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Advice on identifying HR performance measures


The Institute for Employment Studies undertakes research and consultancy for UK and international organisations, and publishes regular reports of its findings on the labour market, education and training and HR issues, the summaries of which are available on their website.

The report looks at the increasing requirement for HR practitioners to justify the cost of their activities, and discusses how and what to measure.

The report says there is a tendency to create a whole load of performance indicators, when what is actually needed are key indicators linked to key objectives. To do this, start with the business objectives and then define what's most important for HR to contribute - e.g. when looking at recruitment and retention measures, concentrate on those areas of the business which are vital to its success (the article includes a diagram to help to identify these areas).

The article looks briefly at HR's role in the balanced scorecard approach, and finds involvement in this can vary considerably. The reports authors say that HR professionals should not be shy of presenting indicators that relate to people and their performance, and defending their use to senior managers. People indicators have as much validity as their financial counterparts, and can be put forward by HR professionals as their contribution towards the measurement of how well the organisation is doing in relation to its strategic goals.

The general comment is made that HR practitioners need a better understanding of the business strategy of organisations in general, which will assist greatly when identifying relevant measures.

The summary is part of a full report available to buy from the Institute's website for £19.95.


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