Sometimes it can feel as if we spend all of our time working ridiculously hard on inputs. We rarely take the time to assess the outputs and results of our work.
Organisations often bounce from one set of initiatives to another. An initial transformation project gets overtaken by an event such as an acquisition, or an adjustment of business priorities. Things rarely get finished. Or rather, it can be very difficult to finish something and feel like it is finished. Because in reality, when it comes to organisations, a project can never be ‘complete’. There is always the next phase of challenges to overcome and improvements to be gained. Rarely do we ever get the chance to look back on the work we’ve done and feel satisfied that we did a “good job” and, even more importantly, that we can prove it to the business. I think this is one of the reasons it is so difficult for those dealing with organisational and people effectiveness to put forward a powerful business case.
But no longer. It’s time for us to put the outputs first. HR is moving from an operational to a strategic force in the organisation and with this, it’s all about impact. Three recommendations that I’ve found useful in my work:
– Connect the project to the business: before any project starts what are the key aims and how do they relate to the business?
– Select your outcome metrics: Make sure the benefits you are planning to realise can be tracked in a way that actually means something to the business. For example:
- Sales performance
- Attrition rates and recruitment costs
- Productivity rates
– Track the results: Once you have set up your measurements, keep tracking them. Not only does this mean you can celebrate and make a killer business case when things go right, but if things go wrong you can tweak and refine the project to have more impact.
So what does this actually look like in practice?
Over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring some key case studies of businesses that measure the impact of their HR inputs and show results in numbers. These examples will show how HR can prove its value at the boardroom table.
If you have a great story, please share it with me: Giles.Slinger@orgvue.com. I’d be happy to write it up and share it as part of this series on HR impact.