The Best Measure of HCM Effectiveness

measurement hcm effectivenessI was asked in a conversation the other day, if I could name one measure or metric to look for that would exemplify what great HCM looked like, what would it be? My answer, in a word? Movement. Does your organization measure – and reward – how willing your leaders are to move talent up, around, through and even out of the organization?

Think of it this way. If you are confident in your organization’s ability to attract, retain, develop and deploy talent, you are unafraid to share and move talent because you understand your organization’s capability to provide you with the quality replacement. In your organization, when a position opens up are your leaders clamoring to get their best people in position to move up or over into an opportunity that will develop them in their own career and help the business move forward?

They are far more likely to do so if they know that when their best person moves to a new team, they have the internal and/or external pipeline to fill that position. And think of the flipside. How many times have you been part of a conversation about a low performer where the consensus is, “yeah they’re not doing very well, but they’re here and we don’t want to go through the pain of finding someone else – remember how hard it was last time?” How much does that conversation cost your organization?

If your human capital processes, technologies, and strategies are truly humming, you create environment in which managers are unafraid to move people, the quality of talent is calibrated across the organization creating transparency, and there is trust in the process to backfill for roles vacated by people who move up or move on. Can your organization say that movement of talent is a core competency? Do you measure how many people on a manager’s team are promoted, moved to another area, or turned over?

And more importantly, do you hold them accountable and reward them for these numbers? Imagine if the manager moving their best person on to another team got a call from their boss congratulating them for being a great steward of the organization’s talent resources. What kind of a culture shift would that create?

We can – and do – measure lots of important things in our organizations. We need operational metrics to get more efficient and effective. We need business performance metrics understand the health of our organization. But if I were to boil down a single element most likely to tell me that an organization had great HCM practices, and true partnership with the business, it would be movement.

Agree? Disagree? Suggestions for measuring talent movement? Hit me up in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Mollie Lombardi, VP and Principal Analyst,
Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

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Mollie Lombardi