What Are Best Practices to Assess HR’s Performance?

By Staff Report

Mar. 17, 2015

Dear No Window:

Consider two key avenues of insight. First, systematically seek out and analyze perceptions. Obtain direct feedback from various employee cohorts, including first- to second-year employees and their managers — whether it’s through targeted surveys, interviews or a series focus groups asking key questions. Did individuals feel they (or their employees) have adequate support to ramp up in their first year and do their job well — what worked and what was lacking? Did they feel motived to go above and beyond the regular expectations of their role — why or why not? Consider how much of this feedback can be better acted upon or influenced by HR vs. a line manager or business leader. 

Second, gain a focused understanding of how HR is doing through simple to advanced analytics of longitudinal employee data and employer practices — the observed facts. Most organizations today have a wealth of accumulated human resource information system-type data about their employees’ work experiences and actions. It is becoming increasingly common practice to harness and analyze this data to reveal a rich story of the interplay between employer actions and employee reactions. 

Take voluntary exits for example. This is a recorded choice that an employee makes where they are “voting with their feet” on engagement by leaving your organization — or staying. Examining turnover rates of various cohorts, groups at different levels can begin to surface focused questions and hypotheses around what’s working and why. 

More sophisticated predictive modeling of the same data can further quantify the isolated impacts of specific employer practices — such as training programs, pay practices, rotational opportunities, and the like — on the probabilities of individual employee outcomes such as first year turnover, or increased performance in the subsequent year. 

Based on these results you can determine which of HR’s efforts are most effective, and identify key opportunity areas. Combining both types of insight — perceptual and factual — will paint a holistic picture of how HR is performing. It will reveal key insights around any misalignments that may exist between what HR is doing successfully, and the perceived effectiveness of these efforts. This information can then be used to develop the right strategy for optimizing HR’s efforts.

SOURCE: Min Park, Mercer, Los Angeles.

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