Webinar recap: The Journey of an HR Leader with 15Five’s HR Outcomes Dashboard

Today's HR leaders are faced with the challenge of juggling multiple priorities while making a strategic impact on business outcomes. In the "Unleashing HR's Superpowers: The Journey of an HR Leader with 15Five's HR Outcomes Dashboard" webinar, Dr. Jeff Smith, 15Five’s VP of Product, discusses how to unlock the business-defining potential of HR in your organization. He presents effective approaches to measure and monitor outcomes, pinpoint opportunities for growth, and take action to impact business objectives using 15Five's new HR Outcomes Dashboard and Manager Effectiveness Indicator tools.

Watch a recording of the webinar, or keep reading for key takeaways, short video clips, and Q&As. You can access the webinar deck here.

Webinar information

This webinar originally aired on June 20th, 2023. It's hosted by Dr. Jeff Smith, 15Five’s VP of Product and author of "The Meaningful Manager: How to Manage What Matters."

Key learnings

Proving HR's strategic impact

Modern HR is far more than just payroll and employee relations. With the shift to strategic HR, leaders are faced with the challenge of proving the impact of HR initiatives on key business outcomes such as performance, engagement, retention, and manager effectiveness. By rising to this challenge, HR leaders can demonstrate their team's value as a strategic profit center.

"How do I make space for the types of initiatives that we need to drive? If we do wanna increase performance and increase engagement at scale in our organization, how do I break free of the stigma around, “Oh, this is just HR work,” and, [instead, emphasize], “Hey, this is mission critical for us to be successful as an organization”?"
Shifting the focus from sand to rocks

To achieve strategic progress and make a lasting impact on their organizations, HR leaders need to shift from a focus on activities to a focus on outcomes. In this portion of the webinar, Jeff introduced the concept of sand, pebbles, and rocks. Imagine you have a jar that you want to fill with various-sized objects—sand, pebbles, and rocks. Each represents different tasks you need to accomplish. With regard to HR...

  • "Sand" is things like employee relations and issues with benefits.
  • "Pebbles" are administrative tasks— the important work you're doing in your various programs.
  • "Rocks" are the strategic measures you're taking to drive outcomes.

If you fill the jar with sand first, followed by pebbles, you'll run out of space for the rocks. However, if you start by placing the rocks in the jar, then add pebbles and allow the sand to fill the remaining gaps, everything fits in.  

Without this strategic shift, an organization will continue to be overwhelmed by sand. By prioritizing outcomes, you can achieve greater results and make a lasting difference in your organization. 15Five is here to provide the tools, education, and support necessary for HR leaders to make this shift and achieve better outcomes.

"How do we move from sand > pebbles > rocks, to this idea of rocks > pebbles > and sand? This shift, I believe, is the most important shift that an HR leader will ever make because the reality is: without this shift to focus on rocks first, your organization will just continue to pour sand into your jar."
Maximizing manager effectiveness through data-driven insights with 15Five

To shift to strategic HR, you need to have the right data to...

  • Inform decision-making,
  • Track ongoing progress in real-time, and
  • Connect that progress back to what matters most to the business.

...that's where we come in. 15Five's new HR Outcomes Dashboard gives HR leaders the ability to measure manager effectiveness, engagement, performance, and retention and see how outcomes compare to one another and change over time. Alongside the dashboard, our Manager Effectiveness Indicator (MEI) tool allows you to dive into how effective managers are— which is vital, given that managers are the top driver of engagement, performance, and retention within their teams.

"The Manager Effectiveness Indicator allows for [a] holistic understanding of how managers are affecting things like performance, engagement, and retention. So if you've selected your “rock” as performance, you can now look into, “Hey, here's some of the managers that are showing up with regard to performance on their teams. Here's how they're doing on these behaviors that we recommend and require managers to have. Here's how people perceive managers and how it all comes together.”
Prioritizing a single outcome to drive change

We know that the shift to strategic HR may seem daunting, which is why we suggest focusing on one outcome at a time. By aligning your efforts with a specific priority, such as performance, you can make a meaningful impact and drive real change. This approach allows you to concentrate your resources and attention on what matters most, ensuring that you're not spreading yourself and your team too thin.

"One of the questions that we get is, “How do we make space to do this?” I believe in what you're saying, and what I would encourage you all to think about is, “How can we start with one outcome?"


What do we do with all the sand that we're saying "no" to— should they be delegated out?
Oftentimes what HR teams do with that additional sand is give it to people managers. Sometimes managers use HR as a crutch when they should really be handling those things on their own. You can also change response times for some issues: setting up a support ticket system within your organization and setting expectations that responses aren't instantaneous can give you more time and space to address things. Most importantly, though: if declare that you're focused on an outcome as your rock, you'll find that sand starts to fill in around that rock and that you still have the space to do what you need to do because you're putting that rock in first. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that this is what happens when you choose to prioritize an outcome.
How are manager competencies measured in the Manager Effectiveness Indicator?
We offer the options to measure competencies through reviews, engagement surveys, and behaviors that are performed within 15Five. You can configure which factors are included and the weights of each factor. Learn more about configuring the MEI.
How does my company get access to the HR Outcomes Dashboard and Manager Effectiveness Indicator?
If you're on 15Five's Total Platform package, you already have access. Learn more about our pricing packages.
Does 15Five have an HR community group?
Yes we do— it's called our HR Superstars community. Join now!
Do the HR Outcomes Dashboard and Manager Effectiveness Indicator integrate with OKRs?
Yes— Objectives in 15Five can be used to measure performance in the HR Outcomes Dashboard. Behaviors around Objectives can also be included in your Manager Effectiveness Indicator configuration.
How can managers be self-aware of their actions?
Most people managers don't understand what it takes to be an effective people leader. Transparency with managers is key for them to be aware of their impact and to grow: leadership needs to set clear expectations around what's required and recommended and be honest about how they're showing up. The HR Outcomes Dashboard is currently only visible to account admins, but it can be used as a tool to guide conversations with managers and pinpoint areas of celebration or opportunity.
What if management doesn't agree with doing surveys?
What you have to consider here is: how can you tie what strategic HR is proposing back to what matters to other executives like CEOs and CFOs? It's important to connect these things back to business outcomes, explaining that engagement isn't just an HR idea: it's strongly correlated with outcomes like employee performance and retention. It has an impact on the business and the bottom line.
What is 15Five's HR Outcomes Playbook and where can I access it?
The playbook discusses which HR outcomes to focus on for maximum impact, including maximizing employee performance, decreasing regrettable turnover, and improving employee engagement, how manager effectiveness drives all outcomes, how to talk to executives about outcomes, and best practices for attaining and sustaining executive buy-in for strategic HR. You can download it for free on our website.
What should I do if I don't see the HR Outcomes Dashboard and MEI in my account?
If you're an account admin and you company is on 15Five's Total Platform Plan, you should see the HR Outcomes Dashboard and MEI in your account. If you don't, please reach out to our Support Team.
I want to use the HR Outcomes Dashboard and Manager Effectiveness Indicator. What resources are available?
You can access how-to articles for the HR Outcomes Dashboard and MEI articles in our Help Center. We suggest checking out the quick-launch guide for helpful information and initial steps.
How does my organization get started with selecting an outcome?
Think about the interactions you've been having on your team and what executives are saying are top of mind for them. Think about which is most relevant for your organization and declare it as your outcome: for example, performance. Then think about what it will take. How will you educate and enable your managers— do some of them need coaching? What employee experiences do we need to hold to gather data or set a baseline? If we want to use performance review results, for example, when do you run performance reviews? What do you need from your managers to enable higher performance? What do you need with regard to goal-setting? Then, figure out what top things you want to focus your attention on and how these things come together around the outcome of increased performance. 15Five's HR Outcomes Playbook can help you piece together a plan. Once you decide on an focus, then you start your perspective on initiatives and can decide what to say "yes" and "no" or "not yet" to to make space for that outcome.
What results can I see with regard to managers when running an engagement campaign?
If you include the Manager Effectiveness survey in your campaign, you can see how well your managers scored on those statements in reporting. These results can be pulled into the Manager Effectiveness Indicator if you include the Manager Effectiveness Survey factor in your configuration. You can also filter engagement campaign results by managers.

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