Measures and Metrics: What Is Your Discernable Impact?

by Michael Haberman on April 23, 2008 · 0 comments


Today’s issue of the Staffing.org newsletter had an article entitled
Beware of Death By Metrics. The folks at Staffing.org are all about metrics.
In this case, as they relate to staffing. (Good site by the way.) But in this article they point out that getting caught up in measurements and metrics for the sake of measurements and metrics will get you nowhere. It will not get you the attention that you desire from the C-Suite. Many departments use, or over use, measurement to increase department efficiency. However, as they state: “…if you happen to be wearing all these additional measurements like merit badges and hoping senior management will notice, we have some bad news. They aren’t, they won’t, and career-wise you will eventually suffer death by metrics.” There are two reasons according to Staffing.org “…first, the modest-at-best interest that C-level staff have in your efficiency; and second, the poor financial correlation between the efficiency implied by your staffing department’s measurements and the success of the enterprise as a whole.”

As the article points out “At the highest level of a well-run company, departmental efficiency is a management given. Decent managers are expected to be efficient. It’s the low bar to staying employed.” So being efficient, measuring what needs to be measured is important, not because it makes an impact, because it is how you keep your job. “C-Level staffs spend most of their time focused on the things that will have the biggest impact on the organization’s success as a whole.”

The author of the article then states, “The high bar for being recognized as a star manager is making a discernible impact on the annual report.” What a great statement. For the people at Staffing.org that discernible impact for a staffing department would be “…focusing relentlessly on staffing’s core functions: locating and hiring splendid people, at a reasonable cost, as quickly as possible. ”

DISCERNIBLE IMPACT! What a strong and succinct statement. Spend some time today and think about what you are measuring in your HR department. Is it to make you more efficient? Good thing, you need that to keep your job. But are you measuring the one thing that will make that discernible impact on the bottom line of the organization?

If you truly want that ever-sought “place at the table” that is what you will have to do to get there.

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