One of the sessions at InfoHRM’s conference was given by David Guest from King’s College, who took us through a range of research linking effective HRM practices to positive organisational and individual outcomes.
According to Guest, the most powerful link is actually job design.
Jobs need to be stretching but not over-stretching.
But organisations don’t often think about this (particularly at the bottom of the organisation), and when they do, it’s never led by HR. Jobs could look very different but it’s not designed in.
The other key point that Guest made is that to ‘sell’ HR convincingly, HR needs information on inputs, processes and outcomes (like my HCM value chain):
- Information on HR practices and resources
- Information on HR processes and effectiveness
- Information on HR outcomes
- A “theory” and information about how HR practices and HR outcomes are linked.
But there’s a problem – HR doesn’t use the research data that is available. Why not? There’s been an increase in the number and capability of HR professionals, but there’s been no link to organisational performance.
Guest’s interpretation is that the data helps, but you need to go beyond this – it’s about how you influence. ‘It’s a cynical answer but it’s evidence based as well.’
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