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Many HR departments have to put up their dukes when it comes to showing their worth. Why? A good deal of their efforts are made behind the scenes and while speed of hire, percentage of reviews completed and number of managers trained are all good things, HR departments need to prove their efforts are contributing to the bottom line. As a result, metrics matter.

A New World

In order to have a business impact, HR author, Louis Efron, says HR department should focus on the following five critical areas:

1. Define & Align. All employees should be able to define and explain why the company exists. What’s its purpose? Next, they should understand where and how their role fits in. Employee engagement is a powerful retention tool. Aligning employees with purpose reduces turnover and costs while increasing productivity and profits.

2. Play Matchmaker. Recruit people who love what you do. What your candidates experience online – plus see and hear during their job interview – must reflect who you are as an organization. When you attract candidates this way you ensure that they will be passionate about what you stand for and who you really are at the core. Use a few questions to find a good fit with a potential employee during an interview. By looking for common themes in candidates’ responses (those which run parallel to the job they are interviewing for and also match your organization’s purpose), you will get a better sense if they are a good fit. For example, ask: What gets you out of bed in the morning? When did you lose track of time because you were so passionately focused on what you were doing?

3. Strengths Matter. Work to understand what your candidates and employees do best. Put them in roles where they can play to their strengths as much as possible. Using those strengths 80% of the time is ideal, less than 60% is not.

4. Go Team. Recognizing or rewarding individual and department achievements is important, but what if those achievements don’t align with the organization’s objectives or with its success, should they still be celebrated? Building a successful and sustainable organization requires a unified team effort.

5. Measure Twice; Cut Once. This may be a cliché, but it’s still tried and true. Good measurements are key to the success of any organization. If you can’t measure or analyze your organization, how will you recognize improvements or whether your actions have any value?

So, are you convinced it’s time to show your company just how your HR efforts are moving the company forward? It’s time to get in the ring.

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