In explaining How to Get Executives to Pay Attention to Metrics, Dr. John Sullivan states: “For metrics to be effective in altering behavior, they need to be both visible and immediately relevant to the audience that needs influencing, not the party producing them.” Specifically, HR metrics are often overlooked.
Is it because Human Resources is an overhead department that rarely has a strategic impact? If that’s the case, why don’t finance or supply chain operations get overlooked? Dr. Sullivan has many suggestions and clues as to why HR metrics may not be as important to top executives as we’d like them to be. I think that to be effective, though, the presentation of your metrics has to show them as aligned with the goals of the executives (i.e. budget impact, benchmarks and comparisons to industry standards).
With executive officers, it’s important to put your metrics into words that they will not only hear, but also listen and pay attention to. Include revenue impacts and ROI. To do this, it may be helpful to work with the CFO’s office to help translate the metrics into information that is relevant to them. Try presenting your metrics as a dashboard thats easy to read with a summary of action steps specific to each metric.
You want to create the notion that big issues to you are not just HR issues, they are the issues of your organization. Create a change in thinking that HR is a silo and does not touch every part of your company. To do this, it might be helpful to include summaries that detail trending problems; problems that might not change much from period to period, but when forecasted, can transform into massive organization problems if not taken care of now. The key here is to alert managers to issues and performance trends that will impact business if not taken care of.