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HR is Measuring the Wrong Thing

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Have you ever looked at what HR measures? They measure everything but what matters to any company. Output or performance. Yes, you can argue that they measure Revenue per Employee or come up with an ERP % that nobody understands.


None of this allows an individual to understand what one's performance looks like and what needs to be achieved within a specific period.


Because we don't have the slightest clue of what is expected from us daily, weekly or monthly, we cannot measure it. This is where companies get creative and start measuring things that have nothing to do with performance or the interest of the business. They measure:


- My love & loyalty to the company

- My feelings towards my CEO or managers

- How much I like the food in the canteen

- Whether or not I have a best friend at work

- How many sick leaves I had

- How many hours I am present

- How I measure up against the competency framework

- Would I recommend the company to others

- Whether or not I am looking for a job

- What I think of the management

- Whether or not I look forward to coming to work


Here is the funny part, I understand all those MAY contribute to performance, but if we don't know what performance is, what do they exactly contribute to? What are we measuring and why???


I foresee that at some point, HR will come up with a Hug Index that would be no different to any of the above.

Imagine you're working at a company where HR takes their measurement of "love and loyalty to the company" very seriously. They introduce a new performance metric called the "Hug Index." Yes, you heard it right, the number of hugs employees give to their colleagues becomes a quantifiable measure of their dedication to the company.


Every day, HR representatives roam the office armed with clipboards and measuring tapes, ready to record and rate each hug exchanged. They even develop a complex scoring system based on factors like hug duration, enthusiasm, and synchronised twirls.


At the end of the month, employees gather nervously in the conference room for the big reveal of the Hug Index rankings. The top hugger receives a prestigious trophy shaped like an oversized teddy bear. At the same time, the bottom-ranked employee gets a consolation prize of a life-size cardboard cutout of a famous hugger.


Meanwhile, the confused employees scratch their heads, wondering how hugging their colleagues relates to their actual job performance. They can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all, questioning if HR might have gone a little too far in their quest to measure the unmeasurable.



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