first_imgTime is ripe for HR to measure performanceOn 7 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Despite its perpetual fascination with all types of new fads, HR has neverseized the opportunities it has had to reinvent itself. We could have done sosome years ago and made the total quality revolution our own. Business processre-engineering came and went with the HR function hardly noticing. As a result, most employers never achieved all the benefits thesemethodologies had to offer, because they failed to harness the talents of theirstaff. HR could have championed these initiatives but its own contribution wasoften following rather than leading. There is mounting evidence that HR isfailing to achieve influence at the boardroom table. We wonder why.Now another excellent opportunity presents itself – performance measurementand management. “Oh, we’ve been doing that for ages,” say theappraisal specialists, the 360-degree feedback aficionados and the competencybrigade, all of whom believe they have something to contribute. The one factorthat lets them down, however, is their inability to offer really meaningfulperformance measures.The theory of competence says that competence equals performance, but rarelydoes anyone try to make the connection because they get bogged down indefinition and analysis, while the pretty histograms produced by 360-degreesoftware appear to measure everything except business performance. HR is well known for its resistance to, and lack of capability in,measurement. Yet everything it does should have an impact on measurableperformance improvement. We try to recruit good performers, we train staff toperform better, we want to reward and recognise superior performance and wehave to deal with underperformance. So a function whose raison d’être ismaximising employee performance should not only be good at performancemeasures, it should be the experts.This is a fantastic chance for HR because every other function has failed todeliver the goods in performance measurement. The accountants have finallyacknowledged that their measurement systems are historic and do not address thebroader issues of human capital and the knowledge worker. The operations and sales directors can no longer infer that the onlymeasures which count are theirs. Performance measurement is at the top of theagenda and HR has the biggest opportunity ever to position itself accordingly.Are you ready to seize this opportunity?• If you are up to Paul’s challenge we would like to hear from you at [email protected] His book, Measuring and managing employee performance – A practical manualto maximise organisational performance through people, is available from last_img read more