Busy HR professionals can face one of two challenges. First, they may struggle to find the data to gauge employee performance. Second, they may have an overwhelming amount of data. So much, in fact, that they can’t make sense of it all. Chances are, you’ve found yourself in one of these predicaments. But an HR dashboard can help you collect and interpret your data.

Read on to learn how.

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1. What Is an HR Dashboard?

2. How to Get the Most from an HR Dashboard

3. What to Avoid

What Is an HR Dashboard?

An HR dashboard displays a wide variety of employee-related metrics. These metrics can pertain to several key domains of HR:

  • Assisting with performance management
  • Conducting cost analysis of HR initiatives
  • Assessing and bolstering engagement
  • Improving recruitment
  • Increasing equity

Typically cloud-based, these dashboards bolster organizational decision-making. Using their clear metrics will help you gain buy-in for HR initiatives. You can easily generate reports on various issues. When presenting to leaders, these reports will support your points with solid evidence.

Hand pointing to HR dashboard print
Credit: Fauxels/Pexels

Consider that the most advanced HR departments use seven analytics tools. The best dashboards combine these tools into a single platform. Let’s examine several main categories that these metrics fall into. 

Use an HR Dashboard for Performance Management

An HR dashboard can be a valuable tool in performance management. Use it to track employee KPIs, showing where they’re excelling and struggling. Gauge progress toward objectives and key results (OKRs) and goals. A good dashboard will track the achievement of these tangible outcomes. Plus, you can examine progress at the individual, team, or organizational level.

Workplace engagement HR dashboard
Credit: Primalogik

Here are a few ways a dashboard can help with performance management:

  • Revealing employees’ strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Providing up-to-date reports on progress.
  • Demonstrating progress toward individual and team goals.
  • Showing where employees are using their time. (Are they prioritizing effectively?)
  • Identifying skills gaps so you can fill them. 
  • Determining whether training is paying off.
  • Pinpointing which team configurations may work best.
  • Illuminating factors that led to performance improvement.
  • Identifying the average time to productivity. (This means how long it takes a new hire to get up to speed.) 

Sophisticated HR dashboards provide analytics that shed light on topics like these. You can pinpoint when performance began to improve, for instance. Then, you can determine what factors influenced the change.

Plus, an HR dashboard can help you look into the future. Do employees have the skills your organization will need in the next five years? A good platform can help make this determination. 

Use an HR Dashboard for Employee Satisfaction

An HR dashboard can also track engagement and job satisfaction. Here are a few metrics it can provide on this topic:

  • Showing the benefits participation rate. Are you offering benefits that employees truly use?
  • Demonstrating whether turnover tends to occur at a particular career stage.
  • Tracking equity in pay and promotions.
  • Revealing whether engagement is rising or falling.
  • Showing the amount and quality of feedback from managers.

Illuminating your organization’s level of diversity can shine a light on satisfaction. Modules within the dashboard can track demographic data. They could show, for instance, the percentage of women who get promoted. For a large company, these tools can compare DEI across regions. If imbalances exist, you can presume that dissatisfaction does, too. 

Sophisticated analytics can help you get to the root of such issues. They can leverage various sources of data, like pulse surveys, to do so. For example, the dashboard could synthesize the results of pulse surveys on satisfaction. Over time, this reveals trends. Say these trends show employees are becoming more satisfied.

Then, you can determine what changes occurred just before satisfaction began rising. The dashboard’s metrics can help you easily spot these potential causes. You’ll then better understand how to continue increasing satisfaction.

Use an HR Dashboard for Recruitment

Further, an HR dashboard can reveal important recruitment-related metrics. For example:

  • How many candidates accept vs. turn down an offer? 
  • Do they share particular characteristics?
  • How diverse are your candidates? In what ways?
  • Which recruitment methods draw the most (or best) candidates?
  • What is the average time needed to fill a position?

Answering all of these questions can strengthen your recruitment. An HR dashboard can verify how equitable your process is, based on real results. And it can show where you need to improve efficiencies. By highlighting what works well, it can reveal how to find top talent.

These are three of the most important types of metrics a dashboard can provide. However, they’re certainly not the only three areas it can address. For instance, a dashboard can track HR costs and turnover expenses as well. Or it can reveal safety gaps and how to improve risk management.

How to Get the Most from an HR Dashboard

How you approach these tools will shape the results you get. We’ll first explore the importance of a strategic mindset. Then, we’ll dive into how to select the right dashboard. 

Adopting a Strategic Mindset

Solid metrics can inform your HR strategies. Data tells a story. First, it reveals a problem. Then, as you drill down, you learn its causes. 

“Take turnover. High is bad, low is good. But what story is it telling?” posits Jennifer Currence, president of OnCore Management Solutions. “Why is it high or low? Is it recruiting? Demographics? Who’s retiring? Is it high in just one department? Why? Is there not enough training there? If not, who’s the manager for training in that area? The initial metric gives you a start to digging down deep.”

Having an inquisitive mindset will help you notice issues quickly. Plus, it will shine a light on potential causes. Consider additional metrics that can illuminate why a problem is happening, as Currence says. A strategic mindset will also prepare you to resolve issues. Remember, the dashboard is a valuable toolkit, but the process begins and ends with you.

You are the mastermind who must strategically act on the data!

Selecting the Right HR Dashboard

How can you determine which HR dashboard to pick? Choose one that does all of the following:

  • Delivers insights on the areas you need to measure. Plan what you’ll use the dashboard for before you select your software. That will help you choose a tool that offers the metrics you need.
  • Creates clear, intuitive visuals. The dashboard should perform data analysis for you. Then, it should present information in user-friendly charts and graphs. You can use this information to make strategic choices. Plus, you can show visually appealing reports to leadership. 
  • Is customizable. You should be able to decide which modules you see and engage with. Some types of data may be more relevant on a daily basis. You might check others only occasionally.
  • Integrates with any other systems you use. In other words, it draws together insights from all of your data sources. By placing them under one umbrella, it can help you see the bigger picture. For instance, the dashboard may derive insights from payroll and benefits admin systems. That will help you assess things like pay equity and benefits usage.

Measures the ROI of your initiatives. A good dashboard will show whether your investments are paying off! By helping HR evaluate its own success, it will highlight areas for improvement.

Employee growth HR dashboard
Credit: Primalogik

A dashboard with all of these features will deliver maximum benefits. You’ll gain the info you need in an easily digestible format. This will benefit not only HR but employees and leaders as well!

What to Avoid

When using an HR dashboard, what should you steer clear of?

First, don’t try to measure everything under the sun. Instead, determine the most essential metrics to support your decision-making. Otherwise, you’ll get too bogged down by the volume of data to make use of it.

Second, don’t just look at lagging indicators. Instead, examine leading indicators of success, too. According to Gallup, most HR departments need to focus on leading indicators more.

What’s the difference? Lagging indicators are elements of past performance or actions. They show what an employee has already accomplished. Meanwhile, leading indicators include predictors of future success. For instance, completing training may indicate that an employee’s performance will improve. They can act as valuable predictors of outcomes.

And focusing on employees’ current efforts will also boost morale.

Third, remember that delivering the data is not the end goal. Leveraging the data to solve problems is the real goal, as SHRM asserts. When reporting metrics to leaders, have solutions in mind. Take on the role of a trusted consultant, voicing your recommendations.

Now you have a strong understanding of what an HR dashboard can do. You understand how it can shape performance management, recruitment, and engagement. As you act on the insights it delivers, you’ll enhance your success in all of these areas!

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