As an active member of the PPMA and Acting Chief Officer HR of Leeds City Council I am aware of the need to use evidence even more effectively within the HR profession to inform our decision making. I have seen first-hand the impact that drawing on evidence from a wide range of sources can have in creating a credible and influential HR service that can contribute significantly towards our organisation’s successes. As a profession we need to ‘get nosey’. We need to look up, be curious and seek out different perspectives to inform the decisions that we make. In doing so we will not only benefit the HR profession and our own development, we will also be better able to evidence our contribution to successful organisations with thriving and healthy workforces.
What is evidence based practice?
According to the Centre for Evidence Based Management –
“Evidence-based management is about making decisions through the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the best available evidence from multiple sources by ….
· Asking: Translating a practical issue or problem into an answerable question
· Acquiring: Systematically searching and retrieving the evidence
· Appraising: Critically judging the trustworthiness and relevance of the evidence
· Aggregating: Weighing and pulling together the evidence
· Applying: Incorporating the evidence in the decision making process
· Assessing: Evaluating the outcome of the decision taken
… to increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.” (Source – https://www.cebma.org/a-definition-of-evidence-based-management/ )
Why is this theme important?
By drawing on a range of sources and being mindful of their credibility, we can overcome our own biases, personal feelings and opinions in decision making. This helps us to make better, more inclusive, decisions and then evidence the impact of those decisions.
Following management ‘fads’ can seriously damage the credibility of HR in our organisations. Evidence based practice helps us to identify research-based literature, organisational data, seek professional experience / judgement and stakeholder consultation from credible sources. We can then identify real issues within our organisation and have effective solutions to make an impact. In this way evidence based practice helps us to avoid ‘fads’, increase our influence and contribution to our organisation’s success.
- Skilling up HR & OD professionals to make sound, evidence based, decisions in a fast paced and changeable environment and avoid the trap of the ‘passing fad’.
- Use of bench marking as a tool for both individual and service development.
- Confidence in discerning between and utilising multiple sources and different types of evidence.
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