Measuring your people will lead to measure of success

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Measuring your people will lead to measure of successOn 20 May 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. A member of the Accounting for People Task Force outlines why people havethe power to transform your organisation, but warns against comparisons withother, non-human metricsAt Cadbury Schweppes, we believe that driving successful performance is 20per cent about strategy and 80 per cent about people. Like any other company, the key distinguishing assets we have are our brandsand our people. The long-term health and performance of our brands is entrustedto the current generation of people we employ. Ensuring we focus on and measuretheir contribution and development is therefore a major part of our success. In driving this focus, we choose to concentrate on outputs as well asinputs. It is, after all, not the specific amount of money we spend ontraining, but the use that training is put to that makes the difference. Making the link Our approach, over and above the general development of a standardmanagerial skills base, focuses on linking training to our key business issues.Recent examples have concentrated on expanding our skills in strategy, growthand innovation. However, there are limits to the measurement of human capital. It is a far more complex issue than measuring the return on financialcapital employed. People are not passive assets whose value is constant, and whose actions andreactions can be easily predicted. They have emotions, feelings, prejudices,intellects and individual behaviour traits. That makes them entirely unsuitablesubjects for comparisons with those measures applied to financial performance. People are human beings as well as human capital. By adopting the languageof the accountant, we are potentially undermining the unique contribution thatpeople make to our businesses. In Cadbury Schweppes, we are committed to working together to create brandsthat people love. This is why we come to work. In the end it is what we shouldall be measured against. Our success has been based on this assumption and on the belief that weshould all be measured against the single most critical output that reflectsour ultimate performance: the creation of shareholder value. What sits behind this is a real understanding that we cannot create superiorshareholder value without working together effectively, with world-classcapabilities in sales, marketing and manufacturing, and the strategic skills tocombine these to create competitive advantage. Faith in the process What matters to the motivation, development and performance of our people isthat they know about and have faith in the process we institute for measuringtheir own and the company’s progress. Measurement in these areas needs to be specific, clear and actionable. Inevery country in which we operate we expect all our people to get regularfeedback on their performance from their manager. We have minimum standards of good practice that are set centrally and rolemodelled from the top down. Training and development plans are put in place toaddress development needs and these too are reviewed regularly. Every manager of people must undertake a 360-degree feedback session on howthey work with others, and then take action to improve their performance inareas of concern. We also monitor compliance with our values and standards of business ethics,and we take actions where we find any divergence. Respond to data All these measures must be actionable. If you do not respond to data beingpresented to you, it serves no purpose. However, measurement is only oneelement of the process. Statistics, particularly those that attempt to make tangible the dynamics ofhuman interaction, are not a panacea that will ensure a high-performance organisation.Much more important is the vision and leadership that sets clear values, andensures their application across the company through clear standards inbusiness ethics and performance. In a world where even five-year-olds are being targeted and measured todrive the performance of schools, it may seem curiously old-fashioned to pointto values, business ethics and a belief in treating people properly as thefoundations for success. Yet I remain convinced that this is the case. An obsession with measurementalone could undermine the insight, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit thatthis country requires to build the successful wealth-creating businesses neededfor the 21st century. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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