Friday, January 18, 2013

Stop benchmarking employee survey data

I am doing some reading on the blue-ocean strategy work, and as I go through the various articles and books I continue to see references to the negative effect of benchmarking on corporate strategies and growth.  The authors of the book "Blue Ocean Strategy," W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, note that companies that benchmark are basically letting the competition dictate their strategy for them.  They are working to be like everyone else rather than jumping ahead and creating competitive advantage.

In the world of employee surveys, HR is doing the same thing.  By taking the results of your survey data from today, using in most cases, the same questions that everyone else is using, you are just pulling down your HR strategy to be like everyone else.  How is that helping an organization get ahead?  Also, is being better at all questions really the best strategy?  

The exercise is like taking your stock price from today and comparing it to the stock price of your competition from last year.  It's an ok thing to do, but what actions would anyone take?   

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