Why the Organisation Needs to Collect HR and L&S Data
The collection of HR and L&D data is of paramount importance for any organisation for two primary reasons: it proves the company’s compliance with certain regulations, and it ensures effective planning and development of the staff. For instance, companies are obligated to report on a variety of topics in regards to their staff including their employees’ genders, ethnicities, ages and so on in order to ensure diversity and fair treatment of all groups (Cushway 247). It is also crucial to have data concerning the qualifications, skills, and needs and wants of the staff to make sure that the company’s training and development is efficient in every particular case, as well as cost-effective (Pease et al. 62).
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Two Types of Data Collected Within Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile is a subsidiary of Virgin Media, one of the UK’s leading telecom companies. Clearly, Virgin Mobile, as any other organisation, collects data concerning employees’ ages, genders, ethnicities and education levels. This information enables the company’s HR professionals to ensure that the principles of diversity are followed. Another type of data collected concerns skills and competencies, two aspects on which the company’s Employee Development Programme (EDP) concentrates when developing training programs as well as bonus schemes (Thomson Reuters 25). Baker claims that such an approach is beneficial for the organisation as performance-centred strategies are outdated (167). To implement staff training and development effectively, it is essential to ensure that employees have not only the necessary background but are also motivated to acquire new skills and knowledge.
Two Methods of Storing Records
Organisations use different types of software to store data. The choice depends on the peculiarities of data, the way the information is used and so on. In Virgin Mobile, a number of methods are employed, two of which deserve specific attention. For employee training and development, HR specialists often use the common open-source desktop software. This method enables them to create spreadsheets quite easily. Most importantly, this method allows the company’s HR professionals to import this information into the vast majority of training applications (Burbach 437). Another method, which is widely used across many industries, is the use of cloud computing and sophisticated databases. This method is essential for storing so-called big data, and it allows HR professionals to easily find any necessary piece of information through customised search tools (Burbach 437). Moreover, this method eliminates the need for the company to invest in hardware as there is no need to obtain or maintain their own servers.
Two Items of UK Legislation Concerning Data Storage, Accessibility or Recording
Privacy is one of the most important and vulnerable components of HR data management. The UK’s Data Protection Act of 1998 imposes a requirement for all employees to provide informed consent to any transfer of their data “outside approved areas” (Sparrow et al. 271). This requirement ensures a certain level of data security that is beneficial for employees as well as the employer. The Act also requires organisations to ensure data security through the use of appropriate software. In other words, any organisation is responsible for securing the personal data of its employees from unauthorised access. Importantly, organisations themselves also set certain requirements concerning the use of data; in some cases, employees may be obliged not to disclose a certain type of data.
The Area to Be Investigated
Organisations pay a lot of attention to issues associated with sustainability. One of these issues is gender equity. Many people argue that women are often kept away from positions of leadership within organisations. Virgin Mobile also pays a great deal of attention to this aspect and has made public its commitment to increasing the number of women in leadership by 2020. It is noteworthy that this commitment is seen positively by the company’s customers who tend to choose organisations that use sustainable practices. Gender equity is closely related to such HR areas as recruiting, retention and development. These areas (with a focus on development) will be considered in this brief analysis.
Analysis and Interpretation
To assess gender equity within Virgin Media, it is possible to use the data that is publicly available (Virgin Media, “Management Team”). Importantly, the company has announced a target for 2020 that is closely connected with gender equity: 40% of all positions of leadership will be occupied by women by the year 2018 (Virgin Media, “Our 2020 Sustainability Goals Roadmap” 2). At present, the percentage of female leadership in the company is lower than the target announced (32%). It is necessary to note, however, that this figure shows the average percentage of female leadership across the entire organisation and differs among subsidiaries. Moreover, this figure is quite different when it comes to the composition of Virgin Media’s senior leadership. The company’s senior management comprises ten people who are responsible for particular areas of leadership; out of these ten senior leaders, only two are women. Clearly, then, the percentage of leaders who are women within the Virgin Media senior leadership team is 20%.
Findings and Decision-Making
Although the data provided cannot be regarded as an example of big-data analysis, this information is still rather relevant for the company’s image. Indeed, Virgin Media claims that 40% of its leadership roles will be filled by women, but people are unlikely to see that as the senior leadership of the group is far from such gender equity standards. Therefore, it is vital to increase the number of female executives to show that the company is truly committed to its own values and standards.
The analysis of the data mentioned above can help the organisation’s management, as well as HR professionals, make effective decisions concerning gender equity within such domains as recruitment, retention and development. One of the ways to increase female leadership is to recruit more senior leaders, especially given that the current percentage of senior leaders who are women within the leadership team of Virgin Media is only 20%. Nonetheless, it is clear that the organisation does have a significant number of female leaders across its subsidiaries since the average is 32%. HR professionals may focus on the development of female leaders across the company and encourage women to take up higher posts. An employee exchange could be a part of this program, giving female employees from different subsidiaries the opportunity to learn more about various operations and become more effective leaders. Another option could be to change the company’s senior leadership structure by adding a number of posts to be occupied by women. However, this option may require extensive training to be provided to the company’s employees as well as a significant reorganization of the company’s leadership structure.
Baker, Tim. The End of the Performance Review: A New Approach to Appraising Employee Performance. Springer, 2013.
Burbach, Ralf. “Training and Development: Issues and Human Resource Information Systems Applications.” Human Resource Information Systems: Basics, Applications, and Future Directions, edited by Michael J. Kavanagh, et al., SAGE Publications, 2013, pp. 411-451.
Cushway, Barry. The Employer’s Handbook 2012-13: An Essential Guide to Employment Law, Personnel Policies and Procedures. Kogan Page Publishers, 2012.
Pease, Gene, et al. Developing Human Capital: Using Analytics to Plan and Optimize Your Learning and Development Investments. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
Sparrow, Paul, et al. Globalizing Human Resource Management. Routledge, 2016.
Thomson Reuters. “IDS: HR Studies.” ids.thomsonreuters, Web.
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Virgin Media. “Management Team.” Virgin Media, Web.
Virgin Media. “Our 2020 Sustainability Goals Roadmap.” Virgin Media, Web.