In the beginning came the language…
In 1996, we started out with the ambition to create a consistent language, principally for people in the HR business.
During meetings with HR practitioners we’d noticed that they were unable to compare their circumstances other than through anecdotal stories. The problem was that organisations and businesses had developed their own definitions for terms such as sick leave, training and staff turnover.
Our ambition was to create a Swedish standard for measuring and reporting HR indicators so that we could start our conversations with a generally agreed picture of the current situation. 100 companies and organisations joined us immediately. Such was the need for some kind of starting point for discussing HR related matters.
Over time we’ve developed indicators in a number of areas (gender equality, working conditions, diversity and health). With the help of these indicators, HR practitioners can now have a meaningful dialogue about the most important HR issues.
Then came the index…
Our experience from the first five years taught us that, even though the indicators we developed with our clients were a good start, sometimes something more was needed.
Our experience is also that, when embarking on using these metrics, companies first need a certain amount of “getting their house in order.” The next stage requires metrics that can be interpreted intuitively.
In 2001, after discussions with a number of our clients, we developed the Attractive Employer Index (AVI).
AVI is made up of a number of indicators that are measured from the perspective of the employees.
The key to the index is choosing one perspective from which one interprets the indicators.
After AVI, we developed the Gender Equality Index (JÄMIX) and the Health Index. Our objective was to create the conditions for organisations and businesses to not only start a meaningful dialogue, but also to respond to a range of indicators compared over time and, not least, compared with other organisations.
… and then we started talking indicators…
A lot goes on inside an organisation and, amazingly, there seems to be more and more happening these days.
In this reality, we believe it’s especially important to work with key indicators.
Key indicators can be used as part of the organisation’s learning process, they can support strategic choices and they can help raise awareness of those areas where organisation needs to place more focus.
In recent years, we’ve put considerable effort into improving the reporting of key indicators as well as understanding the relationships between them.
In some of the areas we cover, the data behind the indicators has been gathered over several years. Clear communication of the numbers (method of presentation, comparisons, deviations etc.) is becoming more and more important.
…about the things that actually matter
The credo at the heart of Nyckeltalsinstitutet is that:
Employees really are the most important asset.
Our credo has driven us to develop key indicators and indices and gather metrics that shine a light on this most important resource.
Our view is that in the future, all organisations should gather and present their financial information so that it properly reflects the most important issues, and drives action around the most important HR matters.
This encompasses not only HR indicators, but all sorts of financial information.
Sometimes, key indicators can be the key that opens the organisation to learning and prioritising matters of importance. At other times, they will simply spark the discussions that help the organisation towards continued improvement.
That’s the ambition we have, and we believe our clients do too.
Text written by:
Professor Bino Catasús