UK metrics will win respect in the boardroom

The need for HR to measure its contribution to the business was hammered
home by senior HR professionals at conferences in the UK and Switzerland last
week.

Delegates were told that the function will only command a boardroom seat
when it can accurately measure its own impact on the bottom line.

Craig Lunnon, group HR performance and measurement manager at Barclays
stressed that HR must measure itself like any other department. He was speaking
at the Strategic HR Management Using the Balance Scorecard conference in
London.

"If HR wants to maximise its business output and be taken seriously it
needs to work to similar standards as the rest of the organisation," he
said. "If a company has £1m to invest, it can buy stocks as it knows what
the returns will be. HR must know what its own returns are so it can compete
for investment."

Marcus Powell, head of HR strategy and change at Marks & Spencer, told
delegates the retail firm has established a link between staff satisfaction and
sales per square foot.

Conference chairman Bernard Marr, a research fellow at Cranfield School of
Management’s Centre for Business Performance, said: "Intangible assets are
the real strategic value drivers of any organisation. Yet HR has always found
it difficult proving its own contribution."

While at the HRSummit in Montreux, Bjarte Bogsnes, former vice-president of
HR at Borealis, said the company successfully linked individual performance to
pay through a balanced scorecard approach.

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