Looking through books, research and blogs about evidence-based HR, it is clear that a few are very keen on the concept and lots of people are very skeptical about it. Let me say straight away that I think it is a great approach to HR.
Evidence-based HR is essentially an approach which rely on hard-core evidence for all HR initiatives. This approach suggest that statements such as “I believe”, “I think”, “It might” is scrapped in favor of what we know and what has been proven.
For example: a company might provide access to a gym, which its employees may use free of charge. HR may argue that this will result in healthier employees who in turn will have lower absenteeism and higher productivity. But how do we know that? It feels intuitively right that it will be the case, but how much lower will absenteeism be solely because of the gym and does it justify the cost of the memberships? Perhaps. The evidence-based HR approach will want to test this assumption.
The movement (if it can be called that) is often quite skeptical about the current practices of HR, which I think is a bit unnecessary. Instead the drive should be a genuine interest in making HR as value added as possible though practices which are documented to create value. HR practices based upon evidence will eliminate fears from CFO’s about possible waste of money.
I truly believe that HR can add a lot of shareholder value. But not all HR practices can and will do. Some are simply a waste of time and money. Which ones add value and which ones does not? An evidence based approach may help us answer this question.
If you want to know more, check out Paul Kearns’ blog here…