many companies, this will mean implementing more vigorous performance management which really differentiates between higher and weaker performers and rewards them accordingly. This is where better use and interpretation of people data can make a huge difference to employee productivity.

Nine-tenths of employers say performance is a problem, XpertHR survey finds

New Benchmarking research from XpertHR looks in detail at the extent to which managing performance issues represent a concern for employers, and at the line manager training solutions employers are using to tackle underperformance.


Nine-tenths of employers surveyed by XpertHR say that individual underperformance is a problem for their organisation (see chart, above).

Underperformance issues are particularly acute at the largest organisations (those with 1,000-plus employees).

Across the whole economy, the two most common poor performance issues facing employers are those relating to capability and absence.

For public sector respondents, absence is the most widespread performance issue by far, cited by 87% of respondents. This compares with 60% in services and 44% of manufacturers.

Is performance management training for line managers falling short?

XpertHRBenchmarkingLineManagerUnderperformance.jpgLine managers play a critical role in managing performance (see chart, above).

Yet the survey suggests that line manager training in performance management could be falling short.

Performance management training for line managers “frequently fails to ensure the effective management of employee underperformance.” This is according to latest Benchmarking research from XpertHR.

The 2012 XpertHR Benchmarking survey of employers’ performance management training arrangements is based on responses from 170 organisations, with a combined workforce of 453,778 employees. Subscribers to XpertHR Benchmarking can drill down into the complete results data from this survey, and generate bespoke reports on how their organisation compares.

The survey reveals a mismatch in what employers identify as the priority for performance management training, and what is covered by the actual training provided:

Performance Management Training 2012

Access the complete results data from this XpertHR Benchmarking survey.

Latest additions to XpertHR Benchmarking

XpertHR Benchmarking – XpertHR’s unique interactive HR benchmarking data resource – keeps growing!

We’ve added a number of major HR benchmarking datasets to XpertHR Benchmarking, including the following:

Subscribers to XpertHR Benchmarking can drill down into the complete results data from each of these surveys – which cover all aspects of the work of HR professionals and employment practitioners – to generate bespoke reports on how their organisation compares.

The XpertHR Benchmarking data resource is growing all the time, with new survey datasets being added every month:

  • Click here to see the full range of more than 110 essential HR benchmarking datasets that are available to XpertHR Benchmarking subscribers.
  • Click here to take part in the latest XpertHR Benchmarking surveys, and to see a list of upcoming survey topics.

HR data blog post round-up: September 2012

Here’s our latest monthly pick of top blog posts on HR data issues from XpertHR’s blogs and other blogs:

  • Jason Averbook: Big Data, Social Business and The Future of HR

    A brilliant post from Jason Averbook, looking at what big data could mean for HR. Jason says that HR needs to “realize that the data that we analyze into the future will probably not be only the data stored by our old or new HRMS (that stands for Human Resource Management System for those who don’t live in the HR circle), but the interactions between employees, contractors, future employees, customers, partners and prospective customers.”

  • We’re solving the pay gap – the wrong way

    More than four decades on from the introduction of the Equal Pay Act 1970, slow progress is being made in closing the UK’s gender pay gap. But much of what progress that is currently being made results from “male wages stagnating,” rather than an improvement in wages paid to women. So argues Gavin Kelly in this fascinating (if also rather depressing) piece of data analysis from the New Statesman. Gavin says: “The progress made on the pay gap over recent years has resulted from female wages climbing slowly while the typical man’s pay has flat-lined. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.”

  • What ratio shows the real added value of an HR function?

    “Why don’t HR professionals spend more of their time trying to improve the organisation?” A great post from my colleague Noel O’Reilly, exploring why “HR practitioners in reality spend the smallest proportion of their time on that ‘strategic’ stuff.”

  • A minimum income standard for the UK in 2012

    Ever get the feeling your monthly pay packet just isn’t stretching as far as it used to? You are not alone in this,  research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests. The report says: “Soaring childcare and transport costs plus cuts to tax credits mean families need to earn a third more post-recession to make ends meet.” For example, the report finds that “A single person in the UK needs to earn at least £16,400 a year before tax in 2012, to afford a minimum acceptable standard of living,” while “two parents need to earn at least £18,400 each to support themselves and two children.”

  • Data Analytics: Too Sophisticated For HR?

    Top US HR blogger China Gorman poses a key question here: Is HR up to the task of making effective use of data analytics? China says: “Stepping up your workforce analytics sophistication could be a game changer for your organization.”

  • Making the Most of Your Turnover Data

    “HR professionals should strive to be less general and more predictive when it comes to turnover,” argues Cathy Martin in this thought-provoking post from her Profitability Through Human Capital blog.

  • Killing Time: How to Destroy Your Productivity

    A very enjoyable and very true infographic, from Marketo.

    About XpertHR’s HR data round-up

    XpertHR’s round-up of HR data for September 2012 is the latest instalment in an ongoing monthly series, highlighting latest HR data releases from XpertHR and other sources, alongside links to news stories and blog posts of direct or indirect relevance to issues around using HR data.

    If there are any HR-related data measures you would like to see covered in future XpertHR data round-ups, or if there are any surveys or HR data blog posts that you would like to see highlighted, please do get in touch. You can submit comments via the box below, or contact me directly via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

    XpertHR data round-up archive

    Catch up with all the posts in XpertHR’s data round-up series!

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