In 2011, Sierra-Cedar (formerly CedarCrestone) underwent an intensive survey methodology validation with experts in the Mercer Survey Quality group, one that we viewed as excellent due to its compensation and broader survey expertise, with well over 50 people involved. Mercer had developed a Survey Quality Continuum that defined poor, good, and best survey practices. For full details on our methodology, please view the HR Survey Methodology Overview.

New Statistical Analysis Approach to Determine Value of HR Technologies

For years, we have determined the value from HR technologies not just with metrics such as headcount or expenditures for one approach vs. another, but also by looking at the financial performance of publicly traded organizations. We have compared those organizations with technologies vs. those without and have shown that those with more HR technologies are doing better financially. While there are other factors at play that enable organizations to achieve higher financial performance, it is clear to us that best practices, including HR technologies adoption, contribute to that performance. However, looking strictly at financial performance of Survey respondents meant we could only look at those organizations that were publicly traded where we could independently get their financial metrics, which is just 29% of all respondents in 2013.

research_methodTo be able to look at value achieved by more respondents this year, we asked all respondents to answer a series of questions on whether key “value chain factors” such as ability to attract top talent, employee engagement, employee and manager productivity, HR cost efficiency or HR alignment with business strategy, and more, strongly improved, improved, stayed the same, declined, or strongly declined over the past year. We use these value chain factors to measure the success and performance of an organization beyond financial metrics, and thus were able to explore value for over 600 organizations that responded to the questions required for this analysis. We correlate HR technology use with these value chain factors to see where adoption has the most impact. We further look at the value chain from meeting HR outcomes to meeting business outcomes. While the analysis does not show causality, it is reasonable to suggest that if your organization adopts HR technologies, HR objectives are met and as a result business outcomes are achieved.