4 Benchmarks and What They’ll Tell You About the Business

Article main image
Nov 21, 2017

Skilled talent is becoming harder to find. National unemployment is at a 16-year low of 4.1%. Companies are competing with one another to provide more flexible and generous benefits packages. And, 61% of the workforce is either actively or passively seeking new opportunities, according to the ADP Research Institute’s (ADPRI) study Fixing the Talent Management Disconnect.

So how do you keep your best people? One critical tool is benchmarking. This is nothing new for HR leaders or hiring managers, who have used benchmarking to ensure they are offering competitive wages. However, the power of benchmarking goes beyond salary comparisons.

Benchmarking brings insights that answer questions team leaders need to know, such as: Am I seeing higher turnover than similar companies? Am I offering the best benefits to keep my fresh, rockstar developers? Are people from my team absent too often?

Here are four benchmarks – other than salary — companies should measure, and why.

Where Do We Stand On Turnover?

Turnover is critical to the overall health of an organization. Looking closely at turnover can help employers identify how often, and from what teams, talent is leaving. By benchmarking turnover on a team-by-team basis, HR leaders can identify where the turnover is highest, and subsequently investigate how it might be remedied. It’s about understanding the reason: are the team leaders providing enough face-time with their employees? Are leaders investing in their employee’s professional growth? Identifying these issues can help HR leaders and managers implement appropriate strategies to help reduce turnover.

Are We Helping Our Employees Grow?

Although the majority of employees would be open to new job opportunities, many want growth to come from their current employer. ADPRI’s study found that 60% of current employees are looking for growth within their own companies. According to Gallup, that number jumps to 87% for millennials.

Providing a career development path for employees is key for talent retention. Comparing promotion rates against the industry standard can give leaders insight into whether their people are being promoted in line with the rest of the industry. If promotions are stagnant within a group, that should be an area of examination. Are team leaders unaware that employees are ready for the next step? Is it a talent issue? Are too many people being hired from the outside, rather than promoted from within?

Are There Potential Gender Pay Gaps?

Benchmarking can help to measure salary equity based on gender. This is an important workplace issue because diverse, well-represented, and equitable teams are vital for driving innovation. Benchmarking can help companies understand where potential pay gaps might exist — as well as how they compare to other companies in this area — so they can actively work to address any issues. Gender parity in leadership positions is also a metric that can be benchmarked against competitors to ensure your company is equitably representing women in leadership roles.

Is Absenteeism An Issue?

Absenteeism can be a sign that an associate might be at a higher flight risk. By benchmarking absenteeism against the industry, companies can identify if they’re associates are out of the office more often than they should be and work to identify what might be the cause of this issue. Is it a management issue? Is the employee no longer engaged?

Benchmarking is a helpful tool for employers to gauge the health of their organization and better manage their workforce. Sure, benchmarking can help companies keep their next great leaders by ensuring they are paid well. But as factors like culture, benefits and flexibility continue to become equally as important to employees as their salary, benchmarking can also serve as a sensing mechanism to help employers better understand the needs of their employees in order to attract and retain top talent.