Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley’s number one priority is the readiness of the total Army. This message remains at the forefront of his talks with leaders around the Army.
In an ever-changing and uncertain environment, human resources, or HR, support is critical to sustaining trained and ready units and installations. To be effective, HR organizations must have trained personnel to perform core competencies and major functions described in Field Manual 1-0, Human Resources Support. Engaged command involvement by leaders at all levels is critical in order to attain maximum performance in HR support.
HR metrics have two basic purposes: To serve as a reference for commanders in measuring and assessing levels of HR support and readiness within their formations, and to provide a common understanding of HR standards of performance at both unit and installation levels.
HR metrics apply a measurement to a standard that may be regulatory or defined locally. These measurements can then reflect success or failure based on established thresholds, which will then indicate the need for senior leader review.
The U.S. Army Human Resources Command separates metrics into two general categories: baseline metrics and additional metrics (see note below). Baseline metrics are provided to senior leaders on a regular basis at Army level. Additional metrics are measurements that are significant to units in the field to achieve positive change (see note). HR metrics are only numbers that are indicators of a condition. The challenge is analyzing the numbers to uncover what is causing the problem.
Commanders assess and analyze trends to find problems and make critical decisions based on data reported in the Army Human Resource Systems, or AHRS. HR metrics were initially developed to help commanders in assessing unit performance at the S1/ military personnel division level. Now the primary objective for using HR metrics is to facilitate timely and accurate updates to Army information systems in order to provide commanders with accurate information to make assessments and decisions at all levels. HR metrics give a way of measuring personnel strength, readiness and the effectiveness of HR support.
Regardless of rank or title, from the most junior to senior Soldier in the unit, including officers, enlisted and civilians, everyone assigned to the unit plays a key role in a successful HR metric program.
Some of those basic responsibilities for Soldiers at all levels are listed below.
- Soldiers: Review records annually and keep information current in official personnel records.
- Leaders: Ensure compliance by Soldiers within the unit; validate Soldier qualifications and training; and safeguard personally identifiable information, or PII.
- S-1s/HR professionals: Provide timely HR support and customer service; update AHRS; safeguard PII; provide commanders timely and accurate information; compile measurements and metrics and provide analyses.
- Commanders: Assess and validate the unit’s personnel readiness with HR metrics and report unit readiness; direct actions for improvements.
Over the last year, the Army has made tremendous progress with the program however; there is work still to complete. Leaders at every level must remember that readiness is the number one priority!
(Note-1: See Human Resources Metric Guide for Commanders dated 8 March 2013, Chapter 2, table 2-2 and 2-3 for more information)