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Author Archive - Ian J Cook

Ian J. Cook MA, MBA, CHRP, continues to pursue a fascination for people and business. His quest to understand what it takes for organizations, and the people in them, to thrive has led to many fantastic career stages. Ian has been an entrepreneur, an operational manager and spent 10 years, consulting to some of the World’s leading companies. Read more

The standards challenge

How do you measure turnover? Most people think they understand turnover. It is a simple and useful concept when it comes to understanding the flow of people through your organization. It is an important marker for determining overall organizational health and likely productivity impacts. If turnover is too high, your business stalls due to constant re-training; if turnover is too low, it can stagnate, leading to mediocre performance.

 

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Absenteeism is on the rise

We have just reported our Q2 2011 results. We have gone through the time consuming and detailed process of auditing and are now in the process of letting folks know what happened in Q2 2011 on a range of metrics. One measure that we have been keeping a close eye on is absenteeism. Absenteeism keeps going up and the Q2 results are continuing that trend.

 

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Is three a magic number?

The joy of numbers and tracking activity through a consistent and repeatable system is that it gets past the biases of perception and limits of cognition which can skew the decisions we make about people and organizational practices.

 

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Let me compare thee…

To achieve the best of both worlds it is important to align your data with common standards that are most likely to provide the opportunity for like with like comparison and like with unlike comparison. This creates the capability to compare in a way that confirms your performance or compare in a way that pushes your performance. As with all data and analytic practices the right thing to do is the one which moves the performance needle for your organization. The more HR can do this AND demonstrate this the better.

 

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Performance is relative

How do we resolve this dilemma? Time to Fill does tell us something important, yet we cannot be sure whether a change to this number is due to our own efforts or the effects of the overall job market.

 

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Why measure HR?

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.

 

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