One small step for HR

30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission

I’m starting 2018 the way I ended 2017 – thinking about evidence-based practice.

No wait, don’t go. Come back….

I was truly honoured and delighted to become a Fellow of CEBMa just prior to Christmas and I am excited about seeing the continued rise of evidence-based practice across the HR profession, particularly so as CIPD continue it’s move towards ensuring the HR profession is principles-led, evidence-based and outcomes-driven.

As I continue to transition towards being an evidence-based HR practitioner, I have decided that for 2018 I want to help and support HR professionals who too want to follow this path and embrace evidence as part of their practice. So consider this an open-invitation to contact me if you want to know more about evidence-based HR/management, or want to open-up continued dialogue with a fellow practitioner.

I must stress however that I very-much consider myself still a learner. I have simply scratched the surface and need to do a lot more to embed evidence within my practice, but I know of great resources and people who I can sign-post you to for anything I don’t know.

To kick start what I hope will be a series of posts this year on embracing evidence I thought i’d offer some advice which I myself learned when I first started on this path. I went too deep, too quickly and became overwhelmed. This resulted in a false start that was entirely avoidable.

Becoming an evidence-based HR practitioner can seem daunting. It can feel that there’s a lot to learn and you start thinking about “what were those different types of evidence again”, and “how many steps were there for using evidence, I can’t remember” and “am I supposed to just ignore my own experience” and…and… then you give up. Probably. I did for a while.

I tried to learn everything I could about evidence-based management as quickly as possible, and I wanted to immediately put what I had learned into practice. What I found was that I tried to learn too much, too quickly and had an unrealistic expectation for how it could be transferred back into the workplace and in to my day to day role.

Therefore, my advice, is to take a small step. Find a decent starting point and dip your toe into the water.

If you are starting completely from scratch and simply want to know more about what evidence-based practice is and how it can help you, then put some time aside each week for say a month or two, just 10/15 minutes at a time to explore the topic further. Maybe read through some of the great resources on the CEBMa website, watch Professor Rob Briner in action on some of the YouTube videos available here, read through some of the articles in the evidence-based practice area of the CIPD discussion forums (which are open-access, you don’t need to be a CIPD member to take part in these discussions) or just print off the below infographic and display it visibly around you in your place of work so it becomes familiar to you.

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Once you have a decent grasp and want to embrace it within your practice, why not try it out with a hypothetical business problem? Maybe practice with a case study of a piece of work you’ve recently concluded and get in to the habit of conducting research, identifying ways you can use your systems internally to access different sets of data to gain insight, and get to know the most appropriate ways of speaking with customers or suppliers maybe in order to access stakeholder evidence.

Then, when you are comfortable, use an evidence-based approach in a real-life scenario with a live project and reflect on how it has or hasn’t helped you and how you can refine your practice in order to ensure it helps you in future as opposed to hinders.

Little steps ultimately helped me and might help you too but it all depends on how you best learn and adopt new processes. The key thing, is making a start, gaining an awareness, embracing evidence as a fundamental part of your practice, and essentially, learning where to look for things. There’s plenty to do after that point, but you’ll be well on your way by then!

Happy new year to you and I do hope that this might be of some use to you. Here if you need me.

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