In most areas of business these days, results are everything. As long as processes are proven to be effective and yield the right outcomes, everything in the garden is rosy.
Yet while efficiency and effectiveness are inextricably linked, it doesn’t always follow that an effective HR department is an efficient one.
It’s highly likely that you’re already monitoring the effectiveness of your HR and recruitment teams, most probably in terms of KPIs like ‘cost per hire’ and ‘employee churn’.
But it’s also vital to put some measures in place to help you track the efficiency of your HR service delivery – ensuring that those positive outcomes are being reached in the slickest and streamlined manner possible.
Here are a few metrics to keep an eye on…
1. Self-service resolution rate
All too often, the bulk of HR’s time is consumed by the administration – completing simple yet relentlessly repetitive tasks, or answering the same employee queries ad infinitum.
Naturally, this limits the time your HR teams can spend on the added-value activity.
The key to reducing that administrative workload is to automate routine tasks wherever possible and provide self-service solutions that enable your employees to get their answers or complete their actions without impinging on HR time.
Monitoring the percentage of enquiries resolved in this way (the ‘self-service resolution rate’) is a great indicator of your department’s efficiency. After all, the more questions that can be answered via a self-service knowledge base, the fewer questions your HR team have to field.
Add things like holiday requests to the self-service functionality on offer, and you’ll further reduce the administrative burden on your teams. Not only that, you’ll find you increase employee satisfaction at the same time.
Growing up with supermarket self-checkouts and train ticket machines means millennials in particular (who now represent a significant proportion of the workforce), have come to expect and even prefer the immediate nature of self-service in the workplace.
The more actions they can complete independently without involving HR, the happier they’ll be – which can only be good for business.
However sophisticated your self-service portals, however, detailed your knowledge base, you’ll never fully replace the need for direct communication between employees and HR – nor would you want to.
What you do want to do however is ensure that the majority of queries or concerns that do require manual intervention are dealt with at the first port of call. This is typically referred to as First Contact Resolution.
In a statistical sense, First Contact Resolution is the percentage of requests that are resolved immediately on receipt without being passed on – the higher the figure, the more efficient your department.
Anything that has to be parked and revisited later (or escalated to an HR business partner), means incurring additional time and costs – and risks the frustration of the employee who is forced to wait too long for an answer.
3. Second line resolution rate
Sometimes, of course, it is entirely necessary for employee queries to be escalated or deferred to a subject matter expert – for example, a learning and development specialist.
If this ‘second line resolution’ is happening more often than not though, it might indicate some efficiency issues with your HR department – so it’s vital that you monitor how many queries are being dealt with in this way.
It could illustrate that first-line staff aren’t adequately trained or don’t have the knowledge required to handle a particular type of employee query. This is simple enough to overcome with some basic training.
Equally though, it could be a failing of your processes – whereby overly complex queries are being routed towards the wrong people. In this case, it would be more prudent to re-evaluate your routing procedures, in order to ensure the most challenging queries reach relevant subject matter experts in the first instance.
4. SLA attainment rate
A combined measure of both efficiency and effectiveness, your SLA (service level agreement) record plays a fundamental role in shaping the reputation of your department.
If you’re not meeting your own target response times, your SLAs are barely worth the paper they’re written on – and you’ll quickly lose credibility with employees.
Equally, if you’re not setting SLAs at all, it becomes difficult to manage the response-time expectations of the workforce, and harder to measure the speed and consistency of your delivery.
Make sure you’re setting SLAs that can work for both HR and the workforce, and that align with the needs and priorities of your business as a whole.
One of the ultimate measures of HR efficiency is the satisfaction of the wider workforce.
Swift resolutions with a few touch points as possible leave employees feeling engaged, informed and supported – and play a key part in delivering a positive employee experience.
The good news is that monitoring and measuring employee satisfaction has never been easier. The long-winded questionnaires of old are out, and new tech-driven pulse surveys are in – inviting staff to share their mood on a regular basis at the click of a button.
This instant, real-time feedback enables your HR team to assess staff satisfaction on both a short-term and long-term basis and to respond in a timely fashion when morale appears low.
Monitoring the efficiency of your HR service is every bit as important as measuring effectiveness – and can help pinpoint improvements that will help reduce the department’s admin burden.
Embracing today’s technology (whether it’s in the form of self-service HR portals, analytical dashboards or pulse surveys) is central to this, enabling you to deliver an increasingly efficient service that responds to the needs of a progressively digital-savvy workforce.