Using evidence-based decision-making in HR

It is not just marketing that should consider using evidence in making decisions, other areas of the business should as well. Human resources (HR) is an obvious example as staff interaction has a huge impact on customer retention and employee advocacy itself is an important element of marketing through social media. Some consultants believe that it is now artificial to split internal and external communications as they are now so closely intertwined.

Competitor analysis – pay is not everything but if a company down the road is offering more money and better benefits you will need to offer something in return. It may not be more money or a better pension package, career progression and training opportunities are often more important to employees – you just have to understand your employees.

Employee profiling – like customer profiling this can be an incredibly effective tool to honing management style, more so in some cases as you are likely to spend more time with your employees than a large proportion of your customers.

Internal systems – one of the reasons poor management costs UK companies £19.3 million each year is that businesses simply do not understand how to use the information they already have. Number of sick days, indicators of productivity etc. can all be used to monitor engagement more effectively than an annual staff survey. Only issue is that data has to be stored correctly – it is relatively easy to create a dashboard of such indicators but if the information stored is incorrect, your decisions are likely to be.

Employee surveys and appraisals – these should be based on the needs of the company not the need to be seen to do them. They can be annual, quarterly or on an ad hoc basis and fill in information that the company cannot get another way. The big difference is that surveys are confidential. I have never been asked for the names and details of the individuals who have taken part in a customer survey, because they understand that confidential data is so valuable. The slightest whiff of disclosure and the information is worth much less, in fact you are better adding tick box questions to an appraisal.

There are also a number of tricks that you can learn from marketing and these change frequently – from tracking the findings to a marketing campaign or how they retain customers? Many of these concepts are based sometimes indirectly on good quality market research – why not see how you can use them.

If you need help then advice is usually only a coffee away!

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