The Valuing your Talent (VyT) initiative reached another milestone in July with the launch of Managing the Value of Your Talent, a report on the research compiled so far.
The overarching idea behind VyT is to provide a framework and metrics to effectively measure the value of an organisation’s people. Along with the CIPD, five professional and public bodies including the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) have contributed to the project.
The full launch has been moved from its original July date to December; the CIPD said it wants more time to engage with the business community. In lieu of the completed framework, the CIPD held an event at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London on 24 July to update the HR community on the key findings so far.
The structure of the framework remains the same as the one we revealed in our May issue (VyT scraps ambition to ‘capitalise’ staff), but the research has moved on.
Lead researcher Anthony Hesketh, who is also a senior lecturer at Lancaster University Management School, has now personally conducted interviews with finance and HR professionals from more than 40 companies. When he shared his findings with the VyT project team they identified five key new challenges for business leaders.
They are: enabling their people to succeed, delivering sustained value-creation through their people, articulating the performance of their people, investor line of sight to employee relationships and combining hard and soft data.
At the event, Hesketh told HR magazine integrating people from the HR community into the process has “brought them round to our way of thinking”.
“Those people who have been critical of us thought we were being hard-nosed and economic in our approach,” he said. “But what we’re talking about now, sustainability and transparency, for example, are all things that businesses are talking about and have people at their core.”
A lot of the rhetoric coming out of the VyT camp is about getting HR and finance professionals “speaking a common language”. CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese told HR magazine he believes “both the will and the means” are now in place to make this happen.
“The will comes from the fact that there are huge issues such as skills shortages that mean people need this relationship to work more than ever,” he said.
“Establishing the means has been challenging. It all comes down to whether we have the kind of data that we need. In a lot of places we don’t. This in itself should be a wake-up call to make sure HR systems are effective, which may require investment. There has been a lot of progress in collecting analytics but sometimes we struggle with the basic stuff.”
Even when the technology is in place, an important part of measuring human capital is ensuring professionals can manage “the dialogue the metrics lead to”, McDonald’s chief people officer for Europe David Fairhurst said at the event.