The Do's and Don't's of Working with Employee Data

What is Employee Data?

Employee data is defined as all of the information a business holds regarding its employees. Employee data ranges from the employee records in a human resources office to various pieces of personal information inputted during employee surveys.

Although employee data is collected by virtually all departments, human resources is primarily responsible for establishing and maintaining a business's data privacy protocol.

The Importance of Employee Data

Employee data provides significant information about every employee at a business. Personal employee data can assist with optimizing a variety of business management processes, from employee relations to employee retention.

Properly utilizing employee data helps management professionals pinpoint workforce issues such as work life imbalances or insufficient employee development opportunities. Once these issues are identified, management can proactively undertake corrective actions to resolve them.

The Benefits of Using Employee Data

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Your employee data is an invaluable resource when formulating or updating business objectives and strategies. Employee data can additionally be utilized to make better, data driven business decisions.

Employee data produces a wealth of information about your company's most valuable asset- its human capital. When used correctly, employee data can optimize employee engagement levels and create a more ideal work life balance for your employees.

Employee surveys are a powerful source of employee data, including onboarding surveys, exit surveys, and pulse surveys. For example, employee data can be utilized to pinpoint where the employee onboarding process is not functioning as ideally as it could be.

With 40% of new hire employees leaving a role within the first 6 months, your business's onboarding survey data can majorly impact employee retention rates. Taking into consideration the high costs associated with frequent employee turnover, onboarding surveys can save businesses a lot of money long term.

Employee exit surveys also provide a wealth of transparent feedback for business professionals to use. Employees who are exiting a business can supply data on management shortcomings and other problem areas.

When business objectives, strategies, or policies are updated or revised, it is wise to execute a pulse survey relatively quickly in order to identify any potential issues, consider suggestions, and anticipate employee resistance to change.

The Value of Conscious Employee Data Usage

Anytime an individual provides their personal information to a business they are taking a significant risk. In fact, case studies reflect that 64% of Americans have experienced a personal data privacy breach.

To avoid your business contributing to that unfortunate statistic, aggressive data privacy best practices must be employed by your human resources team.

Employee Data Do's & Don't's

There are multiple employee data best practices available for your human resources team to consider. There are also various data privacy mistakes that your team should actively avoid commiting.

Common employee data do's and don't's include-

1. Departmental Collaboration

Company data privacy policies and procedures should be created and revised with input from all departments. Depending on your location and business operations, your business may even need to comply with the general data protection regulation which is widely considered the strictest privacy legislation in the world.

Key questions to ask include-

  • Where is employee personal data being stored?
  • How are we using employee personal information or customer data and why?
  • Who is provided employee records or employee data access?
  • Are we compliant with data protection regulation laws?
  • What data privacy techniques are we using currently?
  • What data protection measures can we incorporate?

2. Create an Ethics Code

Your company's data protection ethics code should reflect your business's cultural statement. For example, let's say your company focuses on providing its employees a great work life balance. Your human resources department may decide to use employee personal information to create innovative employee engagement opportunities while still practicing strict data privacy protocol.

Make sure every employee on staff is well informed about your employee data privacy policy. Using employee information unethically can have disastrous consequences on your entire company culture and bottom line.

3. Foster Communication

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Many human resources professionals wrongly assume that employees are not open to sharing their personal data and as a result, may inadvertently overly restrict data collecting and sharing. In fact, case studies show that only 4% of employees report they are unwilling to share personal data of any kind.

Encourage employee engagement while forming your general data security policies. Staff feedback can greatly assist with pinpointing any areas where your data protection policy can be improved.

Key Takeaways

  • Employee data includes all the information a company has about its employees.
  • An employee's personal data contains significant information about them that businesses can utilize to address workforce management issues ranging from employee engagement problems to employee work life imbalance.
  • Employee data should be used when creating and revising business strategies and objectives. Human resources should attempt to link your business's ethics code with your company's cultural statement.
  • Make sure to adhere to any applicable privacy laws such as the general data protection regulation legislation.
  • Although case studies show that 64% of Americans have experienced a personal data privacy breach, only 4% of employees are unwilling to share personal data of any kind.
  • Employee communication and transparency are foundational for employee data related policies and protocol.

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