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Analyse current workforce outcome indicators

workforce indicators


This baseline analysis should be conducted in such a way as to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the current health/wellbeing position of your organisation in measurable workforce indicators. This analysis will allow the nominated coordinator to easily set targets as part of the overall action plan.


Why analyse Workforce Outcome Indicators?

Compiling Workforce Outcome Indicators for your organisation will help you determine if work-related stressors, psychosocial distress and critical incident stress are possible issues for your organisation, service or department. This information will also help your organisation benchmark and generate possible key performance indicators (KPIs) that have specific measurable targets for inclusion in the action plan.


Who should analyse Workforce Outcome Indicators?

The Work PositiveCI coordinator is responsible for analysing current workforce outcome indicators. This information may need to be sourced from relevant internal departments or external agencies. For example, you may need to obtain absenteeism and staff turnover data from the relevant HR department.


Possible Workforce Outcome Indicator Potential Source
  • Absenteeism
  • Staff turnover data
  • Complaints

HR department

  • Occupational health referrals
Occupational health department/HR department
  • Accident rates
  • Employee on the job errors
Health and Safety Department and/or line manager
  • Workers compensation claims


(e.g. commercial insurer/ State Claims Agency)


What does the process involve?

The table below should be completed as part of the workforce outcome indicator analysis.  Look at organisational records including some of the following:

  • Short and long term absence statistics
  • Reasons for employee turnover;
  • Health and safety records e.g. accidents and incidents;
  • OtherIncidents;
  • Bullying or conflict-related complaints;
  • Claims statistics;
  • Occupational health referrals;
  • Is there any useful feedback from recent employee attitude surveys you should consider?


As it is recommended that you complete the Work PositiveCI process within your organisation every 12-18months, ‘Frequency/Scale’ can be compared with past data to monitor performance. 


Absenteeism (Short-term / long-term) e.g. 8%  
Staff turnover data e.g. 5%  
Accident rates and errors X accidents in past 12 months  
Employee on the job errors X errors in past 12 months  
Complaints X complaints in past 12 months  
Workers compensation claims X claims in past 12 months  
Occupational health referrals X no. referrals in past 12 months  

*higher / lower than norms within the organisation / Irish working population norms


What information should be entered in the “RATE (higher / lower than norms within the organisation/ Irish working population norms)” column? 

This allows your organisation to compare against norms in the general working population or with an organisation of a similar nature. For instance, absenteeism can be compared with civil service norms (where relevant), available from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Including a ‘Rate’ will allow your organisation to set targets as part of your action plan. It will help focus attention on key areas of employee wellbeing.

I am completing the Work PositiveCI process across numerous departments. Must I analyse Workforce Indicators for each department?

Although not completely necessary, analysing workforce outcome indicators at department level will help you determine if work-related stressors, psychological distress and critical incident stress are possible risk issue for that department. It will also help set more realistic targets. It will allow your organisation to monitor performance at different levels and identify trends to help inform future discussions. It is important to record all your organisation’s findings to support both your action plan and future evaluation.

If you are completing the Work PositiveCI process at department level it is recommended that you complete this section at department level also.


Understanding your Workforce Outcome Indicators

The various psychosocial risk assessment models such as Prima-EF highlight that high levels of sickness absence may indicate a potential problem area, and as such, warrants an assessment of the levels and causes of absence. This assessment may provide an indication of whether working conditions are causing high or increased levels of stress, leading to high levels of sick leave.

If there are high rate of staff turnover in particular areas of an organisation, this may indicate an underlying problem regarding work stress. Exit interviews will provide an opportunity to discuss the reasons for staff turnover and help identify if there is an underlying stress related reason for the rates in turnover. This would provide valuable information and guidance on appropriate interventions to mitigate the work stress to reduce turnover.

High rates of accidents and on the job errors in specific work departments may be an indication of work related stress; a review of the causes and frequency of accidents may help to identify underlying issues.

Increases in staff complaints of interpersonal conflict to management or between staff and their manager are also indicators of stress in the work place, whereby stress is manifested in difficulties in work relationships or situation specific complaints. There may be an underlying stress related reason for an increase in complaints and requires focused attention by management to address the stress issue and ensure appropriate interventions are in place.

Litigation cases relating to psychological injury against any organisation are sometimes a strong indicator that stress control interventions are either not resourced or working at an optimum level. An increase in claims in specific areas should be a key indicator to managers to complete a risk assessment with regard to the prevalence of stress in that area and any measures in place to mitigate same.

A review of occupational health referrals provides a significant indication of work stress or work impacting on health. This may highlight problematic services, areas or work units in particular organisations where methods, content or conditions are impacting on staff health. Such a review would focus on figures and presenting problems and would not identify any individuals.