The role of analytics - In building the high performance workplace

There has been a dramatic increase in the volume and variety of data generated across the human resource lifecycle as a result of increasing digitization in the workplace. These data assets represent a huge potential source of value for the profession and the increasing availability of powerful user-friendly software has opened the way for greater reliance on the “evidence-based” decision-making that enables high performance work systems.

Human Resource Management has long had a tradition and well-deserved reputation for making decisions on the basis of sentiment and gut feeling. Efforts to measure work date back at least to Frederick Taylor’s time and motion studies beginning in the late 19thcentury. When it comes to data-driven decision-making, however, human resource management has tended to lag behind other areas, such as finance and marketing. The dramatic shift towards strategic human resource management over the last 30-odd years has been in large measure an effort to address that gap.

A substantial part of the work in the field of Strategic Human Resource Management has focused on the creation of what are called high performance work systems. Since the 1980s, this term has been used to describe a bundle of synergistically aligned human resource management practices, specifically designed to advance the strategic goals of the organisation and particularly to permit the achievement of sustained competitive advantage.

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