Like any other department, human resources benefits from tracking progress and making incremental improvements. Not all HR metrics are created equal, however, and tracking too many can be detrimental to efficiency. By choosing the most effective and useful metrics, you can keep a long-term record of progress and measure the effectiveness of your department at a glance.
A company succeeds or fails based on the productivity of its workers; as such, workforce productivity is one of the most important HR metrics. The definition of productivity varies from company to company. In a sales-focused organization, it might be defined in terms of a specific dollar amount. In a law firm, it is more likely to be measured by billable hours. Chances are, your company executives already have an established idea of the baseline productivity standard for each department.
When workforce productivity is one of your major HR metrics, it is crucial to work with other department heads to ensure accurate tracking. Sit down with the top person in each work group and establish a reporting system. The manager might send you the productivity numbers each day, each week or even each quarter, depending on your company's business cycle. In general, more data is more useful than too little data.
Once you have started to track productivity, you can measure increases from year to year and compare them with the money that was invested in workforce development. Over time, you can help your human resources department determine the most effective strategies for increasing overall team performance.
When it comes to HR metrics, employee engagement is closely tied to productivity. When a company makes the mistake of prioritizing productivity over employee engagement, it often winds up with burnt out and unhappy employees. By adding engagement to your top HR metrics, you can help ensure job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover. According to the National Business Research Institute, happy employees lead to better customer service and higher profits.
Tracking employee engagement can be tricky; in general, you must rely on staff members to tell the truth. The most common method is to send around a required, anonymous survey for employees to complete. It should include questions about job satisfaction, compensation and whether or not the person enjoys coming to work. It can also focus on the effectiveness of managers, the corporate culture and the general office atmosphere. The results of the first survey will help identify the weak spots that require immediate attention; subsequent surveys can measure progress and regression.
The right HR metrics give you the information that is necessary to establish and implement better business practices. By tracking regularly and working with company leaders, you can develop a more powerful, productive workforce.
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