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HR Group Creates Workforce Metrics

Some think stats on training and diversity will help investors
HR Group Creates Workforce Metrics
Illustration by Jack Reynolds

Cubicle workers who’ve been told their medical benefits are being “enhanced” by a hike in co-pays, or that 360 reviews are an improvement on a one-on-one chat with the boss, often greet a new idea from HR with skepticism. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a proposal by human resources managers to establish a national standard for measuring the value of a company’s workforce is getting a lot of pushback. What’s notable is that the opposition comes from within the ranks of the profession itself.

A group of 600 HR managers, academics, and advisers are drafting guidelines for standardizing measures of workforce diversity, turnover, job training, and the like. They are also drawing up a template for how companies should report such information to shareholders. Those involved in the project argue that companies and investors would benefit if a single set of metrics were used to gauge what they call “human capital.”