Utilizing HR Data to Improve Workplace Culture


Various factors can influence company culture, and new norms can be introduced to employees anytime. As technology advances and becomes more common in today’s workplaces, organizations can specifically leverage HR data to optimize the overall employee experience and foster a strong company culture. With accurate data, HR professionals better understand who employees are and what they need and value. In turn, this can help organizations develop and foster a positive and authentic workplace culture.

HR data can improve company culture by providing valuable insights and informing strategic decisions. This article explores how to leverage HR data and achieve these goals.

Overview of HR Data

HR data refers to the organizational information and metrics collected and analyzed by HR professionals. It can include various types of data related to employee performance, engagement, demographics, skills, compensation and other relevant workplace aspects. HR data can be pulled from multiple sources, such as employee records, surveys, performance evaluations, attendance tracking systems, payroll and other HR software platforms. Here are some HR data examples:

  • Recruitment and hiring (e.g., candidate source, time to fill)
  • Employee demographics (e.g., age, gender, race and educational background)
  • Performance data (e.g., performance evaluations and key performance indicators)
  • Employee engagement (e.g., employee satisfaction, feedback and surveys)
  • Absenteeism and turnover (e.g., absences and voluntary or involuntary turnover rates)
  • Compensation and benefits (e.g., salaries, bonuses and benefits packages)
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (e.g., diversity representation, diversity training and employee resource group participation)
  • Employee feedback (e.g., employee complaints and resolution time)
  • Learning and development (e.g., training, certifications, skills assessments and professional development programs)
  • Succession planning (e.g., advancement potential, readiness for promotion and talent pipeline)

Keep in mind that employee feedback of any kind—formal and informal—also counts as HR data. For example, organizations may deploy surveys or focus groups on specific topics or initiatives to gain information and insight into how workplace efforts are being received and if they are successful. Department or team meetings may also produce helpful information for HR professionals. Ultimately, HR data can help shed light on specific areas within organizations that may need attention or intervention.

The Importance of HR Data

Data can help HR professionals better understand employees and what they want and need in the workplace. In turn, specific findings can help positively contribute to or influence overall company culture. Consider how HR data can support the following company culture components:

  • Hiring and onboarding are critical to how the employee-employer relationship begins. When done properly, the hiring process can be an excellent opportunity to make a positive first impression with candidates and new hires. Effective onboarding is essential because it can help employees stay with their organization in the short and long term. Measuring and analyzing onboarding data can arm HR professionals with the ability to consistently improve their processes. Onboarding data can reveal if new hires are efficiently and successfully integrated into the company and if there are opportunities for improvement.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) efforts are becoming popular in workplaces. However, employees may become discouraged if an organization touts diversity initiatives or makes statements that are not reflected in day-to-day interactions. When employees feel accepted, respected and valued, they will likely be happier in the workplace and remain with the organization for a longer tenure. For example, surveys or other types of data collection could help demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of DEIB efforts and uncover areas that should be addressed.
  • Paid time off (PTO) data that examines vacation and sick time can help shed light on how—or if—employees are using their benefits to recharge. PTO allows employees to have a healthy work-life balance, which can decrease burnout and improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
  • Learning and development initiatives are crucial to supporting and advancing employees’ careers. HR data can help track training, certifications and career pathing while highlighting opportunities for advancement.
  • Employee engagement is a crucial measurement of the health and effectiveness of a company’s culture. Employees who feel comfortable in the workplace are likely to be engaged in their jobs, teams and the company.
  • Employee turnover often results from dissatisfaction with their job or an organization. By conducting both stay and exit interviews, managers and leaders can gauge employee engagement and potentially uncover what further steps should be taken to improve the employee experience.

Company culture can be an organization’s best protection against losing employees—and offer a leg up on attracting new candidates. Remember that there is usually a gap between organizational leadership and what employees experience, so there’s a need to keep it aspirational but realistic. HR data can help validate the employee experience and provide benchmarks for employers to monitor and measure against.


By harnessing valuable insights from HR data, employers have the opportunity to significantly enhance several facets of the organization, which can drastically contribute to company culture. A great company culture attracts the best workers, improves employee performance and increases retention.

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