Despite the common saying, ignorance is not always bliss — especially when it comes to the success of your company. You may think that your employees are loving their jobs and that they have all the training they need. But without the numbers to back it up, how can you really tell?
That’s where human resource metrics come in. HR metrics can measure data in a wide variety of areas in your company, from the hiring process to employee retention and engagement. These numbers are critical to track in a world where only 34% of workers are engaged in their company.
So how can HR metrics help? They can establish a baseline for employee productivity, training methods, and even company revenue. Once you know where to focus your efforts and which departments should know your findings, you’re well on your way to helping your organization thrive.
In the simplest terms, HR metrics are ways you can measure how effectively your human resource strategies are functioning. Leveraging data about different HR functions — like recruitment, training, and performance management — helps your company identify and implement organizational improvements. This kind of information enables you to develop operations that meet the needs of your organization.
Human resource metrics can, for example, be used to track human capital and determine what strategies boosting your employee retention. Imagine you recently incorporated a new hiring system. You can use HR metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your employee engagement efforts. If you find they are boosting employee performance and satisfaction, helping keep your top talent around, you can demonstrate to upper management why the system is a worthwhile investment.
HR metrics are about more than what’s already happened. You can even use some of them to predict upcoming trends, which helps you be prepared for whatever your department will face in the ever-changing labor market.
Why HR Metrics Matter
Ultimately, HR metrics help human resource departments make informed and strategic decisions about how their organization operates. These measures enable development of a data-driven management strategy that supports an organization’s aims and improves the employee experience. They are also a good way to measure the progress of programs that have been implemented and determine how they can be optimized in the future.
In practice, this means your department can present an analysis to executives to show the productivity returns of a new wellness program, or how expanding your parental leave policy increased retention. On the flip side, your analysis might show your restrictive PTO policy is driving expensive turnover — a great opportunity to reduce operating costs by updating your benefits package.
And your department isn’t the only one that will benefit: Executives can also use the measures to find ways to improve operational efficiency throughout the company.
Key HR Metrics That Every Company Should Measure
In order to really reap the benefits of HR metrics, be sure that you go beyond compiling a bunch of numbers that don’t really mean anything to anyone. Instead, take a look at your company goals and ask what kind of data will help you measure your progress toward those objectives. Executives and HR professionals should collaborate to identify priorities and key metrics that will help you gauge success. There are many HR functions that you can use metrics to improve, but here are some of the most important.
Are you curious about how smooth your hiring process really is? You can use HR metrics that offer valuable insight into where in the process there is a breakdown, whether that is before candidates are offered a position or after they have been hired.
- Time-to-hire. The number of days between a candidate applying for a job and accepting a job offer.
- Acceptance rate. The percentage of candidates who are offered a job and accept the offer.
- Cost-per-hire. The amount of money it takes on average to hire new employees. Cost-per hire is calculated by dividing the costs of recruiting by the number of total hires.
Once a candidate has been hired, there are a few metrics that can be used to measure the efficiency of your onboarding process and training. You can also track how the people hired are helping your company reach their internal goals.
- New-hire turnover. The percentage of employees who leave the company within their first year of working there. This metric gives key insight into how effective hiring is within your organization.
- Time-to-productivity. Track how long it takes for new hires to acclimate and work at full productivity standards. Optimize your onboarding processes to reduce this length of time.
- Demographics. Keep tabs on the age, gender, education level, and ethnicity of team members to ensure you are hiring a diverse workforce.
Engagement & Retention
Perhaps you have the hiring and onboarding process down to a science, but you’ve noticed more experienced employees leaving the company. It’s a reality many companies are grappling with, as 69% of workers are ready to leave their current jobs based on flexibility alone. And that’s just one factor! Here are a few metrics that can help you get to the root of engagement and retention problems:
- Employee satisfaction. The number of employees who say they would recommend working at the company to a friend compared to the number who say they wouldn’t. You can measure these responses with an employee survey.
- Retention rate. The number of employees who remain with your organization in a given time frame. Divide the number of employees who stayed with your company in the time frame divided by the number of employees you started with at the beginning of that time frame.
- Total turnover rate. The number of employees who left your organization in a given time frame. (This is the inverse of retention rate.) Divide the number of employees who left your company in the time frame divided by the number of employees you started with at the beginning of that time frame.
A vast majority of HR leaders — 91% of them — are concerned about the rate of employee turnover within their organization. If you suspect a large turnover from a specific department, you can measure the retention rate per manager to see if a manager position could benefit from extra training.
Employee Value & Performance
One of the most prominent HR functions is monitoring employee performance, and different metrics can make a world of difference in your approach.
- Performance and potential. Consider using a nine-box matrix to categorize employees based on their performance and prospects for succession within the organization.
- Performance reviews. Combine results from self-assessments, peer reviews, and manager assessments to measure overall performance.
- Revenue per employee. The average amount that each employee contributes to the revenue of the company.
Training & Development
You can use training and development metrics for more than just new hires. If you have a yearly training program or a new procedure that every employee needs to work on, you can measure things like:
- Training completion rate. The number of employees who completed the training.
- Time to complete. The amount of time it took on average for employees to complete training.
- Training effectiveness. Measure training effectiveness by issuing questions that assess how much information employees retained from the training.
HR Service & Software
Don’t forget to utilize different programs and practices within the HR department itself.
- Ratio of HR professionals to employees. The number of employees divided by the number of HR professionals. An average HR staff to employee ratio is about 2.57.
- Cost of HR per employee. Divide the total amount spent on HR functions by the total number of employees.
- HR software participation rate. Find out how many employees use your HR software and divide by the total number of employees. This can be a helpful number when evaluating the ROI of your software.
How to Utilize HR Metrics
Now that you understand some of the many things that HR metrics can help you measure, how do you make the most of the information you gather?
The benefits come from analyzing all those numbers and making changes to improve them. Your company can use the data to improve its onboarding processes, make more informed decisions about the software you use, or how you measure employee performance.
Once you have gathered and analyzed the data that you are most interested in, set goals based on the needs of your company. Each organization and department has different strengths and plans for the future, but you can use HR metrics to guide your path forward.
Improve your HR Metrics Through Employee Wellness
At the end of the day, HR metrics are about measuring what an HR department thinks about day-in and day-out: people. The people working at your organization are at the root of every number, from satisfaction to turnover to offer acceptance rates. Improving your HR metrics means taking care of their needs.
A wellness program is a data-backed solution to improving many of the most important HR metrics, from performance to retention. Employees are far more likely to stay at an organization that supports their wellbeing, are more productive, have higher satisfaction rates and are more likely to refer a friend to work for their company.
Gympass is here to help HR departments leverage the advantages of employee wellbeing. Talk to a wellbeing specialist today to learn more about how we can help your organization thrive!
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- Gartner Survey Reveals 91% of HR Leaders Are Concerned About Employee Turnover in the Immediate Future. (September 30, 2021). Gartner. Retrieved January 2, 2023 from https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/09-30-21-gartner-survey-reveals-ninety-one-percent-of-hr-leaders-are-concerned-about-employee-turnover-in-the-immediate-future.
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The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.