Five things you need to know about the SHRM-ANSI HC IM to respond to critics

As the SHRM-ANSI standard on human capital investor metrics (HC IM) goes through the public consultation phase, responses have ranged from helpful to rude.  Misunderstandings have created some controversy.

Here are five things you need to know about the SHRM-ANSI standard.

1. The only question is what to report: If you believe human capital has a material impact on organizational outcomes then you must be in favor of reporting on it. The question is not whether organizations should report on human capital, only what they should report.

2. It is voluntary: The ANSI HC IM standard is entirely voluntary. If organizations believe it is helpful they will use it. If organizations don’t like it, they don’t have to use it—but they shouldn’t try to stop other organizations using it.

3. Is is changeable: The ANSI HC IM standard is not fixed in stone. Ideas that make it more practical or more relevant will be incorporated into the standard. Critics should submit their ideas for improvement.

4. It is a non-material burden: Organizations already face a significant burden in data collection and reporting. The presence or absence of the HC IM standard will not have a material effect on that burden. (Anything that is a material burden will be cleaned up before the final version is published)

5. The status quo is unsustainable: With so many groups pushing for improved reporting on non-financial information, standards on HC IM will develop with or without the SHRM-ANSI HC IM work. It makes sense to get out in front of this and work with SHRM-ANSI in creating something practical and relevant. There is no value in being obstructive or rude.