Thursday, November 3, 2011

Human Capital Metrics Conference: Recap Day 1




I was honored to be asked to serve as the official blogger for The Conference Boards's Human Capital Metrics Conference, today and tomorrow in NYC. HR Metrics are definitely a passion of mine...so I am thrilled to be here especially hanging out with Dr Jac Fitz Enz.

To see more specific insights go to twitter and search on: #tcbhcm....interesting observations, check them out!

Last year, I was also serving in the same capacity. Below are observations I have noticed as differences in 2011 vs. 2010:

1) There are definitely more people here. Small talk contributes this increase to a slightly better economic situation and an increased interest and focus on HR metrics and analytics.

2) The conversations are not about tracking measures, or even dashboards and scorecards...it's about making BETTER BUSINESS decisions. I love this as it puts context around HR and their role in the organization. Michael Gregoire, CEO Taleo said it best:

"Business Strategy and HR Strategy should be ONE!"

3) Last year, I didn't even hear the word social media and its impact on talent management. Today, I have seen how smart companies like Juniper are leveraging technology to manage talent, leading to engagement, leading to desired business outcomes. AWESOME!

4) Lots of talk around HR metric standards. The over arching opinion is that they are coming...from industry experts. My question around this topic is, why hasn't SHRM taken a lead on metric standards? I know they have finally developed a standard around cost per hire. YEAH, but guess what? We have moved on from that metric...#toolittletoolate

The audience was polled and 54% were involved in HR Metrics but only about 1/2 as many involved in predictive analytics. I mention this because HR must get to "predictive" in order to assist CEO's in making better decisions. Mike Echols of Bellevue University said it best....

"HR needs to be better competitors for organizational investment capital"

If that is to be the case, as the money is certainly there on US balance sheets for the taking, then HR needs to make a business case. That business needs data most of the time and what the predicted outcomes will be so that CEO's can make informed decisions on resources.

I think this need for talent management investment must be HR's driver to get on the analytics train.

I always like to know what is next...what's the next topic after we leave tomorrow. Dr. Jac said he is thinking about, "How to build and analytic culture." OMG....2 of my fave topics all in one. Please can I come back?

Ok, so here are some other thoughts regarding today's sessions:

1) I think there is a need to use other Talent Management examples besides training. I believe you can look at examples for rewards/recognition, engagement, performance management, etc and show how companies have linked those to bottom line results as well.

2) I think one big example of aligning strategy to HR strategy and then analyzing MULTIPLE HR investments against desired outcomes would be great. Even better, how to choose between competing HR initiatives. If you have identified through strategic mapping that you may need a training program or a rewards/recognition change, how do you use data to pick the one that has the "most bang for the buck" (discussed by attendees at my lunch table as a suggestion)

3) Dr Jac had a great slide demonstrating linkage between employee investments, operational outcomes, customer outcomes and finally financial results. This really drives home the need for HR strategy and business strategy being one. This idea supports it's not about alignment really but about integrating HR's strategy into the business strategy.

4) Talent management data is not business intelligence by itself. It's just another siloed data set that needs context. It needs to be analyzed with its other data friends...customer, operational and financial data.

Bottom line...a company's competitive advantage is not about services/widgets...it’s the people. Don't you need to know how that investment is performing for you? Don't you need to know how to increase that asset's performance?

The only way to answer those questions is through analytics.
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