Monday, May 23, 2011

Ready, Set, Measure?

So, you have decided you need HR metrics. You know it's important. You know your CEO is craving data to see how the investment in people is paying off.

You then begin to develop metrics. What is your first step?

So many times I hear the following answers to the above question:

1) I start with turnover and cost per hire
2) I google "HR Metrics" and pick some that look good
3) I ask another HR colleague
4) I go to a conference
5) I just measure anything and everything

"NOT!" to all of the above. The key to determining your HR Metrics that matter to your organization is to start with your organization's strategy. A company that is in growth mode has very different metrics than a company that is in survival mode. The growth oriented company is going to focus on goal attainment and revenue growth and the company trying to survive is going to be more cost conscience.

So the proper game plan would be: READY, SET, MAP YOUR STRATEGY and then MEASURE.

A strategy map is an invaluable tool that enables you to understand your business results, your performance outcomes, your performance measures, and the actions needed to execute the strategy. Then and only then are you ready to create metrics.

The cool thing about a strategy map is that it gives every department a visual communications tool to understand how the organizational strategy comes to life. Think about your organizational strategy, when it was announced. Did it hit like a thud or did everyone stay energized and focused because they knew what to do and how they would be measured?

What an opportunity for HR to be can assist with strategy execution AND develop HR metrics that really mean something to the organization. Brilliant...


Anthony said...

Cathy - absolutely perfect on connecting HR strategy with business needs. Can you share a larger picture of the business strategy map?

Anonymous said...

Cathy - this is great information. Thanks!

Unknown said...


I will be glad to send you a large copy. Just email me at Thanks for the kind words!

@ileighanne thanks for reading and the kind words!


Anonymous said...

Cathy, A very informative one, many thanks for sharing. If possible, I will send you an email to get a larger copy.

Rick Koethe said...

Thanks Cathy,
As always very useful information.
Rick Koethe

Unknown said...

Thanks Rick for reading!!!

JH said...

Thanks for your insight. Strategy must always come before HR tactics and metrics and your examples and strategy map are excellent.

Unknown said...


Thanks for reading and your kind words!