HR Tech

HR Dashboards: Examples and Best Practices

October 26, 2021
March 8, 2024
Lattice Team

Human Resources, like most jobs, is becoming increasingly data-driven. Using people management software, HR teams can monitor, manage, and evaluate employee data to make better-informed decisions around their People strategy. But utilizing an entire workforce’s worth of data can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools to analyze and examine it. That’s where HR dashboards come in.

What Is an HR Dashboard?

Today’s HR teams are tasked with keeping employees engaged, growing, and performing to their full potential. To do this, they need comprehensive insight into how the workplace is functioning, from business continuity and growth to the overall employee experience.

​​An HR dashboard is a business intelligence tool that aggregates and visualizes data from different HR systems to enable better decision-making. By providing an overview of key metrics in one centralized location, HR dashboards allow teams to get a bird’s-view of their People operations while also diving deeper into how specific data points correlate. As a result, HR dashboards make it easy for teams to identify patterns and build proactive People strategies around them.

3 Functions of HR Dashboards

1. Monitoring

Dashboards allow teams to track, analyze and report on HR key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time, making them an invaluable tool for People teams to get a read on the pulse of their workforce. Regular reporting through dashboards enables HR departments to recognize and act on emerging opportunities or problems before they have a significant business impact.

“Data can act as a ‘smoke signal’ to show you where the fire is in your organization.”
- Jack Altman, People Strategy: How to Invest in People and Make Culture Your Competitive Advantage.

2. Analytics

Thanks to the power of AI and big data, today’s dashboards can offer much more than basic charts and drill-downs. More advanced HR dashboards leverage machine learning capabilities to diagnose problems and uncover insights that can enhance recruiting processes, optimize workplace planning, and improve overall resource management.

3. Transparency

Dashboards are an excellent way to communicate key information at a glance to management, executive teams, and employees. Data visualizations help HR teams present and share knowledge transparently in a way that can be sorted, analyzed, and used to make strategic management decisions.

3 Key Features of HR Dashboards

1. Interactive

Manual reports aren’t necessarily bad, but they don’t provide much value when data is likely to change. Dashboards are usually dynamic rather than static, allowing users to be hands-on with real-time data. Some people management platforms integrate with other systems, giving HR teams the ability to choose which workforce dimensions they want to focus on.

“Lattice Goals integrates with Jira, Salesforce, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and the rest of Lattice to ensure that goals stay front-and-center.”

2. Automated

A lot of organizations still work reactively with ad-hoc reports, often requiring people to work overtime. HR dashboards are automated, meaning you no longer need to waste time manually updating spreadsheets. That also means you don't have to worry about old or outdated data skewing your reports. Need to pull a report for the next board meeting? Just take a screenshot.

3. Intuitive

HR dashboards are designed to help make the most of everyone’s time by aggregating and presenting employee data in a meaningful way. A useful HR dashboard is concise and visualizes insights in an understandable, shareable, and actionable way. Dashboards let you spend less time preparing data and more time identifying ways to better manage crucial People functions like learning and development, community building, compensation, and more.

“When your HR tech stack is optimized to work together or centralizes a number of key data points under one tool, you can easily collect and even cross-reference data points to draw valuable insights to empower your team, even if you’re not a data wonk.”  
- Jack Altman, People Strategy: How to Invest in People and Make Culture Your Competitive Advantage.

5 Types of HR Dashboards

1. Performance

The traditional nine-to-five workday is changing, as flexibility becomes an expectation among today’s workers. The days of measuring output by time spent at one’s desk are long gone — what matters now is performance. Performance dashboards help measure workforce efficiency over time according to specific criteria that your business sets, such as behavior, goal progress, quality of work, and more. Good performance dashboards provide managers with an overview of team metrics as well as specific insight into individual direct reports. They also allow them to proactively identify struggling employees and high performers.

2. Goals

Goals dashboards drive collaboration and business results through transparency and alignment. With goals dashboards, managers and business leaders can monitor progress on projects and OKRs in real-time to identify bottlenecks and keep the company on track. Goals dashboards are also helpful during the performance review process when managers need to measure impact, peers need to revisit dependencies, and employees need to reflect on their accomplishments since the last review cycle.

3. Management

HR dashboards aren’t just helpful for HR teams. Managers can use them to stay up to date on team developments and keep track of employees’ unique strengths and needs. The most common use case for management dashboards is during one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Having real-time access to employee-specific data, such as growth areas or average sentiment, can be a gamechanger for managers when it comes to understanding how employees move through review cycles. Management dashboards allow them to customize employee reports and maximize the impact of regular one-on-one meetings.

4. Engagement

HR teams have always been interested in keeping employees engaged. Thanks to engagement dashboards, these teams can feel confident in their understanding of the employee experience. With access to key engagement data at their fingertips, HR teams can gauge how employees feel across a variety of themes such as sense of belonging, company pride, and quality of leadership. More advanced dashboards allow teams to explore the relationship between employee engagement and performance using machine learning capabilities. A common use case for this feature is for predicting flight risks and hiring needs based on employee net promoter scores (eNPS)

5. Demographic

Nurturing a diverse and balanced workforce is a top priority for today’s HR teams, and having access to employees’ demographic characteristics is key for implementing effective diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. Interactive dashboards allow users to break out data by demographic dimensions such as gender, age, location, seniority, and more. By understanding how different groups of people within the organization feel about company policies and culture, HR teams can enact mindful changes that improve employee engagement and, ultimately, performance.

3 Tips for Using HR Dashboards

1. Start small.

Don’t try to generate every report available at your fingertips, as this will only drain your team’s capacity. Instead, try starting with a broad focus and working inward to draw insights. For example, suppose you’re interested in learning about gender equality at your organization. In that case, you could start by looking at the overall breakdown of employees’ preferred pronouns and then dive deeper into more specific dimensions, like seniority, tenure, and promotions. Remember, when you feel like you’re getting lost in the weeds, you can always pull back and reset.

2. Stay relevant.

There’s no rule that says one dashboard must rule them all. If you try to meet everyone’s demands with an overloaded dashboard, you’re going to end up reporting on irrelevant data. Instead of cluttering your dashboard with excess information, create multiple dashboards for different topics. Not only will this minimize time spent sorting through data, it will also allow you to get more granular with specific focus areas.

3. Be timely.

The fact that dashboards are dynamically updated in real-time is what makes them so valuable to HR teams, who have to be able to think and act faster than ever before. This means that time is of the essence when it comes to using HR dashboards for strategic decision-making. If engagement levels are showing a slight decline, it’s important to acknowledge it and take corrective actions within an appropriate time frame. Eventually, by reviewing dashboards on a frequent and regular basis, HR teams can observe how metrics behave over time and make predictions on future trends.

HR dashboards visualize exactly what People teams are capable of providing as strategic partners within organizations. By leveraging dashboards, HR teams can use workforce data to drive valuable business outcomes — sometimes in unexpected ways. 

The need to make HR more data-driven is one of the biggest motivations for the rise of tools like Lattice, which centralizes employee performance, engagement, and growth data in one dynamic platform. But don’t just take our word for it — book a demo today to see how our dashboards take People management to the next level.