How to measure HR success

Business + strategy
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Do you know the value of human resources? During Justin’s podcast with Senior Director of Talent and Human Resources Tracy Beckmann, they discuss how to measure success in an HR role, as well as the value of diversity, equity and inclusion.

What is your background in HR and your role at Horizontal like?

I got into HR by accident actually! I was working in sales for several years and was having my fourth child. So, I decided I needed to have a lifestyle where I could manage my children and have some work-life balance. I started a customer service type role and stepped back into operations. I was working with a telecommunications company, and they decided to build a one call center for all the states in one location. Then, I got involved in call center management and the role had some HR aspects. I fully got into HR because I was hired to build a shared service center for HR by one of the big health care organizations in Minnesota. In order to do that, you have to learn everything! After learning about the benefits and 401K plans, I moved into employee relations and took on bigger items. After being a business partner and in management, I transitioned to Horizontal this past year. There’s actually a lot of similarities in the healthcare, financial and staffing industries when you are working with people.

How do you measure success in your role?

There are a lot of ways we measure for regulatory purposes. Measuring keeps us questioning what we’re doing, and if we’re doing the right thing. So, we conduct email reporting and reporting to different regulatory agencies. We need those numbers to help measure what we’re doing. In the workplace, we look at things like turnover and why people are leaving. So, we conduct exit interviews and gather that data. We also want to find out the things that are not working before we get to the point where an employee has decided to leave the organization. That gives us the opportunity to fix things before they’re a problem we can’t overcome. We measure ourselves through employee engagement, tenure, attrition, performance management and more, but the things that really matter are the people and how they are feeling about the business and their job.

How important is it to have a diverse workplace?

It’s an evolution and we’re still in the infant stage. For a lot of people, it’s still confusing, so the first stage is really to raise awareness. I’ve had to do a lot of personal soul searching as I’ve looked at diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). I do challenge people to educate themselves. There are so many things to look at and truly understand. When I first heard “my privilege” I took offense at the phrase, but I’ve learned to understand that I have privilege that other people don’t have. Once you learn to understand that it’s not a criticism and look at situations from a different viewpoint, you realize how much work has to be done. Are we hiring diverse candidates? Are we going to places where we’re hiring people with different perspectives? Do people feel like they belong and feel like this is an organization that they can relate to? DEI has to be part of your fabric and how you do business.

What is HR like in different sized companies?

Working in different sized organizations gives you great perspective. When you hire people from different centers of expertise, you bring all perspectives together. Typically, it is easier to get things done in a smaller organization than a larger organization because you have everybody isolated versus having to get buy in from across your own HR organization before taking it outside the HR organization. It takes a long time to get things done in corporate America. We can act faster in a small company which works well for me. It takes time to adjust when transitioning to different corporate environments. People can struggle transitioning from large corporations to smaller staffing companies: They don’t have the same resources, so they have to figure it out on their own. They have to make decisions and trust their own judgement which can be a big leap for a lot of people. That’s one of the things I love about working in a small company: No day looks the same. You are constantly seeing and dealing with different things, so you learn a lot in the process.


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