Ever since I entered the Human Resources (HR) profession, even in graduate school, there has been dialogue around what HR needs to do in order to get a seat at the table. This dialogue seems to have picked up even more steam in recent years and much of the growth in HR research has been focused on finding a way for HR to get that seat at the table through proving its legitimacy and its value. My view is that HR should, instead of trying to fit in or get a seat at an existing table, focus on agenda setting.
The most frequently used analogy when it comes to measuring HR is that of driving a car without a speedometer: how would you drive if you did not know your speed?
The deeper we look into HR measurement the less satisfying this analogy becomes. The basic premise that you need information to perform well is correct. However, when you have a speedometer and you are going too fast, your actions are obvious – you take your foot of the gas pedal.
This direct link between information and action is not the case for HR.