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A Watershed Moment: Human Capital Metrics for Investors
April 13, 2012
By Brian Kelly
I can feel it, you probably can too. We’re at the start of something special in the workforce metrics and analytics arena. But, like so many other disciplines, it is difficult to understand what progress is being made when we are smack dab in the middle of it.
There is no doubt that we have come a long way as shown by more and more stand alone senior level HR positions with the title of “VP – Workforce Analytics” being created and filled, and an expanding number of vendors offering solutions and services in response to a growing analytics market interest.
But to skeptics, a question remains: are we really making progress? Or is all of the analytics stuff just a re-hashing of old concepts with updated data and terms to make it feel fresh and relevant?
I believe the ”Guidelines for Human Capital Metrics to Investors” issued recently from the Industry Standards Working Group of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a watershed moment in the metrics and analytics movement. For the first time a globally recognized body (SHRM) in collaboration with public and private sector organizations, academics and global standards organizations (American National Standards Institute) have proposed standards for debate, discussion and voluntary adoption. I am sure that these Investor Metrics will stir debate, drive dialogue and create energy around metrics and analytics with a common goal in sight: the creation of a common language, with clear definitions, for organizations to truly assess and measure the impact of human capital on organizational financial performance.
Is there work left to be done on this journey?
Will we look back on this process ten years from now and say this work helped once and for all create a common set of standards for which we all subscribe and follow (think GAAP)?
I think we will – which is exciting for all of us.
NOTE: The author of this blog post serves as the Assistant Task Force Leader of the SHRM Human Capital and has participated in the work effort to date.