4 Keys To Help Embrace Evidence-Based HR
Ten years ago, one retailer was far ahead of the curve on analytics.
It built a skilled analytics team the likes of which most of us would envy today. However in the end, the team was disbanded.
The organization’s leaders felt their deep expertise in retail trumped anything analytics could tell them. Furthermore, they didn’t particularly appreciate it when some young analyst claimed the data didn’t support their decision.
Sound familiar? It’s a normal case of politics (or to be kinder, “culture”) trumping analytics.
Managing the politics of an issue
We shouldn’t be surprised. When pioneers like Dr. David Sackett and Dr. Gordon Guyatt introduced the concept of evidence-based medicine, many doctors were enraged. The suggestion that doctors weren’t already being scientific or that their authoritative views on treatment should be trumped by clinical studies was not kindly received.
Organizations of any kind are political beasts and we can’t be successful in analytics without being successful in managing the politics. This can be hard because your typical “numbers junkie” is the last person you’d want to entrust with the task of navigating issues of power, status and culture.
Nevertheless, it has to be done. Luckily, managing politics isn’t as hard it might appear.
4 tips to help embrace evidence-based HR
Here are four tips to get leaders to embrace evidence-based HR.
- Involve — Managers want to be in control and they don’t want to be surprised. Involve them in analytics projects as much as possible and as early as possible. You don’t need to hand them the reins, just make sure they are involved and they know you are listening to them.
- Support — Always position analytics as a way to support leaders, not as a way that usurps their authority. Find out what they want to accomplish and then provide analysis that helps them make good decisions. (Note that support does not extend to cooking up numbers to create a smokescreen of support for bad ideas). When analytics support managers, managers will support analytics.
First published at TLNT.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.