The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other. – H. G. Wells
There are good habit and bad habits; then again, there are ruts! No one knows more about a rut than a manager who is swamped with running the day-to-day affairs and operations. When caught in the unrelenting rush of daily deliverables, it is often not possible to stop, take a step back and verify if performance expectations are being met. It gets even harder when implementing new programs to get a measure of where we are and to decide where we want to go.
Consider a contingent workforce management program. Everyone has heard about how efficient it can be, and its potential for on-demand talent and cost savings. What are the parameters by which a contingent workforce management program can be measured? Have they changed as programs – and the companies that use them – have become more sophisticated? How does a company decide on specific targets to be established at the outset of the program? Many companies make the mistake of exclusively focusing their assessment efforts on the resources delivering the program – the suppliers and program managers. They lose track of why the program was undertaken in the first place. Evaluating the business impact of a program is as important as measuring whether the program was executed as initially specified.
Since the use of contingent labor is expected to yield greater results on both financial and human capital parameters; it would be necessary to measure the program’s effectiveness on both aspects. It is easy to get carried away when establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) for a contingent workforce management program. Many companies establish and attempt to track so many KPIs that they can’t see the forest for the trees! We advise you to follow this advice: measure what matters!
Start with an evaluation of what you are trying to achieve, and prioritize your objectives. Then tie specific metrics to each objective. If you have more than 4-5 objectives, then start again. Otherwise, none of these objectives will receive the needed level of focus and attention. Some areas to consider:
Last but not the least, it is important for a business to recognize that its goals, objectives and needs are unique. Customization holds the key to success. Don’t blindly adopt a list of metrics published by industry analysts or – worse yet – proposed by staffing companies. Once you have established your objectives and desired KPIs, select a VMS solution or an MSP based on their ability to fulfill your specific requirements. Establish a governance structure, with scheduled reviews, and fully participate. Periodically consider whether your needs have changed or program has evolved in a way that requires a tweaking of your KPIs. This up-front effort will result in the highest possible return on your investment.
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