Employing a storytelling approach when presenting people metrics will give meaning to the measurement and aid in building a compelling case that links concepts back to business outcomes.

The following pages include a checklist for using people metrics to tell a story about the business, and two case studies from VPS departments regularly using people metrics. These case studies are:

  • Victoria Police – measuring unplanned leave to meet the needs of the community
  • Department of Primary Industries – monitoring performance and retention by measuring engagement. The stories they tell about the business are clearly linked to possible business outcomes.

Checklist for Telling a Story Using People Metrics

Using metrics to tell a story about the business gives meaning to the measurement activity. The following checklist considers some of the elements of using metrics to tell a story about the business.

Checklist for telling a story about the business using people metrics:

  • the purpose of the measurement activity has been defined
  • the people elements and their impact on the organisation have been identified
  • a considered approach has been taken to issue measurement. This includes revisiting the principles to making metrics meaningful to the organisation
  • consideration has been given to what else may say something about the issue
  • metrics have been integrated and consideration has been given to issues outside of the HR function
  • each use of data has been explained so the information will have meaning to the end user
  • consideration has been given, and linkages have been made, to the future impact of these findings on the organisation.

Case Study: Victoria Police

Measuring Unplanned Leave to Meet the Community’s Needs

Victoria Police provides an essential service to the Victorian community to ensure a safe and secure society. It contributes to a high quality of life for individuals and to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of Victorians. Its priority for a safer Victoria focuses on crime, public safety and road safety.

Victoria Police provides a 24-hour police service, 365 days a year, and employs over 14,000 police, public servants and protective services officers.

To reduce crime and road trauma, increase community safety and confidence, and provide effective policing services, Victoria Police needs to maximise the resources available at the frontline.

Factors impacting availability and the health and safety of its employees are a key focus in Victoria Police people management strategies, and ongoing monitoring of these factors is crucial to improve results.

One of the people issues impacting on availability is rates of unplanned leave. This is why Victoria Police continuously measures unplanned leave rates at various levels of the organisation – from corporate through to the local workplace level.

Monthly management reports allow tracking of leave rates over time, as well as comparison with other similar work locations.

Measuring unplanned leave on a regular basis provides the opportunity for managers, working in conjunction with the HR function, to intervene before a long-term issue develops.

This improves the health and safety of employees and maximises operational capacity, thereby contributing to the delivery of effective policing services to the Victorian community.

Case Study: Department of Primary Industries

Monitoring Performance and Retention

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has identified the need for a capable skilled workforce in order to meet its strategic goals and objectives, now and in the future. This is why it proactively monitors staff engagement levels as a predictive indicator of performance and turnover.

The role of DPI is to design and deliver government policies and programs that enable Victoria’s primary and energy industries to sustainably maximise the wealth and wellbeing they generate. It does this by providing essential goods and services, employment, investment and recreational opportunities. To deliver on this role requires an innovative and diverse workforce, with specialist experience ranging from scientific knowledge to policy experts.

As Victoria faces an increasingly competitive workforce and talent market, there is more pressure to be able to have high levels of employee performance and retention in critical and specialist roles.

DPI recognised that engagement levels are a key indicator of motivation and high performing cultures, and are also an indicator of an employee’s intent to stay.

So the Department of Primary Industries undertook an engagement survey, which found that many of its employees believe DPI is a great place to work and one where they value their ability to make a difference. This information was then cross-analysed with turnover, intention to leave, unplanned absences, the number of grievances, and the number of bullying and harassment complaints.

Using this evidence, the people and culture function is able to address engagement levels in problem areas within the organisation, thereby mitigating the risk of poor performance and high turnover.

By undertaking a regular review of engagement across the organisation, people and culture is able to track progress of mitigation strategies and re-design intervention strategies as required.