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Excluding key workforce data masks people risks, warns CIPD

on Thursday, 02 August 2018.

Excluding key workforce data masks people risks, warns CIPD

Failure to capture and disclose key workforce data is keeping investors, employees and other parties in the dark on key business indicators, warned the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Research from the CIPD explored how workforce reporting has changed over the past five years and how transparent FTSE 100 firms are being about the risks and opportunities relating to the workforce.

The study, Hidden Figures: How workforce data is missing from corporate reports, highlighted the different types of data that are regularly reported in annual reports. The most commonly reported workforce issues were talent management, succession planning and employee turnover. However, only 12 per cent reported their perspectives on skills shortages and only 21 per cent highlighted skills gaps, this is despite many businesses expressing concerns over the issue.

“It’s positive to see that the quantity of workforce reporting is increasing, but there’s still a considerable challenge regarding the quality, consistency and transparency of data being reported,” said Edward Houghton, senior research adviser for Human Capital and Governance at the CIPD. “Organisations seem to focus their efforts on complying with legislation and governance codes and report on very little else voluntarily.”

The research also found issues that were increasingly reported between 2015 and 2017 were apprenticeships – with 64 per cent more reporting, employee wellbeing – up 76 per cent and entrepreneurship – up 28 per cent.

However, there was a decrease in levels of reporting between 2015 and 2017 in internships – down 32 per cent, flexibility – a 30 per cent drop, and employee engagement – down 21 per cent.

Houghton explained that without full transparency there’s a danger that businesses are painting an overly positive picture of their people and people risk.

“We need senior leaders to get comfortable with being more transparent about their workforce practices and we need investors and government to be demanding far more of these insights,” said Houghton.