It’s people who make possible the success of the companies they work for: sales, profit and growth targets can only be met if talented people are motivated to meet them. People aren’t just important, they’re indispensible.

There is a huge volume of business-critical data relating to every company’s personnel. The number of employees, their performance, knowledge, career development, skills and happiness; staff retention and turnover, success in recruitment, not to mention the impact of motivating individuals and teams – these are critical metrics, and can contribute directly to the success of the entire operations.

Traditionally businesses have measured KPIs such as sales and production figures, but modern enterprises also track key human resource management indicators closely. Personnel-related data has become an ever-more valuable resource for strategic decision-making.

When a company has chosen the key metrics for its human resource management and set the accompanying targets, its key people should have a clear view of these indicators. Only by recognising challenges and opportunities early is better decision making and a rapid response possible. Instead of inflexible and slow monthly reporting, modern, disruptive HR systems include agile reporting tools and HR dashboards. These compress huge amounts of data into real-time, easily-understood metrics, and serve them (together with other business KPIs) directly to the management team via a variety of channels including mobile devices.

These HR indicators, laid out clearly on a dashboard, enable HR directors, -managers and -teams to monitor changes in the organisation’s performance and well-being in real time. And they can automate reporting to support business operations and management better. The metrics selected and the information derived from them should support employees’ work towards the essential business goals. The priority should be to focus on improving business-critical activities, while alerting key members of the management team if any indicators fall short. Identifying strengths and weaknesses is easier if key HR data is readily available to be viewed and compared. These comparisons could be between for instance business units, or between customer satisfaction and employee happiness.

Good business management and leadership traditionally rested on being able to keep track of a full range of business KPIs, such as sales, marketing, production, and finance. The modern human resources management metrics are no less vital than their better-established counterparts. Successfully managing people helps companies to succeed, and that’s vital because it’s only through people’s success that organisations can succeed in every respect.