Sunday, October 5, 2008

How to SELL HR Metrics

So many times after I conduct a seminar on "HR Metrics that Matter," I am asked the question, "How do I get Senior Managers support on starting a metrics project for HR?"

My answer is usually around starting small, getting some credibility by showing impact, and then you can go from there. 

In Al Adamson's, HR Executive Online article, Building Workforce Analytics, Adamson discusses 6 key challenges that must be overcome in order to continue a successful metrics program:

* Providing quality data and clearly defined metrics;

* Generating the initial deliverables and exhibiting their value;

* Understanding the requisite processes -- and time -- required to generate meaningful insight;

* Understanding the technology requirements, limitations and possibilities;

* Commanding the resources (internal and/or external) and appreciating their capacity; and

* Packaging and communicating insight in exceptional ways. No ordinary deliverable.

So, what can you do tomorrow?  If you are interested in starting a metrics project, find out what the real pain is in the organization and design your initial project on how to help with that pain.  For example, if in your industry, you are experiencing high turnover, high retirements in key positions, and growth as an overall strategy then identify workforce metrics that can help with these issues.  Start your analysis by trending turnover by age over time, add in known retirements for the same time period, forecast the number of positions needed due to growth and present a plan to obtain the necessary talent over the next 18 months.  You can add recruiting metrics into the project to show how efficient and effective the recruiting project was during the 18 months as well.

Now, this well get you noticed and build credibility by understanding the business and adding value at the same time.  Your next metrics project which hopefull will be an ongoing metrics project, will be a no-brainer and a lot easier sell!

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