Describing maturity is actually quite difficult. How would you describe your own level of maturity? Sometimes it is just easier to highlight immaturity in an attempt to make someone more mature.
Some years ago a company secretary was put in charge of HR in a division of Rolls Royce plc; so he was already an immature HR practitioner. But that means Rolls Royce must have had an immature view of the role of HR if they think an untrained company secretary can just step into the role.
Because he was immature he did not know how to measure HR effectiveness but he believed he had to measure something (working solely on intuition rather than evidence is an indicator of immaturity). He asked if I could help him with HR metrics. I asked him what sort of metrics? He replied ‘I don’t know’. I suggested if he did not know what metrics he wanted then he had probably started with the wrong question? He said he was not worried too much what the metrics were as long as he had some charts to show those who were pressurising him to measure HR.
This is called chasing your tail. We don’t chase our tails at IHRM; nor anyone else’s for that matter.
Paul Kearns – IHRM Council