Welcome to episode 31 of the Rethink HR podcast, brought to you by bettHR.

In today’s episode, learn how to get started with your first HR metric, even if you’re not a numbers person or aren’t sure if this whole “metrics thing” is for you. By asking these four questions, you’ll be able to identify exactly where to start with your first HR metric.

Question 1: What are your organization’s goals? [03:24]

Question 2: How can HR support these goals? [08:50]

Question 3: How can you pull the thread in a meaningful way? [12:38]

Question 4: How do you choose your first HR metric? [16:10]

If you want to get the free guide to help you get started with your first HR metric, click the image below.

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Melissa Anzman (00:00): The metrics have to be aligned with what you're trying to do, share, teach, show, or explain to the business. You have to pull the thread and get to the bottom of why your company cares enough about a specific goal or outcome to have it as part of their success factors. 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.

Melissa Anzman (01:08): 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. You love your in the right place. Let's get started. Let's talk HR metrics. So many of you know, me from the employee experience and engagement and communications and all those fun things. But my first love the core of what made me fall in love with HR is HR metrics. And no, I am not a numbers person. In fact, I almost failed accounting and my dad is an accountant and helped me, okay. I am not a numbers person, but I really am obsessed with metrics because it helps us give a liquidity to what we're doing in HR and making sure that we're focusing on the right things and that our work and effort actually matters.

Melissa Anzman (02:07): And of course that we're achieving the goals that we need to achieve, especially right now, in order to be successful for ourselves and for our employees. And most importantly for our company. And so we're going to dive into HR metrics in several episodes that are coming up because it is my obsession, but also it's something that you may be hesitant in learning or thinking that you don't have this skillset, or maybe it's you just think it's going to take too much time to integrate into your HR business. And I want to tell you all those things are false. You can do it and you can do it pretty quickly. Now the foundation of devil delivering great value driven HR starts with knowing how your current HR program and programs are and to do that. We need HR metrics. So for most of us thinking about adding even more math and calculations to our life seems well overwhelming to say the least, I mean, I am in that boat with you, or maybe you aren't quite sure where to start or how to implement these metrics into your current role.

Melissa Anzman (03:24): You don't have a budget to outsource the data and analytics that surely would make just everything seem so much easier. And I want you to know if you're thinking any of those things or some of the other stuff around it, you are not alone. In fact, this is the exact spot that most HR professionals are in when they're asked to show their value and prove their program and HR organizations success, knowing that we need to start with one metric is great, but how do we actually get there? So we're going to start with a few questions that are going to get you started get you in the right direction to explore HR metrics and then keep you on track. So the first question is what are your organization's goals? One of the biggest mistakes HR departments make over and over again, and then do it again in an annual basis is as the C-suite establishes their company wide goals.

Melissa Anzman (04:35): We forget to understand how each of that those goals fit into our HR department and organization as a whole and each organization, each department should be doing that as well. But since you're likely not able to influence how this is done, company Y side, let's focus on your role and the HR department first. So it's important to note that all HR metrics are not created equal. The metrics that your company needs to track is going to be very different than the metrics. Another company needs to track. They are not a one size fits all sport, and it is so good to know that it should be reassuring to you because that means we can create them. But it also means that I can't say do this and do that. And then you're going to have a brilliant HR metrics game. Okay? So we have to create metrics that are relevant to our own company and to understand exactly which metrics are critical for your organization.

Melissa Anzman (05:50): You need to start with, what's critically important for your company as a whole. And so we start with the company's annual goals. So what is important to your senior leadership team to get accomplished this year and what are they tracking as a company to their shareholders or owners and so on? What are they saying is important and critical for success. Now, these annual goals, which likely retain some similar themes year over year, indicate what's valued at your company. And that's important because all of the work that we do in HR needs to support these initiatives. So as you review your company-wide goals, consider what is driving your company forward this year and right now, and if you want to level up in the HR metrics game, understand why these goals were chosen. If you know the future focus for your company's goals, the HR metrics you need to create now and can track on an ongoing basis is going to be much easier to figure out.

Melissa Anzman (07:06): So now that you know, what is driving your company forward, I want you to really understand what does success look like this year for your company now, basically, what will it make? What will happen? What will it take for your shareholders and owners to be ecstatic at the end of the year, looking back, yes, sales, we get that. But what other factors are they saying they need to accomplish to be successful maybe as launching a new product or getting approval from an agency or hiring diverse employees or opening a new office or so on. Often the company success factors are written into your annual goals, but other times they're either implied or part of a company's mission statement or core values or so on. So be sure to include what success looks like in addition to the annual metrics. And while you're examining those success factors take notice of who actually approves what success looks like, basically the who behind the thumbs up, like who you need to please communicate your results to share those metrics with maybe it's the CEO or board of directors, but usually the pool is a little larger, like the C suite or senior leaders or so on at smaller companies that may be the owner or you or the HR director, but get clear on who is the person behind giving those two thumbs up, because we want to be sure that we're creating metrics that matter to that person or people.

Melissa Anzman (08:50): The second thing I want you to consider is how can HR support these goals? I call this, let's pull out the threat. So knowing the company's goals and success factors only gets us so far, it helps us parse out what's important, but we need to pull the thread so we can show how the work we do each day in HR support the company's overall goals and success factors. So what is HR and use specifically tasked with completing this year? What projects are on your plate? What campaigns are going on, what results will HR be held responsible? What are your annual goals? When looking at your goals as a whole, it's important to notice what isn't included as well. What are the various daily tasks or court job responsibilities that you're expected to deliver, but are not necessarily considered smart goals, hint, most of the relevant HR metrics that you will need to create to support your company's goals and outcomes will be rooted in your daily job.

Melissa Anzman (10:05): Not necessarily in the big blocks that you are going to accomplish, but once you have your annual goals and core job responsibilities captured, be sure to look at what your head of HR thinks is important. This may be easy or difficult depending on your organization and your insight in general, to what HR leadership is working on. Regardless since you work in HR, understanding what your HR leader thinks is important this year, coupled with what they care about as an individual contributor in their role, it adds another layer or level of depth that ensures you're going after the right metrics at the right time, you didn't get it

Speaker 2 (10:56): To HR to crunch numbers, 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. 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 101 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 around what you discovered when you know your metrics. You can focus time on the work that matters by having a clear roadmap for your priorities. 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 and even more great opportunities will come your way to find out if HR Metrics 101 can help you meet your goals and accel in your role in HR. Text BETTHR to: 44222.

Melissa Anzman (12:38): Next, we want to connect the thread in a meaningful way. Now that you can buy all the list. There is a workbook for this, by the way, have you downloaded it yet? But now that you've compiled the list, what of what the company cares about what your HR department cares about and what you are required to deliver this year? It's important to pull the thread in a meaningful way. Basically, you're going to ask so what, and then find value of each item. So we can determine which metrics are important to start tracking. If we start by looking at our company goals, we want to ask for each one, how does HR and you specifically support this goal. It likely isn't as obvious as you'd hope for most goals to break it down and find the HR value, you'll need to pull the thread. And so I want to share a quick example of how to do this in real life.

Melissa Anzman (13:43): If you have a set of companies of your company's goals, and maybe they're like a diversity goal, a product launch and enrollment, a signed performance reviews, a compliance issues and financial performance. Maybe those are the six goals for each one. I want you to write down how HR contributes to that goal. What does the company care about for achieving that? And what role do you play in helping that? So if it's a diversity goal, well, we, the company cares about getting the right talent into the organization, creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Well, we can support that in HR quite well, right? So we're going to outline and ask, what does the company care about? Why do they care about, and then how do we support that and help them achieve that goal? That's critical for success this year. And so you're going to say the company cares about it because getting the right talent in the organization is really important to have diverse thought and inclusive workplaces.

Melissa Anzman (14:51): But how we support that is we can have an onboarding project that is increasing candidate satisfaction, or we have a new recruiting style that ensures diverse candidates are a highly participatory group that we interview, or we have a S employee action group that is really supportive in helping us understand how we can truly transform into a more diverse workplace. But once we know that what the company cares about for each item, we then need to get clear on how you in HR can support each goal and desire. It may not be clear like you may have to guess during the first go around, but the work that you do each day definitely builds upon the company's outcome. Otherwise there would be no need for us as strategic HR partners. Now, once we have this outline, once we've decided and shared our work on paper, as far as how we support the company's goals, now it's time to identify the HR metrics that we should track for our company.

Melissa Anzman (16:10): So now it's time to choose your first metric. If it's clear that we have a supporting factor in achieving our company's outcomes, then we're able to identify the right HR metrics to start with, to this point, we've outlined what our company cares about because in order to create metrics that have any sort of value, our metrics must match up to the company's drivers, not the other way around now, as when you may be saying, you know, this seems like a lot of work when X expert told me, I should just track employee engagement, turnover, rates, and time to fill. We'd be fine, maybe, but we are taking some time now, so that you're able to track your metrics, that your leaders actually care about what, and then they can listen to you what you're saying and have substantial information, objective numbers to not only help them understand your perspective, but also influence your HR delivery more effectively.

Melissa Anzman (17:20): So if we take that expert's advice into consideration, you're likely going to be missing the Mark. Not because employee tracking employee engagement is a bad idea. That's so complicated for me to say, but it could be a good idea depending on your organization, but instead, you're not going to be telling the right or a relevant story behind employee engagement for your company. Just having the numbers, just having the metrics, isn't going to add any value. The metrics have to be aligned with what you're trying to share, teach, show, or explain to the business. You have to pull the thread and get to the bottom of why your company cares enough about a specific goal or outcome to have it as part of their success factors and how all employees within the organization are there to then support that outcome. So when looking at this last step for today, I want you to ask yourself, how does HR support this outcome and or what does HR do that can influence this outcome? Based on these questions, we then have a starting point for which metrics are important to the business. We know exactly where to start without wasting time or resources in chasing down metrics and details that don't have a direct correlation to what the business has to report on. And if you get stuck here, remember to pull that thread one more time and ask. So what, again, and again, until you get to the root of how HR is correlated and influencing that company's overall goal.

Speaker 2 (19:20): 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/31.