Sector organisations are at different stages of development in their use of metrics and collection of data. Some have well developed systems and reporting in place, while others are commencing or consolidating their expertise.

Organisations across the sector do not use common Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and may, particularly in small organisations, be dealing with basic systems for collecting data.

Faced with these challenges, we have developed a metrics dictionary from which the user can pick and choose, depending on their needs and priorities.

The metrics dictionary is not intended to be a prescription for data collection and reporting. Nor is it an exhaustive list of measures that HR functions can use to support the achievement of business goals; it does not, for example, prescribe a list of data fields to be collected.

Instead, the dictionary is intended to assist organisations develop strategic people reporting measures that can help them to identify trends within their workforce which can directly impact the achievement of organisational goals.

The dictionary provides 47 measures, each accompanied by an information sheet. These information sheets describe the measures in detail and provide a formula from which they can be derived. Each sheet contains technical discussion of their application, interpretation, analysis, data sourcing, limitations and targets, which may be best used by experienced HR practitioners.

The dictionary is supported by a measurement menu that provides a list of the included metrics grouped under five management areas that are impacted by the workforce.

This menu was designed to contribute to developing an organisation’s understanding of its achievement and activity in these areas. These areas are:

  1. Organisational culture: shaping and influencing the guiding principles that influence the way people in the agency behave.
  2. Succession planning: designing and delivering processes and systems to identify and develop key individuals and roles to ensure strong succession plans are in place.
  3. Leadership development: designing, delivering and evaluating programs and products to develop leaders.
  4. Recruitment and resourcing: getting the right number of people, with the right skills, at the right time, to meet agency needs.
  5. Talent management: identifying, developing and retaining talent in the agency.

The information sheets have been customised and reproduced from Corporate Leadership Council 2005, The Metrics Standard: Establishing Standards for 200 Core Human Capital Measures with the permission of the Corporate Leadership Council.

Formula abbreviations

Formulas in the dictionary include abbreviations that follow the common mathematical conventions:


A slash indicates division.


A star indicates multiplication.


A full stop indicates a sub-section or category of data. For example, Terminations. Involuntary indicates that this formula only requires data related to involuntary terminations.

( )

A parenthesis asks you to perform the operations inside the parenthesis first.

Measurement menu