Sunday, July 31, 2011

10 “Don’ts" When it Comes to HR Metrics

I am asked what lessons I have learned when it comes to HR metrics a lot when I am speaking. There are so many lessons as this field has come such a long way in such a short period of time. When I first started reading and speaking on the subject back in the late 1990’s the top HR measure was cost per hire. Fast forward to today and we can analyze things like: PREDICT ING who will be successful in our organization by using recruiting and performance data and we can PREDICT who is at risk for leaving our organization. Fascinating, and the possibilities are endless.

Here is a shortened version of my lessons learned in regards to HR metrics. (They are in no particular order)

  1. Don’t just start measuring the usual suspects, start with your organizational strategy and work from there
  2. Don’t copy your neighbor’s HR metrics for the reason listed above
  3. Don’t use benchmarks for the sake of benchmarking because average does not equal better result
  4. Don’t just email metrics out and expect your managers to understand them. Make sure the metrics tell a compelling story
  5. Don’t celebrate metrics that aren’t impactful. No one cares how many days it takes you to fill requisitions on average or if you have 100% participation in the performance management process. They care about what impacts revenue, profit and costs-DIRECTLY
  6. Don’t use unreliable data or data that has not been verified. This will make you lose credibility points fast
  7. Don’t go through a lesson in correlations and regressions…no one cares. Just tell the story on how the data analysis has uncovered something that impacts the business
  8. Don’t measure for measuring sake. Tracking hundreds of metrics is not smart nor does it move the dial. Determine what are those levers that move your organizational success factors and measure those
  9. Don’t use fancy technology when an Excel spreadsheet will do. Start small and if you get traction and buy in organizational wide then move to a more robust solution
  10. Don’t depend on current staff to have the analytical muscle to perform statistical testing. Not everyone is a quant jock…if you have that talent on staff great, but that skill set is not one that is usually found in HR departments.

I would love to hear your lessons out there…I am sure you have your own metrics stories…do tell!!

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