Analytic Measures Used to Predict and Evaluate the Quality and Impact of HR Practices

Introduction

Human resource management (HRM) is generally the management of work and people, in order to meet desired goals and objectives in any organization. HRM is fundamental in starting and growing an organization, thus, has an inevitable consequence. There are various variations such as styles, managerial resources, and ideologies used to engage the HRM. The relative performance of HRM models can be questioned in relation to the contribution they make to enhance organization performance that relates to investments such as advertising campaigns, new production technologies, and acquisition of property. This forms an important area of analysis. In HR and HR service delivery, metrics have become an important component that helps in measuring HR program performance, thus, provides actionable insights in efficiency and effectiveness of the system in companies. According to Kaufman (2014), analytics in human resource management can be traced to the early 1900s. The level of analysis used in the estimation of the impact of HRM practices at the firm level is strategic rather than functional. This approach supports both the development and validation of a tool that reflects work practices performance. Measures of financial performance and intermediate employment outcomes are dependent variables, whose results are based on a national sample of firms. Individual employee performance has been a topic of prevalent argument among practitioners on whether its implications affect firm-level outcomes.

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The Importance of Evaluating HRM

In the management of companies, managers should manage basic activities to ensure the supporting functions are appropriate rather than organizing only. These functions are evaluated in accordance with the conduct of Human Resources Management (HRM) of the business. The effectiveness of a function influences the overall success or failure of the company. Increasing demands in today’s business environment have led to intensive pressure in HRM implementation. Organizational changes in teamwork and quality management system, the productivity of the workforce, increase in HR’s role and improved flexibility are influenced by the HRM. This has led to the increased necessity to evaluate the HRM and definition of the added value of the practice. The contribution of HRM has a detailed characterization of the company’s activity. These contributions include one, evaluation to deliver good economic comprehension. Two, HR programs should be objected to providing an appropriate return on investments thus, a good comprehension of the program’s value that provides convincing evidence obtained through the evaluation process and formal measurement. Three, evaluation provides the proof of the result of the HR staff, thus, their efforts can be recognized. Four, as a result of the evaluation, results obtained are used to encourage HR staff to focus on important activities that bring a difference in the contribution of organizational effectiveness. Data collected from the evaluation process is used to isolate causes of HR problems as causes can be easily identified, thus, measure progress towards solving these problems. Personal satisfaction and position are increased because of evaluation, thus, HR staff can judge their success. Evaluation can lead to additional resources such as new programs, services, and policies based on the HR function progress. Many executives have HRM dashboards on their computers that provide a company’s financial and business performance metrics quick view. In times of crisis, where there is a necessity of conducting activities such as bonus payments tied to the company, cutting back on recruiting, laying off employees and measuring individual performance, evaluation of the HRM is done. Managers use dashboards to highlight qualitative and quantitative HR metrics. In firms, employee opinions can be used to diagnose specific problems and needs and preferences of employees can be identified. HRM is recently being influenced by the economic crisis, thus, functions such as monitoring HR budget, managing structural changes in an organization, and development of a reward system are highly planned.

HRM Practices

According to Arulrajah (2014), Human Resource Management (HRM) influences the achievement of organizational goals in the effectiveness and efficiency of human resources. HRM practices are generally HR programs, techniques, and processes that can be implemented in the organization. Innovative business units seek to manage continuously the HR to create and market their new products and services in an effective manner. The rate of innovation and human resource are interdependent and complement each other accordingly.  Deliberate designing and implementation of radical changes are the main concerns of organizational innovation. Organizations that involve themselves in innovation need creative and innovative people who have attributes such as flexible, tolerance of uncertainty, risk-taking, and ambiguous. This describes the relationship between HRM and innovation (Chen & Huang, 2017).  

Employee’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors are the sources of innovation performance in a business unit. Innovation capacities are determined by the employee’s motivation and competencies. HRM practices have the power to control innovation occurrence, innovation inputs, and sustainability of the organization’s performance. HRM practices such as participation, career plans, training, autonomy, and organized recruitment process are affiliated with creativity and innovation (Sanz-Valle & Jiménez-Jiménez, 2018). Diversity management, a result of effective HRM practices, creates and maintains the competitive advantage for organizations since diversity increases creativity and innovation (D’Netto et al, 2014). Information technology (IT) adoption and virtual organization (VO) forms the basis of e-HRM. These adoptions positively influence organization innovation and the relationship between an employee’s creativity and innovation. In materializing the performance of innovation’s role, additional mechanisms trigger innovation such as motivation, innovation-oriented behaviors, culture, and climate for innovation. 

An organization can sustain its HRM practices for a long period if the aspect of retaining a creative workforce and experts is achieved. HRM practice involves input roles, which supply the human capital for innovation. Analyzing and estimating HR input role in hiring creative people, innovation, and recruiting highly and qualified personnel for job vacancies are the capabilities an organization should possess. Potential benefits of workforce diversity include success in handling customers, creativity and innovation, and better decision making. These are accrued to selection practices of HRM. Similarly, ‘global staffing’ can create workforce diversity, which is key to corporate integration and learning. HRM innovation is generally the implementation of human resource management practices that are presentations of important departure from current norms.

Approaches to Measuring HRM Practices (analytics)

According to Marler & Boudreau (2017), HR analytics based on empirical evidence indicates the influence of people data on vital business outcomes. HR analytics can also be referred to as HR metrics, workforce analytics, or human capital metrics. It is more of data collection and conducting an analysis. HR analytics reflects the desire to use data to inform decision-making. In organizations, analytics are used to rebrand existing functions by laying an emphasis on supporting organizational strategy and in the process integrate HR with other business functions.  Logically, in a wider strategic practice, HRM function and HR analytics function may be integrated to aid in developing high-performance work practices and commitment based on HR systems (Garavan et al, 2016). In identifying the key human capital trends in a business unit, HR metrics dashboard is essential.  There are five key areas, which include the ability to retain talent, leadership depth, employee engagement, spending on human capital, and leadership quality that metrics generally covers. Metrics can be categorized into metrics of efficiency, metrics of effectiveness and metrics of impact. These categories are based on the nature of what is measured at a certain time.

Efficiency

Efficiency metrics focus on the ratio of resources to outcomes and speed. These metrics can include measures like time to fill, cost per hire, HR expenses, and training investment per high-potential employee. Using these measures, HR functions can manage time wastage, money, or effort, which is clearly beneficial to an organization. However, in the process of avoiding waste potential interpretation on focal processes of efficiency can either be maximized or minimized. Managing of payroll and employee service centers apply the efficiency metrics. A wait-time metric should balance the waste that a wait time represents for an employee against an idle agent’s waste in a service center. Metrics of efficiency are designed to generally capture and balance several criteria.

Effectiveness

Measuring efficiency is accompanied by a measure of products and services effectiveness in an organization.  Outcomes desired in HR programs and services are evaluated, as well as, measures such as differentiation in rewards, quality of hire, and availability of key leadership role successors among others. These metrics can be set to represent the quality of HR efforts in areas such as recruitment, performance appraisal, and labor relations. An HR decision maker has to think beyond the resources needed in order to create an effectiveness measure. Effectiveness requires additional manipulation of HR data in order to analyze the data effectively.

Customer metrics

Customer metrics identify relations between customer satisfaction with HR services and the ability of the HRM system to meet customer needs. These metrics are very effective when it comes to identifying improvement opportunities that improve the quality of HR services.

Process metrics

Process metrics measures output and the efficiency of HR practices. High-level issues such as identification of opportunities, overall volume transaction measurement, and effectiveness of process execution are addressed. Insights defined by these metrics include a number of HR data errors, variance from compensation, and job acceptance rate. In improving delivery mechanisms and HR processes, process metric is important.

Talent metrics 

The competency gaps in the workforce of an organization are identified using the talent metrics. Implications of promotion strategies, different hiring, and attrition are among gaps identified by the metric. The metric comprises of retention of high performers, succession plan, promotion rates, and the share of hiring new employees.

Financial metrics

These metrics quantify the impact and cost of HR practices that consist of the cost of turnover, return on investment, and training spent per employee among others. The monetary success of an HR program is determined using the metric, thus, answering business questions relative to the insights.

HR Leaders

HR measures are focused on tailoring specific leaders who receive information in the organization. HR leaders require insights into the full operation of HR programs. Metrics such as the measure of employee diversity, the time taken to fill a vacancy, and the total cost of hiring are relevant to HR leaders.

Non-HR leaders

These leaders work in functions outside HR such as site leaders and divisional managers. They require metrics that are relevant to their day-to-day roles. The measures used are unique to business functions; thus, pose difficulty in tracking progress.

Turnover (number of leavers/ total population in the organization)

 This metric indicates the total number of workers who leave a company in a certain year. When the turnover metric is combined with a performance metric, it can track differences in attrition in both high and low performers. Information about different departments of an organization is easily acquired.

Cost per hire (total cost of hiring/the number of new hires)

This metric indicates the costs incurred by the company in efforts of hiring new employees. It serves as an efficiency indicator.

The HR Scorecard

Balanced scorecard generally measures the total contribution of HR measures to organizational performance. The balanced scorecard answers the following questions; customer perspective: how do customers view the company? The internal business perspective: what must we stop at? Learning and innovation perspectives: Can we create or continue to improve value? Final perspective: what is our look on shareholders? HR mission or vision is used to deliver a key focus to the HR department. To support the HR mission, the right compensation system plans should be in place and the necessary skills are determined for every role.

Internal BusinessGOAL: adopt an enhanced and new program development to improve quality and efficiencyCustomer serviceGoal: improve customer service continuously for internal and external customers
Work Culture GOAL: Continuously improve the work culture consistently  FinancesGOAL: Generate adequate resources to reinvest in buildings, technology, and research 

 Using the customer perspective measure, two sets of the customer are typically represented in a scorecard. First, business partners/ units; the HR department is usually expected by other key departments to find the best talent by using even and timely hires, thus, act as a trusted partner in an organization. Second, employees of the company; the HR is looked upon by the company’s employees to support the culture, training, and fairness in compensation schemes. The knowledge of important issues concerning both groups of “customers” facilitates satisfaction in the company. HR professions are mandated to listen to amid concerns and give feedback to the two groups. 

Financial perspective; cost reduction or management is normally part of the perspective as an organization objects to reducing HR costs. Since the organization can benefit widely by investing in HR, aspects of examining Return on Investments (ROI), time lost in staff vacancies should be balanced with the objective of improving the skills of employees. Explaining the benefits of HR business activities is important as it is directly related to financial contribution.

 Internal perspective; an HR scorecard is different from the general business scorecard in terms of internal perspective difference. Themes like customer management, innovation, and cost efficiency are not included in the HR scorecard. The scorecard includes; hiring, developing, or retaining talent. Secondly, it includes culture, which requires the HR department to have programs that shape any performance culture. Thirdly, it includes communication, which encompasses ensuring that information in an organization about strategy, performance, and compensation to employees is delivered to the employees by the HR department. Lastly, the Scorecard contains training, which involves providing training opportunities to each organization department and determining competency gaps.

Learning and growth perspective; this applies to HR team members where they acquire skills they require to learn and grow. This perspective is subject to the only HR department, thus, no emphasis should be done for the entire company. The HR scorecard strategy should be tested with the leadership team in various departments to ensure the right focus.

References

Aladwan, K., Bhanugopan, R., & D’Netto, B. (2015). The effects of human resource management practices on employees’ organizational commitment. International Journal of Organizational Analysis23(3), 472-492

Arulrajah, A. (2014). Human resource management practices and innovation: a review of the literature.

Garavan, T., Watson, S., Carbery, R., & O’Brien, F. (2016). The antecedents of leadership development practices in SMEs: The influence of HRM strategy and practice. International Small Business Journal34(6), 870-890.

Kaufman, B. E. (2014). The historical development of American HRM broadly viewed. Human Resource Management Review24(3), 196-218.

Lee, Y. D., Lin, C. C., & Huang, C. F. (2017). An overview of contemporary international human resource management studies: Themes and relationships. Library Hi Tech35(4), 490-508.

Marler, J. H., & Boudreau, J. W. (2017). An evidence-based review of HR Analytics. The International Journal of Human Resource Management28(1), 3-26.Sanz-Valle, R., & Jiménez-Jiménez, D. (2018). HRM and product innovation: does innovative work behaviour mediate that relationship?. Management Decision.

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