Posted on January 18, 2013

Data Makes All the Difference: How Reporting Supports Your Decision Making

If you’re a business leader, you know you need every advantage you can get to compete in today’s economy. How can you control costs and maximize productivity, all while keeping your employees engaged and satisfied? Having reports you can easily access and analyze makes a big difference, giving you the information you need to make better business decisions.

How do I know what reports I need?

It can be difficult to know which reports are going to be most useful to you. When we looked at our clients' most commonly used reports (as shown in the chart above), we noticed some trends:

* Reports dealing with employee compensation (wages, overtime pay, bonuses, etc.) accounted for one third of the most commonly used reports.
* The top three reports were 401(k) reports, employee census data and deductions reports, all of which usually involve a third party such as a benefit broker or retirement benefits provider.

All of the above reports involve substantial dollar amounts and the number one cost of doing business for most companies: labor.

The cost of doing business

Labor costs can account for as much as 70 cents on every dollar spent by businesses. That’s why reports on employee compensation are so valuable: they can tell you a lot about where your money is going. They can also help you analyze trends and plan for annual wage increases and additional headcount as your company grows.

The cost of employee benefits, sometimes making up 15-25% of overall labor costs, are a significant expense as well. Benefits reports, such as a 401(k) report, usually need to be sent to a third party, so accuracy is a must. While there aren’t many rewards for doing them right, the risks of doing them wrong can be serious in terms of time-consuming corrections or even penalties.

Employee engagement

Another way reporting can make your job easier is giving you the data you need to better engage your employees. Consider the following:

* SHRM’s 2011 Satisfaction and Engagement Survey found that employee recognition, performance reviews and commitment to training and development are critical to employee motivation and morale.
* A recent Gallup poll found that 19% of Americans classified themselves as actively disengaged at work.
* A survey by the American Psychology Association found that 21% of Americans do not feel valued by their employers—half of that number plan to look elsewhere for jobs this year.

Obviously, engagement matters to employee retention and productivity. Employees who feel valued are likely to be more engaged and productive at work. Having easy access to reports on anniversary dates, training certifications and performance reviews give you the tools to engage your people. The result is a happier, more productive workforce.

Our intuitive, web-based reporting tool, Custom Web Reporting , gives you access to all the data you need to make decisions that affect your business. Learn more or schedule a demo today.

_Sources: SHRM 2011 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey, Business News Daily, Gallup Polls