Measuring What Matters in Recognition

In my last post, we discussed the proper metrics for measuring recognition program success – metrics that matter to the CEO. Personnel Today recently wrote on this topic of HR Metrics Help HR Prove Its Worth.
The focus needs to be on outcomes, rather than input. David Cumberbatch, director at business psychologist Xancam, says: "When it comes to evaluating the spend on HR initiatives, too many organisations focus on internal, HR-focused measures rather than on business outcomes. HR can be obsessed with costs and focus more on cost than return."

He believes that by demonstrating how investment in HR contributes to the bottom line and desired business outcomes, HR professionals are more likely to get support from managers across the organisation.

Regardless of the sector, metrics must be linked to the organisation's objectives, says Andreas Ghosh, lead officer of workplace strategy at the Public Sector People Manager's Association. "Many introduce measurement and it remains static, but to be successful these measures need to adapt over time to reflect the changing business objectives," he says.

By doing all this, HR can use metrics to show senior management how it adds value, which will become increasingly important as the recession bites. Millner believes identifying the top five issues senior managers are concerned about and finding ways to measure their success is fundamental. "It can be tricky, as HR departments might find out that their initiatives failed. But at the same time, it's the best way for HR to prove its value to senior management," he concludes.

What’s your list of top issues your senior managers are concerned about? For strategic recognition programs, our list is:

1. Percentage of employees awarded (Shows program reach and communication of values across the company.)

2. Geographic and demographic program penetration (Another view of program reach and communication across the organizations, including meaningful deployment into outlying areas from the company’s HQ.)

3. Match of award distribution to the performance bell curve (Shows success of motivation in reaching the “middle 70 percent”) – a critical component often ignored in traditional elitist recognition programs.)

4. Frequency of awards (Reveals adoption of a culture of appreciation across the organization)

5. Company values selected as award reasons parsed by division, region or country as appropriate (allows executives to determine what areas do not fully understand or demonstrate the values necessary for success so leaders can directly intervene with additional training or other measures)

Share your lists with the community in comments.

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