Welcome to episode 34 of the Rethink HR podcast, brought to you by bettHR.
In today’s episode, I share six secrets for every HR professional to bust some myths about creating HR metrics that have prevented you from getting started. Learn how to get started with the data you already have access to without any additional spend.
Here are the secrets shared:
- #1: You Don’t Need to Blow $20k on an HR Metrics “Solution”
- #2: You Already Have Access to the Metrics, You Aren’t Starting from Scratch
- #3: Maximize the Systems You Already Own
- #4: Know Exactly What to Track
- #5: You Don’t Have to Be a Math Wizard, to Be a Rock Star
- #6: How You Synthesize and Tell the Story, Matters Most
If you want to get the free guide to help you get started with HR metrics, click the image below.
Melissa Anzman (00:00): So we have to tell a story that holds up over time and is consistent and the same meaning for everyone. Otherwise that metric just doesn't make sense. I'm Melissa Anzman HR practitioner turned CEO of a thriving employee experience company, but it wasn't all that long ago that I worked as an HR business partner, responsible for increasing employee engagement at companies nationwide. And I struggled to move the needle, even after trying everything under the sun. Fast-Forward past many fail tactics and lessons learned, and you'll see how I've been able to crack the code and replicated at companies of all sizes for creating true engagement and doing HR work that matters work that changes the lives of leaders, HR professionals, and employees. By focusing on the employee experience, I created the rethink HR podcast to give you actionable step-by-step strategies to help you make an impact. If you're an HR leader or one on the rise, who's looking to stop spinning your wheels, doing the same tired activities that aren't driving results, or you want to have a career.
Melissa Anzman (01:09): You love your in the right place. Let's get started as human resources, us in HR, as we continue to transform and evolve and deliver even better employee experiences for our employees, but also for us as employees, within HR, as HR become something really awesome. We have to continue to add new tools to our toolbox and the way that HR is aligned and operates. We need to change that as well. If you have listened to me before, you know, it's not all about employee engagement because employee engagement, isn't something we can technically force or do. It's an outcome of having a positive employee experience and just like engagement is going away. It's also important for how we in HR can deliver actual value to the organization, how it can be, how we can be and become a more people focused department that continues to drive positive change for the company.
Melissa Anzman (02:18): But more importantly for our employees and HR metrics, analytics is just one way that we can do that. Now often when we talk about HR metrics or when you hear about it, it's referred to as the data fication of HR or analytics or some thing that seems super murky. It is an emerging field. It's a little bit newer to HR. We were kind of late to the party on this one, but that's okay. We came in with a bang, but it is one of those topics. One of those areas and expertise and knowledge that can significantly boost your own HR IQ and your, but also create your department into a high performing department. But there are so many different ways to get it wrong. And there are a lot of things that you may be considering that will lead you down the wrong path because it's not relevant for you.
Melissa Anzman (03:19): So as we continue our journey into HR metrics today, we are going to talk about the six HR metrics, secrets, every HR professional that's you needs to know. So the first is you do not need Tableau 20,000, 50,000, 130,000. What have you on an HR metrics solution? It wouldn't just be nice to just drop some money on a solution and have instant metrics. Well, many vendors out there are going to try and convince you that you absolutely must use a crazy expensive software in order to get metrics in order to understand the data and value behind what you're doing in HR. But that's only half of the story. There are some great metrics driven software solutions out there, but you don't need to spend money or more money in order to get results. In fact, blowing that kind of money on a metric solution may actually hurt your HR credibility more than it can help it.
Melissa Anzman (04:26): Why? Well, because when you spend that big of a spend on something on a solution, it's not going to get you closer to the actual information that you need wasting an already tight, if not totally cut HR budget. So purchasing metrics driven software is not the answer to your metrics. Woes. The secret is you don't need fancy software to have metrics. So stop being convinced and swayed. Otherwise you have all of the knowledge, you have the data in order to create your own HR metrics. Are there platforms out there that make it easier? Yeah, absolutely. But I can tell you in the hundreds of times that I have presented on this topic, I always show a dashboard from one of those very expensive solutions. And I say, which one do you, would you prefer this image that looks like super fancy from a super expensive platform or this one that I created on my own in PowerPoint, 10 out of 10, every single time hands raised for the solution that I create.
Melissa Anzman (05:39): Because when you spend a lot of money, you get too much information. So the whole point about metrics is it has to be relevant for you, which brings me to the second secret, which is you already have access to the metrics you are not starting from scratch. So as HR professionals, we have a lot of access to a lot of information details about our workforce. Thousands of touch points about candidates, information about performance and goals and attendance. And so on the data points you need to create meaningful HR metrics are already available to you. It's just a matter of piecing together the right key factors. So before you convince yourself that the, that being the official storyteller for HR is just not in the cards. You're just not willing to play in the HR metrics game, take inventory of all of the various data points that you have about your employee population and HR.
Melissa Anzman (06:47): Look at things like demographic data from your workforce, dig into employee relations information. How does performance management work what's causing why changing year over year for your employee population or what's changing and employee engagement and so on, you can use this as a guide, as a starting place of what to inventory. If you get stuck, you also should listen to the previous episodes on metrics and where to start. So you can understand what to look for, but everything your company already has gathered can be used to create metrics and analytics for HR. And for us, it's just not that hard or difficult to find. And I want to do a little note here in that. Yes, you already have the metrics. You're not starting from scratch, but I also just want to reaffirm you that this is going to be a new skill and that's okay.
Melissa Anzman (07:41): We can learn new things. We are very smart, intelligent people, and our careers in HR are supposed to grow and evolve. And I'm going to touch on how in just a second, but I want to just remind you, you're not starting from scratch with the data, but you are learning something new here. So secret number three is how to maximize the systems you already own. So must, most of us are not tech experts. In fact, I'm guessing some of you will do anything and everything possible to not touch a single tech thing, if it can be avoided and that's okay, except when it comes to programs and softwares that your HR organization has already purchased and currently uses. But don't worry. I'm not going to ask you to do this on your own. If you have some tech stuff and you're not really into it, I want you to talk with your eight.
Melissa Anzman (08:36): It liaison for your HR systems, find out what you're using the name and the version, and then get to Googling to find out the capabilities of your systems. Most of the times there are various bells and whistles are simply on switches to all of these software programs that you are under utilizing. And it just doesn't know to turn them on. So I can't tell you how frequently I see this. I'm like, yeah, I just don't really know where to start. I don't know how to get this data. And so I asked them, what system are you using? And they're like, we're using Workday. And I roll my eyes because, Oh my goodness, the back end of work day is intense. We can measure pretty much anything. We can slice it and dice it. We have a lot of data in, we can make a lot of data out.
Melissa Anzman (09:24): It's just a matter of understanding which data we need to track for. So don't do this. If you already have [inaudible] software, an applicant tracking software system in there, or other HR systems that you have, I want you to see what types of metrics capabilities they have before you consider creating your own. And let me just give you a little hint. Here's another secret chalet, which is you don't need to create your own. That's crazy town. You do not need to create your own system here. There are plenty at various touch points and costs for you to do so. I just want you to go deep into what you're already using, understand what data points can be seen, what information can be extracted and so on with little effort on your behalf, you didn't get into HR to crunch, but there's got to be some way for you to show the results of your hard work and figure out what's really working for your company and spatially.
Melissa Anzman (10:26): Right now, every HR professional today has to be able to identify what to track, how to quantify it and what to do with the results at better. We want HR pros to be able to leverage HR metrics, to do more great work for their people. Our goal is to help you track the right things in the right way, without relying on out of touch outsourcing or a one size fits all solution, HR metrics, one Oh one is designed to help you do just that it's a four week online course that introduces you to HR metrics, how to choose the right ones for you to track in your current role. How to turn numbers into stories and build a business case around what you've discovered. When you know your metrics, you can focus time on the work that matters by having a clear roadmap for your priorities.
Melissa Anzman (11:23): You can significantly increase your results across the board by boosting your efficiency and forgetting the days when you felt like you were throwing spaghetti against the wall. And you'll instantly raise your authority and profile at work. Meaning more great opportunities will come your way to find out if HR metrics on a one can help you meet your goals and Excel in your role in HR text: BETTHR to 44222. Okay. So secret number four is know exactly what you want to track. So one of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make is tracking the wrong or worse, not meaningful metrics for your organization. When you're beginning an HR metrics program, more isn't always better, right? Is better. Meaningful is better. In other words, understand exactly what your organization needs to know and track those metrics. The easiest way to do this is by looking at your company's annual goals and their mission statement and values.
Melissa Anzman (12:33): And for you, what's most important is the employee experience framework and learn what's important to the business and then ensure your metrics support these directives. So for example, most HR departments, track turnover and possibly retention rates. This can be a meaningful metric, but it can also hold no value whatsoever, depending on where you work. A very simplified example of this is let's say a startup company, perhaps they don't want to hang on to their employees. After they complete each phase retention rates alone, then don't have a meaningful story for that type of company. They don't care. They want their people to leave. They want to start fresh at each phase, which is fine. Instead they would want to track key talent retention rates, seeing how they're holding on to the employees that got them there. And they want to keep them there as they move through the different phases of their business.
Melissa Anzman (13:30): And if you want to know exactly how to figure this out, I want you to listen to the rethink HR episode, number 33, to learn exactly how now secret number five is you don't have to be a math wizard to be an HR metrics rockstar. Okay. So maybe you're not exactly a math genius. I mean, if you are, then I'm hoping that you're using that genius in something more math based like perhaps compensation or finance, since it's a rare skill that I personally don't have. And so I always think that it's really brilliant when you can leverage that. But I digress the thought of having to create metrics and use math may not be super high on your list of exciting and fun activities. That's okay. I hear you. I was you, but creating HR metrics and analytics has very little to do with math.
Melissa Anzman (14:26): Did you ask a little, I know I did. When I learned this, it has to do with spotting meaningful trends and understanding what the numbers actually mean. And you already know how to do that. In fact, you're already doing that on a daily basis without even knowing it or acknowledging it. Most HR metrics are a standard formula, which you don't even have to create. It's a simple plug and play. So the math itself, isn't something that should freak you out. Instead as the HR rockstar that you are, you're going to need to learn how to use your skillset and strength to deliver and interpret the data to your team and the rest of the organization. And that is when your role becomes the storyteller, not the map wizard. And trust me, when you get to this point, you get to be a little creative. You get to use colors and create charts and graphs, or just numbers and actual stories around the metrics so that when you share them, that makes sense to those you're sharing with.
Melissa Anzman (15:27): And then finally secret number six, how you synthesize and tell the story matters. Most having actual metrics is just really the first step. The numbers is your gateway in, but it's not where you stop. And most people stop there and don't understand why no one gets the story behind it, because we're not telling them how, but having the story around it is what is the most important part of the process? How you take your gathered method, metrics, turn them into something meaningful, share it in the right way is what's key here. Numbers don't speak for themselves. If they did, you wouldn't need to be a subject matter expert on the data. One of the key things that HR professionals forget when they're working with metrics, is that what we know as true does not hold the same for people outside of HR. Kind of like when finance has a budget meeting with you and you turn everything out, except for your bottom line numbers, I mean needed, you don't do that, right?
Melissa Anzman (16:32): Yes, you do. It's the same thing here. Each department speaks a different language and the key purpose of HR metrics is to take the HR, speak out of the metrics and turn it into a language, into a story that every other department can understand and relate to. So in other words, this becomes the storytelling piece. This is what's important about the metrics we take, the number. We interpret it for others outside of HR, to really understand and learn from what we're trying to say. And here's the thing. Like, we tend to just take metrics. If we're touching them, we're going to create a magic and we plop them in a deck and share it. And that's not helping anything because we're not giving context and someone's going to interpret it differently. And the whole point about metrics is we're removing the possibility of interpretation from different biases, from different perspectives and from different departments.
Melissa Anzman (17:33): So we have to tell a story that holds up over time and is consistent and the same meaning for everyone. Otherwise that metric just doesn't make sense. Now we have a special download for you for this episode. So if you go to betHR.com/6metrics, that's the number six and the word metrics. You can get this guide for the six HR metrics, secrets that you should know and keep it handy for you. As you dive into your new, hopefully improved HR metrics journey.
Melissa Anzman (18:10): Thank you so much for tuning in for this episode of the Rethink HR Podcast. For more information, including show notes and resources, please go to RethinkHRpodcast.com/34.
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