Human Resources: Four Key Tips for Optimizing Workforce Performance
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between now and 2012, nearly 35 million baby boomers will retire, leaving businesses with one of the tightest labor markets in American history. As a result, human resource executives are being forced to implement systems to properly measure workforce performance.
In their new book, “Ultimate Performance: Measuring Human Resources at Work” (Wiley, 2007, $50), authors Nicholas Burkholder, Scott Golas and Jeremy Shapiro offer human resource managers a plan for expanding their workforce’s contributions to the bottom line. Listed below are four of their best tips to go about this process.
1. Track data. Knowing your company’s external and internal recruiting expenses allows you to effectively calculate cost ratio and efficiency, the authors suggest.
2. Monitor activity indicators. Key indicators, such as acceptance-to-start ratio, should be monitored weekly, the book says. Follow any trends that the results yield, both positive and negative.
3. Consistent measuring. Calculate quality, time, satisfaction and efficiency about once a month. But the authors caution not to do this more freqently, because it can distort your results.
4. Experimentation. Try new things without being afraid of producing negative results. Grade these programs on a learning curve. Look for and learn from your mistakes, while exploiting the positive. Things are never as bad, or good, as they seem, the book says.
Rather than viewing the traditional “personnel department” as a cost center, the authors emphasize that human resource departments should function as full partner in managing the strategic direction and performance of an organization as a whole.
“The ability to maximize the performance of your human assets relies on the ability to measure their attributes,” the authors conclude, as well as to “exploit the strengths, and examine the weaknesses.”