In part one of this series, we talked about selecting the “right” HR metrics. To clarify, these numbers link directly to an organization’s objectives and demonstrate the value an HR function can bring to the party. But first, some context…

Let’s start from a worker’s perspective. Their journey begins when they discover your organization. Expectations are forming. They have their first contact, meet a few people on the payroll, ask around, and read your webpage. They decide to apply. They go through your interview process, get hired, and have a “first day.” They determine appropriate behavior and set their performance standards. They figure out how to respond to their boss and plot the next career step. They pile on experiences and, eventually, they separate from your employ.

Re-read that last paragraph imagining them working for a nightmare boss. How long was the employment cycle? Where did the “expectation-experience gap” begin?

Lesson one: People join companies and quit people. Every encounter or “touch point” creates an opportunity to make a deposit in a worker’s emotional bank account. They also create the possibility of emotional withdrawals. Once that account gets overdrawn, they quit. Or worse, they quit and stay. Disengaged, discouraged, and disenfranchised.

Effective HR metrics measure that journey; the conversion rates, the contributions, the churn. Steps in the fundamental “worker journey” we outlined are relatively easy to identify and measure. If there’s trouble, they won’t tell you the exact location of the pothole, but they’ll tell you the street that should be the start of your search!

Part three of this series will get specific on the fundamental metrics and how to use them. In the mean time, put yourself in the shoes of a worker at your organization. What is their experience like? What conclusions do they draw about the organization from those experiences? How would they describe the organization’s direction? It’s leadership? The HR function?