Monday, August 8, 2011

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Measure HR





I speak and write on the topic of metrics a lot. And I always ask where individuals are on their "metrics journey." I get answers from beginners to "we are using data to be predictive." I also get "we aren't measuring anything." I always ask, "Why not?" Here is my unscientific list of why HR professionals do NOT measure:

1) It's hard
2) Don't know what to measure
3) My leadership doesn't understand why we should
4) Our data is in too many places
5) We do not have anyone analytical in our department
6) We are swamped, don't have the time
7) We used to measure a few things, but no one did anything with the data
8) You can't measure the impact of HR, it's too soft
9) Finance is doing that!
10) We don't have the technology to do that

Ok, now for my answers to the "excuses" above

1) If you can't do basic statistics, or even just formulas, partner with an analyst in your company to mentor you. Take some classes, be curious
2) Start with organizational strategy and work your way to metrics from there
3) Find something in the data that your leadership didn't know....you will be a rockstar and in a better position to ask for resources.
4) Data is scattered in an organization. Getting it in to one repository is challenging but really worth it. Access and Excel are 2 choices that most everyone has on their computers right now.
5) See #1, find someone within the company, an intern, learn by doing....
6) Metrics allow you to focus on what is important, you can't afford not to make the time
7) It's all about the data story and how you present the data. If you use rows and columns then expect no one to act on it.
8) You can measure the impact of HR, it just takes time to understand causal relationships and then testing those hypothesis. Today with most companies spending 60-80% of budget on HR related costs, you have to understand the ROI of this investment.
9) Finance can and will do this if we don't start measuring ourselves. Enough said...
10) Start in Excel it is powerful and available...

If you aren't measuring today, start by mapping your organizational strategy within your HR department. Mapping is a great way to illustrate what is driving your strategic initiatives. This exercise will also assist in the discovery of what metrics matter to YOUR organization.

Ready, set, start measuring....
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