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How should HR Performance be Measured?

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“Performance” today needs to be viewed across 3 levels:

  • Organisational performance – how well am I contributing to the overall success of the organisation? This is generally about things like Scorecards.
  • Job performance – how well am I performing in my specific job? This is generally about KPIs.
  • Competence – do I have the necessary competencies to perform in my job? This is generally about Competency Management and Measurement.

These 3 levels roll up – if I don’t have the required competencies, I’m unlikely to be able to perform well in the job, and if I’m not performing well in my job, then its probably impacting on the ability of the organisation to achieve its goals.

So when you say “measure HR performance”, the question has to be “at which level”?

At the top level, measures such as:

  • By how much has the workforce improved this year over last year? (borrowed from the book “The New Human Capital Strategy” by Bradley Hall – it’s a MUST read)
  • By how much has the value of the workforce increased this year over last year?
  • Which HR plans achieved their intended outcome?
  • What was the return on investment in strategic HR initiatives?
  • etc. (for more info, download our free ebook “Develop a Human Capital Strategy Scorecard” on and look at the book “The Workforce Scorecard”)

At the “operational” level, measures such as:

  • How many exceptional candidates do we recruit and retain for each strategic job opening?
  • How many hours of results-oriented training do new employees receive annually?
  • What is the differential in merit pay between high-performers and low-performers?
  • etc (for more info look at the book “The HR Scorecard”)

At the “competency” level, you need to have a well-structured Competency Framework in place. There are many Competency Frameworks available for different industries (we have one for the IT industry – go to to find out more), you just need to search to find the correct one for you.

So, this is just not a simple questions. Performance, to be realistic and meaningful to the organisation, needs to be measured across all 3 levels.