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Measuring What Matters in HR

Why has the HR function been largely exempt from the process improvements, quality controls and operational accountability that have been in place in every other corner of the organization?

Lean, ISO, Kaizen, Continuous Improvement… these movements are hardly new. They have been the levers that have moved many companies ahead and allowed them to remain competitive in increasingly challenging marketplaces.

Unfortunately, many HR professionals and other business leaders have lost sight of the distinction between Leading Indicators and Trailing Indicators. The evidence is found in the sheer number of programs, initiatives and dollars that target improving employee retention, engagement and satisfaction.

We have lost sight of the fact that these factors are outcomes, trailing indicators. They are the result of other things done well. People stay in their job, are happy and engaged when they fit with their job, click with their manager, respect and feel respected by their coworkers, and feel like they are contributing to something important. If these four key aspects of fit are right and the supporting relationships are strong, then productivity, customer satisfaction and financial performance (not to mention retention, engagement and employee satisfaction) all trend in the right direction. If the aspects of fit and the quality of the relationships are not right, then the opposite outcome is inevitable.

Trying to ‘manage’ turnover, satisfaction and engagement by throwing money and programs at them is tantamount to standing at the stern of a ship and trying to navigate through the narrows by studying her wake. It’s foolish at best.

Better to aim for the desired outcomes by managing the leading indicators: The four aspects of fit and the quality of relationships.

Watch our video called "A Case For A New Approach"

The new HR: a Manifesto

chartI don't think a day has passed in the last three weeks when I haven't found myself in a conversation with someone who declared emphatically that the time has come for HR to reinvent itself. I smell ch...

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