Research Proposal: Human Resources Dashboard Creating Human Resource Value

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Human Resources Dashboard

Creating Human Resource Value

People are the greatest resource that a company has in its possession. The ability to obtain, retain, and manage Human Resources has a measurable impact on the company's bottom line. Proper management of human resources can create considerable value for the company. People are an investment, and like any other investment; they must be managed so that their value can be maintained. In order to manage human resources effectively, goals must be established and benchmarking practices must be established. The following discusses the development of a dashboard to help manage human resources at a local hospital.

Human Resources as A Strategic Partner

Human resources is typically considered an operational activity, rather than a strategic one. However, human resources can be a key contributor to corporate strategy and can play a role in bringing other elements of the strategic plan together. People are an essential part of the strategic plan; therefore, the role of human resources in achieving that plan cannot be underestimated.

As a strategic partner, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of human resources in achieving their strategic goals (Russell, 2004). Measuring the effectiveness of human resources will influence decision making in the future. The first step in evaluating human resources effectiveness is to establish a clear connection between how the work of every employee affects corporate strategy (Russell, 2004). According to Russell, the next step in establishing human resource's role in corporate strategy is to decide which measures are critical to the company's bottom line. This list should not include too many items. It should be restricted to the top two or three that are deemed most important. The third key to establishing the importance of human resources to corporate strategy is to provide a means to document the effects of HR on company performance in a way that everyone in the organization can understand.

These three measures of the effectiveness of HR are critical to successful corporate strategy. However, putting these three items into action can be difficult task. The third component of the analysis is the most critical. It represents a concrete deliverable that can help others to understand the necessary factors that will enable human resources to play a key role in the success of corporate strategy.

Developing Metrics

Now the task to be accomplished has been laid out. However, how to accomplish this task may not seem easy, at first. The first task is to decide which indicators are essential to measuring the desired outcomes of the human resources strategy. One of the key difficulties in measuring the effects of any strategic change is that the results of the actions are not immediate. One often does not see the results of their actions until sometime in the future. This can make the ability to attribute changes in company outcomes to actions taken. This "lag" in the results of actions can present difficulties in developing accurate metrics (Russell, 2004).

Lagging indicators provides the results of the actions. These types of indicators can tell the company what has happened in the past as a result of their actions, but does not provide a clear picture of what is happening in the present. Lagging indicators are useful in establishing cause and effect. They can help the company understand what they can expect from their actions in the future. They are a means for the company to learn from both their successes and failures. Therefore, lagging indicators do have a place in the establishment of performance metrics for human resources.

Lagging indicators tell the analyst if the actions taken resulted in the desired results. These indicators differ from "leading" indicators, which represent in-process measures. These measures are taken during certain intervals during a certain action. They represent small steps on the way to lagging indicators. They tell what is happening now and have less time between the action and the results. They provide immediate feedback and allow analysts to make changes "on the fly" if their actions do not appear to be producing the desired end result. They play an important role in deciding if an action is the correct course. Leading indicators have an indirect effect on the company's bottom line (Russell, 2004).

It should be apparent by now, that both leading and lagging indicators are important in helping the company to achieve its overall strategic goals. The focus is on leading indicators, as they can provide immediate results, but one cannot neglect to include certain lagging indicators as well. An effective measurement tool should include a balance of leading and lagging indictors. Deciding which indicators are most important to company performance depends largely on the specific organization and the sector in which it participates.

Some examples of leading indicators are reductions or increases in absenteeism in certain key positions, percentage interest in open promotional opportunities within the organization and changes in the number of positive comments from customers (Russell, 2004). Leading indicators can be measured at frequent intervals, such as weekly, monthly or quarterly, providing an immediate snapshot of the human resources strategies. Lagging indicators include employee retention, employee performance, organizational performance, customer retention, and employee productivity (Russell, 2004). Lagging indicators are typically measured over longer periods of time such as yearly or every two years. They represent longer-term goals and may be used to envision medium and long-range results, such as where the company wishes to be in the next five years or so.

Leading indicators show what happens along the road to lagging indicators. Both indicators are useless without some type of established goal. Much like driving a car, one cannot know if one has arrived, if they do not know their final destination. In order to understand if the human resources department has reached its goals, certain benchmarks must be established for each of the indicators that is chosen to be used. These benchmarks can be assembled much in the fashion that a driver uses their dashboard to measure their speed, fuel consumption, miles traveled. The establishment of a dashboard that contains certain key human resources metrics is an important tool in the ability to achieve established goals and improve the company's bottom line.

The first step in developing a useful dashboard is to define the overall business strategy that the dashboard is supposed to achieve. This provides a definitive end point that can be measured. For healthcare provides, such as the hospital being used for the development of this dashboard, patient outcomes and satisfaction must be the primary goal-oriented concern. The patient and the ability to provide quality care should be the key concern of the human resources strategy. People are essential to the ability to provide this care.

The next step is to decide which components of the human resources architecture support the ability to provide the established deliverables (Russell, 2004). In the case of the hospital, several levels of employees exist. The first level has the highest level of patient contact. This includes doctors, nurses, volunteers, and those that administer tests such as phlebotomists and x-ray technicians. The second level of employee includes those that do not have direct patient contact, but who are essential to the ability of first tier employees to provide direct quality care to patients. These persons include food preparation staff, laundry staff, pharmacists and laboratory staff. Others such as maintenance staff, schedulers, billing, and those involved with patient accounts can also be included on this level of staff. The third tier of hospital staff is involved in the daily operation of the facility, but they are not directly involved in individual patient care. These persons see the bigger picture and focus on the organization from a macro level. They include administrators, department managers, accountants and others who are not directly involved in care of the individual patient.

'If the overall goal of the organization, and thus the human resources department, is to improve patient outcomes then this goal must be the driver in the development of the dashboard. Just as with any organization, the customer is the lifeblood of the organization. In this case, the patient represents the customer and it is their outcome and impressions that will determine the future of the organization. Understanding this factor is the most important element in establishing metrics in any organization.

The next step in the development of the dashboard is to decide where to focus the greatest amount of effort. Often strategic development faces several challenges. These challenges may include budget constraints, personnel shortages, time constraints, policy constraints and others. These constraints mean the human resources department much choose where to place its focus. In the case of the hospital, the greatest amount of focus needs to be placed where it will have the greatest impact on promoting patient satisfaction and positive outcomes. Those that have the highest degree of direct patient contact are in a key position to leverage positive or negative change in terms of patient outcome and overall impressions of the hospital. Therefore, this group of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Human Resources Dashboard Creating Human Resource Value.  (2010, January 31).  Retrieved July 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/human-resources-dashboard-creating/57501

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"Human Resources Dashboard Creating Human Resource Value."  Essaytown.com.  January 31, 2010.  Accessed July 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/human-resources-dashboard-creating/57501.