There are two components in the structure of the world of human resources. The first component is defined by the word ‘human’. The second component is defined by the word ‘resources’. The work we do as human resources practitioners is to manage the combination of both the human and the resource elements in any organization. Our job is to analyze and problem solve when that combination of both human and resource capacities become tangled in problematic inefficiencies or blockages that prohibit organizational decision making and growth.
There is an ever-increasing expectation that the HR practitioner will be the decision making problem solver. In order to do this, the HR practitioner must have the capacity to use facts and data to begin an analysis before even starting to solve a particular problem. Unfortunately, for many HR practitioners, the skills and techniques needed to enter into an analytical problem solving methodology are still in development.
As outlined in a recent article published by Queen’s IRC, the human resources practitioner must take concrete data-driven steps to analyze a problem before jumping to a resolution which may provide misleading results.
The author identifies three critical elements that lead to poor problem solving analysis on the part of the HR practitioner. To counter balance each of these, it is clear that in the study of human resource management, we develop expertise in the areas of problem definition, capacity for understanding numbers, and defining the depth and breadth of data to be used in order to facilitate organizational decisions.
It is interesting to note that not one of these three elements refers to the human side of the human resources equation. All three elements are focused on the resource side. What we must keep in mind is that the provision of expertise and support through the resources side allows for the human part of the equation to make data based decisions based on sound resource practices.
- Based on the article, what steps will you implement, as the HR practitioner, in order to ensure the integrity of a data based project?
- What are the perceived ‘weaknesses’ that face the HR practitioner when dealing with data based decision making?
- How can the HR practitioner control the amount and type of data that organizations use for decision making?