When presenting to your executive leadership, HR reporting can be too vague to be helpful, or too complex to be understandable. Neither of those are positions that you want to find yourself in, particularly when standing in front of the c-suite. In most scenarios, you are doing your HR reporting because you want to not just communicate information to the CFO, but you want to prove the value of your efforts and the impact that the human resources department has in improving the company as a whole. Standing in front of a tired group that’s waiting for their next meal while the lights are dimmed to the perfect nap setting is not the ideal time to be talking about your hr metrics, but that’s usually the schedule you find yourself in. It’s up to you to create an HR reporting presentation that will engage and educate your audience while providing valuable information and actionable insight.
How To Create An Engaging HR Reporting Presentation
We’ll go through 5 areas for you to keep in mind while creating your presentation to make sure you can keep your audience interested throughout and feeling informed and energetic when you’re done.
- Setting objectives
- Telling a story behind the numbers
- Consistency & Transparency
- Providing actionable insight based on metrics
If a goal without a plan is just a wish, then a plan without a goal is just…aimlessly wandering around and killing time? By setting clear objectives for your team, you are able to distinctly identify a path to achieve your goals, and measure along the way in order to make the necessary adjustments for ultimate success. When you are making decisions, being able to lean on your objectives is key. They help guide how you choose the best direction to go in. By aligning your objectives with the company’s overall objectives, your measurable progress now becomes extremely more interesting to those at the top of the food chain. And by tying your goals to the overall company goals, you start tying in value from the start. You’ve now made yourself valuable by association.
Telling A Story Behind The Numbers
Numbers are boring. Sorry, accountants. Instead of just reciting facts off of your PowerPoint slides, tell a personal story or give some examples of the work that’s being done, says Leadership Coach Felicia Spahr. “Tell a narrative that will resonate with your audience and it will 10X your presentation in their eyes.” By turning your numbers into story, you’ll also keep people more interested in listening throughout your presentation instead of them zoning in and out while you’re just reading off numbers. What are the efforts that are leading to the metrics that you’re presenting? What efforts can improve those metrics for next month’s presentation? How can you take these numbers and change how things are being done in order to save time, lower expenses, or increase profitability? Those are the stories that you need to tell with your numbers, don’t just show a spreadsheet or line chart. If you’re using the right HR technologies, then you won’t be wasting time just gathering data to put into your presentation so you can use that saved time to put the story around your numbers.
The importance of accuracy in your reporting can’t be stressed enough. If one number is wrong, everything you say is wrong in their minds. Make sure you double check every number that you put into your presentation and then have someone else lay another pair of eyes on it for good measure. If you are reporting data, then you need to be trusted 100%. Not to scare you or anything, but if your numbers can’t be trusted, then that information means nothing, the advice you provide is useless, and you are wasting everyone’s time. But since you know to make sure your hr metrics are all on point, then you can be seen as a valuable asset and reliable advisor.
Be Consistent, Transparent, & Provide Actionable Insight
Make sure you’re looking at the same metrics every month and reporting good and bad, with the story behind them and actionable insight on how to improve moving forward. If you try to avoid bad metrics, then it’ll look like you’re trying to cover something up. Which will put a crack in your trustability that starts making your entire presentation look falsified or sugar coated. By being transparent, you’ll gain trust and credibility and will add more value to your positive areas and improvements. By telling your story along the same metrics and bringing your audience along for the ride of the continual improvements that your team is making, you can start playing to their curiosity for more. If played well, you can even build anticipation for your presentations every month because the executives will be anxious to see how and where you’ve improved on the story you’ve been telling This type of consistency isn’t exactly the magical open loop storytelling from Lost, but it will help create anticipation to see what things have changed, how and why. If you tell your story around your objectives and how you are working towards achieving them, then your audience will start feeling more connected with your presentation and even anticipate what will be coming next.