Shari Caudron Apr. The reaction? During a recent speech in Phoenix, the tireless year-old corporate agitator zeroed in on what he has learned from all the fuss. Fitz-enz did not fade away. Instead, he became a renegade pioneer who consistently championed the economic value of human resources despite the fact that initially, no one seemed to care.

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We can also track them over time in order to show trends. The data for the metrics are found in both internal and external sources. Internally, the data are payroll, employee surveys, Enterprise Resource Planning ERP systems, HR functions, marketing data, sales data, and financial statements. Externally, the data are common benchmarks in your industry, national and local labor market trends, salary surveys, actions from competitors, workforce demographics, and government reports. In addition, the data collected is both quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative data are the numbers. Some other examples are tracking the number of daily employee-client interactions, the number of units an employee produces, etc.

These data can be used to rank employees to award bonuses, raises, and promotions for those who excel as well as offer additional training and coaching or discipline employees who are falling short. Qualitative data are actions and behaviors that are observed. There are no numbers involved which means the data are subjective. Often these data are collected via employee surveys, interviews, and observations.

Examples of qualitative data are why employees stay or leave an organization, the value of teamwork in an organization, the effectiveness of how a supervisor manages her direct reports, etc. HR Professionals need to show that we understand what we are talking about and how we analyze and report them as they contribute to the improving the business. You will need to know what you will do with it once you have it.

All they want to know is what value HR is generating for the company. Generating Irrelevant Data — Metrics must be able to effectively answer relevant business questions so the focus must be to collect and report only data that is important to the business. Learn and understand what metrics are important to your organization. Relying on Gross Numbers — Try to avoid averages as they mask the effects on the business.

Analyze the mean, median, mode, and the percentile in order to determine if the data points are spread out in a wide range or are bunched up around the middle. Not Telling the Story — After collecting and analyzing the data, make sure to tell the story of what happened, why it happened, when it happened, where it happened, how it happened, and to whom it happened.

Analysis Stagnation — What are the implications of the data and what are you going to do with it? If the data and the story are compelling enough, determine how to get management to take action in order to solve the identified problem or exploit the identified opportunity. I encourage you to take another look at these common mistakes and do what you can to avoid them. As I mentioned, HR Professionals must, in order to be take seriously, be able to understand what we are talking about and how to effectively analyze and report our data in order to positively impact the business of our organization.


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Jac Fitz-enz, Metrics Maverick



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