Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Metrics...Check! Anyone Using the Data?

We all know the drill. You spend time creating your HR metrics that matter to your organization and then you send them out to management and they hit with a gigantic thud. I had one conference attendee tell me this story:

"I spent 24 months developing and HR scorecard, I sent the new scorecard out to our management team with a "return receipt" on the email. I had 2 managers out of over 40 to actually open the email. WOW!"

I hear stories like this all the time. We get so proud of our metrics that we forget to assist our managers in the "what do I do with this information" piece. The simple answer is to take action on the data. If we don't take action then why would we be measuring anyway?

In my experience the best way to get managers to pay attention to metrics that (should) matter is:

1) Make sure the data is relevant to the end user
2) Make sure the data is displayed in a way that is easily understandable and meaningful
3) Have action planning meetings regarding the data
4) Make sure you articulate the WIIFM proposition to the manager
5) Tie performance data to the metrics that need to be improved (that gets their attention)

Think about this scenario. You are tracking employee engagement and customer satisfaction by department. In your analysis you determine that departments with the lowest turnover have the highest employee and customer satisfaction scores. In looking further you determine that these departments are also the most productive. Let's just say, that you send out the data and it looks something like this:

I think you may get a reaction like, "So, what am I supposed to do?"

But, what if you sent out something like this:

By analyzing your recent customer, employee, turnover and productivity data, we have learned that:

By decreasing your average turnover by just 1%, doing so will increase your customer and employee engagement scores by 10-12%, which in turn will increase your location's productivity by 14%.

To assist you in the root cause of your turnover we have determined through exit interview surveys that you are losing employees due to long work hours and non flexile work schedules. HR is now reviewing policies to assist you in retaining your employees which will in turn increase your productivity.

The above sure is better than a lot of rows and columns...I'm just sayin'

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