Front and center: That is where information about talent and organizational capabilities should be in an HC-centric organization. The right kind of human capital information is critical when it comes to decisions about strategic planning, organization design, and change management. But how can an organization determine what information it needs, and then get it to the right individuals? Most companies track the human capital basics: how many employees they have, what their benefit and wage costs are, and the demographic characteristics of the workforce (age, diversity, and so on). And some collect attitude survey data on engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. But when it comes to issues of talent development, talent utilization, organizational capabilities, and core competencies, the information systems in most companies are underdeveloped.
Savvy and engaged HR executives know this. Consider Table 1, which is based on data from HR executives in a hundred large corporations. It presents the results of a survey that looks at the effectiveness of corporate human capital information systems. The effectiveness ratings are consistently low. The lowest is perhaps the most important: systems that connect human capital practices to organizational performance. Only 9.1 percent say their systems are effective at providing data about this critical link.
All the answers to the questions about strategy are low, but one stands out: assessing and improving the human capital strategy of the company. This is one area where there is no excuse for not having effective systems.