1. Home
  2. Human Resources Courses
  3. Principles of Analytics
  4. 1 – Understand how evidence-based practice informs organisational measures and outcomes

1 – Understand how evidence-based practice informs organisational measures and outcomes

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to decision-making that emphasises using evidence from research studies to inform organisational measures and outcomes. EBP aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of services and programs by basing decisions on the best available evidence. By using a systematic and critical approach to evaluating research evidence, practitioners can make informed decisions that lead to better outcomes for their clients and organisations. This approach is particularly relevant in today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, where organisations must make data-driven decisions that lead to measurable results. In this topic, we will explore how evidence-based practice informs organisational measures and outcomes and how it can be used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of business operations.

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) in human resource management (HRM) is the application of research evidence to inform and guide the decisions and actions of HR professionals. It is a process of using the best available evidence from research and practice to make informed decisions about managing human resources. This approach is used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of HR practices and ultimately achieve better outcomes for the organisation.

EBP in HRM starts by identifying a question or problem related to human resources management. Then, a systematic search of relevant research literature is conducted to find the best available evidence on the topic. This evidence is then critically evaluated to determine its quality and relevance to the question or problem. Once the best available evidence is identified, it is used to inform decision-making and guide the implementation of HR practices.

Examples of how EBP can be used in HRM include:

  • Using research evidence to inform the design of recruitment and selection processes to increase the likelihood of hiring the most qualified candidates.
  • Using evidence to guide the development of training and development programs to improve employee performance and productivity.
  • Using research evidence to inform the design of performance appraisal systems to ensure that they are fair, reliable, and valid.

EBP in HRM helps to ensure that HR professionals make decisions based on the best available evidence, which can lead to more effective and efficient HR practices and, ultimately, better outcomes for the organisation.

Application and components of evidence-based practice

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to decision-making that emphasises using evidence from research studies to inform practice. It is a process of using the best available evidence from research and practice to make informed decisions in a specific field or practice area. EBP aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of services and programs by basing decisions on the best available evidence.

The application of EBP involves a systematic and critical approach to evaluating research evidence, and it typically includes the following steps:

  1. Asking a focused and answerable question: The first step in EBP is identifying a specific question or problem that needs addressing. The question should be focused, relevant, and answerable.
  2. Searching for the best available evidence: A systematic search of relevant research literature is conducted to find the best available evidence on the topic. This includes searching databases, journals, and other sources of research literature.
  3. Appraising the evidence: The quality and relevance of the evidence are critically evaluated. This includes assessing the study design, sample size, and other factors that could affect the validity of the findings.
  4. Applying the evidence: Once the best available evidence is identified, it is used to inform decision-making and guide the implementation of the practice.
  5. Evaluating the outcomes: The outcomes of the practice are evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the EBP. If the outcomes are unsatisfactory, the process is repeated to find new evidence and make new decisions.

Using different types of evidence-based practice to inform principle-led judgements

People professionals, such as human resource managers, can use different types of evidence-based practice (EBP) to inform principle-led judgments and outcomes for an organisation in several ways:

  1. Research-based evidence: People professionals can use research-based evidence, such as findings from academic studies, to inform their decisions and actions. For example, research on effective recruitment and selection practices can inform the design of an organisation’s recruitment process.
  2. Practice-based evidence: People professionals can also use practice-based evidence, such as the experiences and observations of other practitioners, to inform their decisions and actions. For example, they can learn from the best practices of other organisations in areas such as employee engagement and retention.
  3. Outcome-based evidence: People professionals can also use outcome-based evidence, such as data on the results and impact of past decisions and actions, to inform their decisions and actions. For example, by analysing data on employee turnover, people professionals can identify factors that contribute to high turnover rates and make decisions to improve retention.
  4. Principle-based evidence: People professionals can use principle-based evidence, such as the organisation’s mission and values, to inform their decisions and actions. For example, if the organisation’s mission emphasises promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, people professionals should consider this when making recruitment, promotion, and employee development decisions.

By combining these different types of evidence, people professionals can make more informed and effective decisions aligned with the organisation’s principles and values. Additionally, they can also use these different types of evidence to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their decisions and actions over time.

The importance of using data in organisations

Data is valuable for organisations, as it can inform decisions, improve performance, and drive growth. Using data in organisations can help improve decision-making, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

  1. Improved decision-making: Data provides organisations with the information they need to make informed decisions. By analysing data, organisations can identify patterns, trends, and insights that can be used to make better decisions. Data can also be used to measure the effectiveness of past decisions, allowing organisations to make adjustments and improvements as needed.
  2. Increased operational efficiency: Data can be used to improve the efficiency of business operations. For example, by analysing data on customer behaviour, organisations can optimise their products, services and marketing strategies to meet customer needs better. Additionally, data can be used to improve the efficiency of internal operations, such as supply chain management, production, and inventory control.
  3. Greater customer insights: Data can also be used to gain a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences. By analysing data on customer behaviour, organisations can identify patterns and insights that can be used to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
  4. Identifying new opportunities: Data can help organisations to identify new opportunities for growth and innovation. For example, by analysing data on customer behaviour, organisations can identify new market trends and unmet customer needs, which can inform the development of new products and services.
  5. Compliance and Risk management: Data can help organisations to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and to identify and mitigate potential risks. For example, organisations can use data to monitor and analyse activities that might indicate fraud, money laundering, or other illegal activities.

Data plays a critical role in organisations by providing the information necessary to make informed decisions, improve performance, and drive growth. The ability to collect, store, process, and analyse data has become an organisation’s key differentiator. Those that can effectively utilise data are more likely to succeed in today’s business environment.

The need to ensure informed decision making

Data can ensure informed decision-making for people professionals by providing them with the information they need to make better decisions. People professionals, such as human resource managers, can use data to inform recruitment, selection, performance management, training and development, and employee engagement and retention.

  1. Recruitment and selection: People professionals can use data to inform decisions related to recruitment and selection. For example, by analysing data on the qualifications and experience of job candidates, people professionals can identify the best candidates for a position. Data can also be used to measure the effectiveness of recruitment and selection methods and to make adjustments as needed.
  2. Performance management: People professionals can use data to inform decisions related to performance management. For example, by analysing data on employee performance, people professionals can identify areas where employees need additional training and development. Data can also be used to measure performance management systems’ effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
  3. Training and development: People professionals can use data to inform decisions related to training and development. For example, by analysing employee skills and knowledge data, people professionals can identify areas where employees need additional training. Data can also be used to measure the effectiveness of training and development programmes and to make adjustments as needed.
  4. Employee engagement and retention: People professionals can use data to inform decisions about employee engagement and retention. For example, by analysing data on employee engagement, people professionals can identify areas where employees are disengaged and take steps to improve engagement. Data can also be used to measure employee engagement programmes’ effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
  5. Compliance and Risk management: People professionals can use data to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and to identify and mitigate potential risks. For example, organisations can use data to monitor and analyse activities that might indicate discrimination, harassment, or other legal violations.

By using data to inform decision-making, people professionals can make more informed and effective decisions aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives. Additionally, they can also use data to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their decisions and actions over time.

Impact that data has on organisational culture, performance and perceptions

Data can significantly impact organisational culture, performance, and perceptions.

  1. Organisational culture: Data can shape organisational culture by providing a shared understanding of the organisation’s goals and objectives and promoting a data-driven decision-making culture. When data is used to inform decisions, it can help to create a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement. Data can also be used to measure and improve employee engagement, which can positively impact organisational culture.
  2. Organisational performance: Data can also positively impact organisational performance by providing organisations with the information they need to make better decisions and improve operations. For example, by analysing data on customer behaviour, organisations can optimise their products, services and marketing strategies to meet customer needs better. Additionally, data can be used to improve the efficiency of internal operations, such as supply chain management, production, and inventory control.
  3. Organisational perceptions: Data can also shape how organisations are perceived by stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and investors. For example, by using data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products, services and marketing strategies, organisations can improve their reputation and credibility with customers. Additionally, by using data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their internal operations, organisations can improve their reputation and credibility with investors.

Data can significantly impact organisational culture, performance, and perceptions. By using data effectively, organisations can improve their decision-making, operations, and reputation, ultimately leading to better outcomes and greater success.

Different types of data measurements that people professionals use

People professionals, such as human resource managers, use different data measurements to inform their decisions and actions. Some examples include:

  1. Demographic data: This type of data includes information about the characteristics of employees, such as age, gender, race, and educational background. Demographic data can be used to inform decisions related to recruitment, selection, and training and development.
  2. Attitudinal data: This type of data includes information about employees’ attitudes and opinions, such as job satisfaction, commitment, and engagement. Attitudinal data can be used to inform decisions related to employee engagement and retention, and performance management.
  3. Behavioural data: This type of data includes information about employees’ behaviours, such as attendance, punctuality, and performance. Behavioural data can inform decisions related to performance management and employee engagement and retention.
  4. Outcome data: This type of data includes information about the results and impact of past decisions and actions, such as employee turnover rate, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Outcome data can be used to inform decisions related to employee engagement and retention, and performance management.
  5. Qualitative data: This type of data includes information collected through methods such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Qualitative data can be used to gain a deeper understanding of employee attitudes, opinions, and experiences. They can be used to inform decisions related to employee engagement and retention, and performance management.
  6. Quantitative data: This type of data includes numerical data, such as financial data, sales data, and production data. Quantitative data can inform financial management, budgeting and forecasting decisions, and the organisation’s overall performance.

People professionals use different data measurements to inform their decisions and actions. By combining these different types of data, people professionals can make more informed and effective decisions aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives.

The following table provides examples of the types of data that can be collected to make decisions on various people management areas:

People Management AreaType of Data Collected
ResourcingDemographic data (e.g. age, gender, race)

Qualitative data (e.g. interviews, surveys)

Quantitative data (e.g. job vacancy, turnover rate)

Absence and TurnoverBehavioural data (e.g. attendance, punctuality)

Outcome data (e.g. turnover rate, absenteeism rate)

Attitudinal data (e.g. job satisfaction, engagement)

Performance and RewardBehavioural data (e.g. productivity, quality of work)

Outcome data (e.g. sales, customer satisfaction)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from supervisors, peers, and customers)

DismissalsBehavioural data (e.g. disciplinary actions)

Outcome data (e.g. turnover rate, absenteeism rate)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from supervisors, peers, and customers)

L&D skills and competenciesDemographic data (e.g. age, gender, race)

Qualitative data (e.g. interviews, surveys)

Quantitative data (e.g. job vacancy, turnover rate)

Outcome data (e.g. productivity, quality of work)

Employee VoiceAttitudinal data (e.g. job satisfaction, engagement)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from employees)

Diversity and InclusionDemographic data (e.g. age, gender, race, sexual orientation)

Attitudinal data (e.g. job satisfaction, engagement)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from employees)

Well-beingAttitudinal data (e.g. job satisfaction, engagement)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from employees)

Outcome data (e.g. absenteeism rate, turnover rate)

Change AgendaAttitudinal data (e.g. job satisfaction, engagement)

Qualitative data (e.g. feedback from employees)

Outcome data (e.g. productivity, quality of work)

Policies and PracticesQualitative data (e.g. feedback from employees)

Outcome data (e.g. productivity, quality of work)

This table is an example; the data collection can vary depending on the specific organisation and their objectives. Additionally, the data collected can vary depending on the problem or question.

Common calculations to interpret organisational data

Common calculations, such as percentages, averages, themes, and patterns, can be used to interpret organisational data to identify trends, insights, and opportunities for improvement.

  1. Percentages: Percentages are used to express a proportion of a whole. For example, the percentage of employees satisfied with their jobs can be calculated by dividing the number of satisfied employees by the total number of employees and multiplying by 100. Percentages can be used to identify proportions of employees with certain characteristics, such as gender or race, or to measure the proportion of employees who have a certain attitude or behaviour.
  2. Averages: Averages are used to summarise a set of numerical data. For example, the average length of service for employees can be calculated by summing the length of service for all employees and dividing by the number of employees. Averages can be used to identify the central tendency of a set of data, such as the average length of service or the average salary.
  3. Themes: Themes are used to identify common patterns or topics that emerge from qualitative data, such as interviews, surveys, or focus groups. For example, themes can be used to identify common reasons for employee dissatisfaction or common training needs. Themes can be identified by reading through the data, looking for patterns and commonalities, and grouping similar responses together.
  4. Patterns: Patterns are used to identify relationships or trends in data. For example, patterns can be used to identify a relationship between employee satisfaction and turnover or between training and productivity. Patterns can be identified by plotting data on a graph or using statistical tools such as correlation or regression analysis.

    Interpreting the findings from these calculations is an important step in making sense of the data. It involves understanding the context and implications of the data and using it to inform decisions and actions. For example, suppose the data shows that many employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. In that case, people professionals can use this information to investigate the root causes and take steps to improve employee engagement and retention. Similarly, if the data shows a positive correlation between training and productivity, the people professionals can use this information to develop a training and development program that will improve productivity.

    It’s also important to keep in mind the limitations of the data and the potential for bias when interpreting the findings. For example, self-reported data may be biased by social desirability or lack of accuracy. Additionally, small sample sizes or lack of representativeness can limit the generalizability of the findings.

    Presenting data

    Presenting data in diagrammatic forms such as pie charts, bar charts, and line graphs can effectively communicate understanding and inform decision-making.

    1. Pie charts: Pie charts are used to represent data as a proportion of a whole. They are useful for showing the distribution of a single variable among different categories. For example, a pie chart could be used to show the proportion of employees in different job roles or the proportion of employees satisfied with different aspects of their job.
    2. Bar charts: Bar charts are used to compare the size of different categories. They can be used to show the distribution of a single variable or to compare multiple variables. For example, a bar chart could be used to compare the average length of service for employees in different job roles or to compare employee satisfaction levels for different aspects of their job.
    3. Line graphs: Line graphs are used to show how a variable changes over time. They are helpful in showing trends and patterns in data. For example, a line graph could show the trend of employee satisfaction over time or the relationship between employee turnover rate and employee engagement.

    Presenting data in these diagrams allows the viewer to quickly and easily understand the data and identify patterns, trends, and insights relevant to the decision-making process. Additionally, these diagrams can be used to communicate the data analysis findings to non-technical audiences in a clear and straightforward way.

    How the application of agreed policies and procedures informs decisions

    The application of agreed policies and procedures informs decisions by providing a framework for decision-making and ensuring consistency and fairness in the decision-making process.

    1. Clear framework: Policies and procedures provide a clear framework for decision-making. They outline the steps that need to be taken and the criteria that need to be considered when making a decision. This helps to ensure that decisions are made logically and consistently.
    2. Compliance: Policies and procedures help organisations to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. For example, policies and procedures related to discrimination, harassment, and data protection ensure that the organisation is compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
    3. Consistency: Policies and procedures help to ensure consistency in decision-making. They provide guidelines for how decisions should be made and what criteria should be considered, which helps ensure that similar situations are handled consistently.
    4. Fairness: Policies and procedures help to ensure fairness in decision-making. For example, policies and procedures related to performance management ensure that employees are evaluated fairly and objectively.
    5. Risk management: Policies and procedures help organisations to identify and mitigate potential risks. For example, policies and procedures related to fraud, money laundering, or other illegal activities help organisations to monitor and analyse activities that might indicate a risk.
    6. Transparency: Policies and procedures provide transparency in the decision-making process. They outline the steps that need to be taken and the criteria that need to be considered, which helps ensure that decisions are made transparently.

    Customer focused policies

    Several different policies and procedures can support and drive a customer-focused strategy. Some examples include:

    1. Customer Service Policy: A customer service policy outlines the organisation’s commitment to providing excellent customer service and sets out the standards and procedures that employees should follow when dealing with customers.
    2. Complaints Handling Policy: A complaints handling policy sets out the procedures employees should follow when dealing with customer complaints and outlines the steps the organisation will take to resolve customer complaints promptly and effectively.
    3. Quality Management Policy: A quality management policy outlines the organisation’s commitment to providing high-quality products and services to customers and sets out the procedures that employees should follow to ensure that products and services meet customer requirements.
    4. Marketing and Communications Policy: A marketing and communications policy outline the organisation’s approach to promoting its products and services to customers and sets out the procedures employees should follow when communicating with customers.
    5. Data Protection Policy: A data protection policy outlines the organisation’s commitment to protecting customer data and sets out the procedures that employees should follow when handling customer data.
    6. Feedback and Surveys Policy: A feedback and surveys policy outlines the organisation’s approach to gathering customer feedback and sets out the procedures employees should follow when conducting surveys and collecting feedback.
    7. Customer Relationship Management Policy: A customer relationship management policy outlines the organisation’s approach to managing customer relationships and sets out the procedures that employees should follow when interacting with customers.

    By having these policies and procedures in place, organisations can ensure that all employees understand and follow the same processes and that the company provides excellent customer service and maintains a good relationship with their clients.

    Test your knowledge

Was this Topic helpful?

Related Topics