HR’s New Role | Harvard Business Review

HR Effectiveness

This article by Peter Cappelli and Ranya Nehmeh discusses how HR can play a critical role in showing leaders the true costs and impact of outdated workplace policies, practices, and mindsets. They highlight several topics, including employee retention, underscoring HR’s role in helping leaders understand the “real costs” of employee turnover and the reasons behind employee departures. Challenging the commonly cited turnover cost statistic of $4,000 per employee, the authors contend that this figure does not capture other substantial costs, such as new hire training, the diminished initial performance of new hires, and the time investment of existing staff in the hiring process. The referenced Neiman Marcus case study underscores how uncovering full turnover costs can create urgency for making talent investments. Neiman’s Chief People Officer, Eric Severson, presented top management with turnover costs and retention benefits data, leveraging marketing tools to determine what drove turnover and successful hiring at the company. Based on the findings, the company implemented a generous paid parental and family leave policy for all associates, positively impacting retention in a predominantly female workforce. As HR teams consider what data they might use to help leaders better understand aspects of the workplace and workforce, I am resharing this 16-page SAP reference, which includes 100 people analytics questions spanning nine categories.