Using evidence-based HR

28 Aug

An evidence-based approach to HR solutions helps to prove theories.

More companies are trying increasingly outlandish things to improve quality of life for workers and boost culture. Businesses are also tapping into big data to look for correlations between traits and talents to find the best people available. But is all of this ultimately going to work? That's where evidence-based recruiting comes into play.

For a company to have a great HR department, it better have HR manager software. This is something every company needs no matter what size. But besides that element, what can those charged with human resource planning do to ensure their strategies are effective at improving a return on investment?

According to Harvard Business Review, Google has long been a proponent of using "out of the box" ideas to get work done. One such concept is the napping pods system. But Google has been smart enough to use an evidence-based approach, HBR reported, and this means that when investors are asking if the company's expenses coming from people sleeping on the job or making their own espressos with a $2,000 machine are returning anything profitable, the company can back everything up.

An evidence-based solution to work-life balance
The way Google does its evidence-based HR is through a random survey that samples 4,000 employees with two in-depth surveys.  A recent study done in this way looked at work-life balance. According to the study, only 31 percent of people were able to separate their work from their personal lives. The other members of Google found themselves focusing on work even when at home.

The findings indicated that most Google employees wanted to get a better work-life balance and separate their jobs from their personal lives. As a result, the company instituted several programs, such as "Dublin Goes Dark," in which Dublin-based office employees were asked to leave their phones and other devices at the front desk before going home. As a result, stress reduced considerably.

Finding evidence-based solutions to other HR matters
When working out employee management solutions, Abhishek Mittal, an HR Blogger and freelance HR professional, tries to focus on using evidence to solve problems at the companies where he works. In one situation, he was asked to find out whether moving employees horizontally into skill areas outside their general expertise was a good idea. Mittal used an algorithm to find out any correlation between moving horizontally and performance.

"I worked with the client to design an analysis plan – examining patterns of career moves of high-potentials over several years and connected that with their KPI achievements," Mittal wrote. "After a few days of number-crunching, the verdict was out – high-potential employees who moved across businesses achieved an average 7 percent  more than those who moved within their business units."

Using this strategy offers a long-term benefit to any company that wants a real solution with the evidence to back it up.

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