A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

The Science of HR & Business Success

The key to science is measurement, science aims to make measurements of everything. In medicine you

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The key to science is measurement, science aims to make measurements of everything. In medicine you measure the dosage for a patient and in astronomy you measure distance (not time, Han) in parsecs. Without measurement then the outcome can’t be relied upon, if only 10 mg of a medicine will cure a patient why give them 20 mg? It would be a waste of resources and dangerous for the patient’s health, making the action counterproductive. Measurement allows success to be observed and also highlights what needs to be improved effectively.

The job of a scientist is to start by making elements of the world and quantifying them into a measurable component. This isn’t always easy, there has been evidence in the past of a body getting lighter as it dies which some have claimed to be the weight of the soul; this isn’t clear evidence but it does raise the issues involved with measuring abstract variables of life as we know it. In psychology it can be especially tricky as it is the field of science where the subject is studying the subject, an analysis of behaviour & perception is always clouded by our own behaviours and perceptions making such things as cultural customs a challenge to overcome in such measurements. For example what is happiness? It could be satisfaction with life, it could be a euphoric state or it could just be a balanced life. Such massive concepts needs a deep analysis and tests and retests to make sure the measurements are doing the right job. Might seem a daunting task but science isn’t for the faint hearted.

I love science though, I love it so much I’ve dedicated hours and hours of my time to conduct research into something that produced no significant results and then carried on researching. I love it because it’s amazing when applied in the right way. Every research article I read I’m looking for its application to the real world and, with my new career, the world of business. The difficulties facing the scientific method in business is people like “trusting their gut” and don’t necessarily want to put in so much effort as science requires. Furthermore, when science is conducted properly it doesn’t have an agenda, the objective outcomes aren’t always sugar-coated in a way that people like; as I said science isn’t for the faint hearted. These challenges are what face companies but it is clear coming into the 21st Century that these kind of measurements are becoming the norm. Success needs to be measured in order to be improved, Usain Bolt wins most races he wins but now he is trying to beat his own time, he only knows if he succeeds because of the time being measured.

In business particularly different measurements such as fiscal success have been common but now the science of HR is beginning to take hold. In particular areas such as psychometrics or career motivation questions have been on the rise aided by the technology revolution of cloud platforms. These eAssessments can measure a remarkable amount of features of an individual within an organisation, such as leadership, body clock, personality, cognition, career motivation, employee engagement, integrity and emotional intelligence just to name a “few” off the top of my head. This means that eAssessments aren’t just a measure of skill or something to pass at, they’re something that measures the 3-Dimensional Employee.

Understanding employees in such an in-depth way as the scientific method that takes out bias and stereotypes that far too often stand in the way of success. Selecting the right forms of assessments and using it to measure the qualities that make up an organisation and its people gives hard evidence for strategy to be developed off. When assessments are used correctly there is no such thing as a failure, the assessment is simply a measure of the individual it’s up to the organisation to use that data then in order to make it a success. This can be through development planning or finding the role to suit an individual’s talents, by having this data to inform progress and the state of the organisation it can lead to strategies and campaigns that are only limited by the imagination. Using eAssessments gives HR and organisations the data and tools to go on to succeed it is then down to the ambition of the company to see how far they can take it.