7CO02 Assignment Example
7CO02 Work and Working lives in changing Business Environment
- You apply for a role as a senior HR manager in a large private sector organisation. You are asked to make a ten-minute presentation on what you consider to be ONE major way in which the HR function can add value for an organisation. What would you say and why? Justify your answer with reference to your reading.
- Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of a best practice approach to HRM in a post-pandemic world of work. Illustrate your answer with examples.
- How can people management professionals best support line managers in sustaining good quality employment relationships when interacting virtually with their teams? Justify your answer.
- Whilst there is a great deal of potential for HR and L&D managers to use people data to inform decision-making, there is often a lack of capability amongst people management professionals in this area. To what extent do you agree with this viewpoint? Justify your answer.
Solution : TASK 1
For a long time, the role of HR has essentially been administrative and transactional in nature. Nonetheless, this role is gradually evolving and expanding as Human Resource Professionals fight for their space in corporations. To this end, value creation by HR is an emerging topic that is arousing interest among both practitioners and researchers in the field of people professionals. Value creation in this regard, involves generating positive outcomes for the key stakeholders in an organisation. The stakeholders can be employees, investors, consumers, suppliers or the line managers. As such, people professionals can utilise their positioning as the link between employees and the employers to add value to a company. This is while taking into cognizance that the success of a company is dependent on the employees who serve as the major drivers of organisational goals and objectives.
HR can thus pursue value addition through revamping of work policies, initiating innovation programs as well as ensuring that a company regularly aligns to legal provisions and thus avoiding hefty fines and legal suits. One of the ways, that HR can create value is through increasing company productivity and thus increase company profits. This can be achieved through promotion of employee wellbeing. The concept of wellbeing can be defined as the concern for general happiness, mental and physical health of employees. Within the context of work, wellness can expand to refer to employee satisfaction with job facets such as colleagues, pay, job security, working conditions, team working, training opportunities and nature of work (Baptiste, 2008). Baptiste (2008) indicated that HR practices increase value of human capital through development of programs such as workforce wellness as it is critical to employee performance and organisational success. Chenoweth (n.d.) stated that building competitive advantage for organisations is only guaranteed when employee health and wellbeing is prioritised. This is in light of research findings that link employee wellbeing to on job performance, work behaviour and work attendance hence the cliché that healthier employees equals a more productive workforce (Chenoweth, n.d.)
There are several techniques that people professionals can employ in the promoting employee wellbeing at the workplace
- Giving workers more control over how employees conduct their work
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review research studies denote that having little control of doing work yields poor mental health and high rate of heart disease among employees (Kelly et al., 2021). In addition, high work demands and low levels of job control heightens the risk of diabetes and in extreme cases result in death due to cardiovascular diseases. Pfeffer (2018) cited research findings attributing limited job control to negative impacts that encompass physical and mental health problems. In a more recent study, Farrant et al. (2020) found that jobs that have high demands and limited control have a higher risk of sickness absence as well as disability pension. Basing on these damning assertions HR professionals can add value to organisations in this regard by ensuring that organisational roles
of employees. When employees have some independence and control of their job they develop ownership of the job and thus demonstrate increased productivity.
- Make employee health care a top priority
McErlane (2020) argued that employee wellness and health should be prioritised in organisations and thus adopt a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive approach. Over the years employee health and wellness has been prioritised by most progressive companies. This was upon the realisation that profits are attained by healthy employees. Wooldridge (2021) indicated that approximately 80% of HR leaders and specialists prioritised employee health and wellbeing in 2020 upon assessing the impacts of the Covid19 pandemic. Consequently it was noted that 61% of employers prioritised improvement of employee health and wellness when compared to 36% in 2019 (Wooldridge, 2021). McErlane (2020) argued that provision of affordable and low costs insurance plans enables employee to adopt preventative care and thus reduced prolonged sickness absence and thus reducing costs incurred by companies due to absences. By doing this, HR creates value for both the employees as well as the organisation and hence the need to adopt a proactive approach. This has illuminated further by the impact of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic.
- Allowing employee to identify and resolve workplace challenges
When employees are provided with an opportunity to be participate in improving the workplace they naturally feel appreciated and thus own the operations of the company. This is bound to foster their wellbeing at the workplace and at home and hence improved productivity. Kelly et al. (2021) cited a study of doctors, clinicians and nurse practitioners that founds that when employees were allowed to participate in a structured process of problem identification and subsequently resolve had demonstrated low levels of burin out and heightened job satisfaction. In this regard, the human resource professional can serve as a wellbeing champion by encouraging involvement of employees in the development of solutions to organisational challenges. Wieneke et al. (2019) conducted a study involving 64,059 employees and found that employees that had a wellbeing champion thrived more favourably as opposed to those who lacked a wellbeing champion.
- Encouraging managers in the organisation to support the personal needs of the employees.
This stems from the fact that employee are only able to function optimally when their personal needs are adequately addressed. Tober (n.d.) argued that wise managers prioritise the needs of their employees such that every employee feels significant and a valued member of the company as opposed to simply being just another employee. This heightens the ability to retain the top talent and thus reduces employee turnover and has a reciprocal effect. In the words of the founder of Marriot Hotels Willard Marriot “take care of your people and they will take care of your customers” (Tober, n.d.). In a gall up study Gabsa and Rastogi (2020) identified five elements of wellbeing including career, physical, social, financial and community. The study determined that employees that thrive in the aforementioned elements are more than twice likely to adapt well to change, 81% are not likely to seek a new employer, 41% are not likely to miss work due to ill health and 27% are less likely to have changed employers in the last one year. Critically evaluating on the statistics demonstrate that employee wellbeing goes beyond physical wellness and workplace satisfaction to all the facets that affect their daily lives while at work and at home.
From the above discussion, it is clear that there are many avenues that people professionals in their quest to add value in their work and inherently positively impact on their customers. One of such an avenue is through promoting employee wellbeing at the workplace which makes the lives of employees easier and subsequently impacts on the employer through higher levels of productivity, reduced turnover and decreased absences. To this end, this study has proposed four major ways that people professionals can adopt in the quest to become a wellbeing champion at the workplace. These include giving employees more freedom in the execution of their roles, prioritising the healthcare of employees, providing employees with opportunities of resolving workplace challenges as well as encouraging managers to support employees’ personal needs.
Baptiste, N.R. (2008). Tightening the link between employee wellbeing at work and performance. Management Decision, 46(2), pp.284–309.
Farrants, K., Norberg, J., Framke, E., Rugulies, R. and Alexanderson, K. (2020). Job Demands and Job Control and Future Labor Market Situation. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 62(6), pp.403–411.
Gabsa, R. and Rastogi, S. (2020). Take Care of Your People, and They’ll Take Care of Business. [online] Gallup.com. Available at: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/312824/care-people-care-business.aspx.
Kelly, E.L., Berkman, L.F., Kubzansky, L.D. and Lovejoy, M. (2021). 7 Strategies to Improve Your Employees’ Health and Well-Being. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2021/10/7-strategies-to-improve-your-employees-health-and-well-being.
McErlane, J. (2020). 6 Ways HR Can Promote Workplace Health and Wellness. [online] www.hrcloud.com. Available at: https://www.hrcloud.com/blog/6-ways-hr-can-promote-workplace-health-and-wellness.
Pfeffer, J. (2018). The overlooked essentials of employee well-being | McKinsey. [online] www.mckinsey.com. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-overlooked-essentials-of-employee-well-being.
Tober, C. (n.d.). How to Take Care of Employees. [online] Small Business – Chron.com. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/care-employees-47184.html.
Wieneke, K.C., Egginton, J.S., Jenkins, S.M., Kruse, G.C., Lopez-Jimenez, F., Mungo, M.M., Riley, B.A. and Limburg, P.J. (2019). Well-Being Champion Impact on Employee Engagement, Staff Satisfaction, and Employee Well-Being. Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, 3(2), pp.106–115.
Wooldridge |, S. (2021). Health and well-being of employees become a top priority of companies. [online] BenefitsPRO. Available at: https://www.benefitspro.com/2021/01/15/health-and-well-being-of-employees-become-a-top-priority-of-companies/ [Accessed 18 Apr. 2022].
Solution : TASK 2
According to Dudovoskly (2013) there are three main approaches to SHRM that include universalistic, configurational and contingency. Consequently, the best practice approach in human resource management is a concept that hinges on adoption of practices that are bound to generate positive results for organisations irrespective of business contexts. Francis (2012) differentiated between best fit approaches and best practices to HRM. The best fit perspective opines that HR strategy is more efficient when it is integrated to the business environment. On the contrary, the best practice perspective asserts that there are specific human resource practices that yield to positive outcomes such as enhanced organisational performance. This can be manifested in different ways including reducing turnover rates, lowering absenteeism, enhanced employee attitude, increased productivity and efficiency among employees and increased acquisition of skills and knowledge (Francis, 2012).
Gartner identifies nine trends associated with the future of work post Covid19 including rise in remote working, heightened data collection as a way of monitoring employees, expansion in contingent employees, heightened role of employer in social safety net, separation of critical roles and skills, dehumanisation of employees, rise of new top tier employers, transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience as well as rise in organisational complexity (Baker, 2021). For purposes of this paper, I will focus on the trend of rise in remote working as a best practice approach in the world of work post pandemic. The Gartner poll revealed that 48% of employees would potentially continue to work remotely post Covid19 which is in contrast to 30% pre-pandemic in the United States. In the UK, data from the Office of National Statistics (2021) indicate that homeworking was expected to continue as a permanent business model by 24% of employers according to the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS). The communications industry was the most likely industry to heighten homeworking in the future at 49%, professional and scientific activities stood at 43.2% and education at 37.6%. Consequently, the least likely industries to heighten remote working are accommodation and food service activities at 6% (Office of National Statistics, 2021).
As the world gradually eases the Covid19 protocols, organisations are evaluating the feasibility of continued remote working. The following is a critical evaluation of the strengths and limitations of remote working. Among the strengths of remote working or homeworking include enhancing agility and flexibility. This is because it allows the employees to enjoy flexible work hours which is essential to companies as it can help meet business needs that would otherwise be neglected in an office context. For example, employees can meet business needs over the weekend and attend to consumer needs that reside in different time zones conveniently (NI Business Info, 2020).
The second advantage associated to remote working is increased productivity among employees. This is attributed to less disruptions as the homeworking environment allows one to work in a quiet environment where one is best suited to concentrate and thus work for less hours and accomplish more than they would have in an office set up (NI Business Info, 2020). Needless to mention this is dependent on the individual and family context. For example, the data by the Office of National Statistics (2021) indicate that younger workers reported more distractions when working from home. Employees between sixteen and twenty nine years of reported completing work in a shorter time and enhanced work life balance. In addition women were more likely to report less distractions and ability to complete work in a shorter period when compared to men.
The third benefit of remote working is financial benefits as organisations save of office supplies, office space, utility bills and other facilities that are utilised when all employees are working together in an office. In the UK, employees are also entitled to a tax relief available from HM Revenue &Customs (HMRC) when working from home.
The limitations of working from home on the other hand include making employees feel isolated. This premised from the fact that working from home is likely to make some of the employees feel disconnected from the organisation as well as their colleagues. This is especially so to the employees who draw their social support system from their colleagues. In a bid to remedy the situation, human resource professionals can schedule regular team meetings to help employees feel connected and thus remain productive. Additionally informal meetings and organising for social catch ups can aid in fighting feelings of isolation among the employees (NI Business Info, 2020).
The second limitation of remote working is the difficulty in monitoring employee performance. This stems from the fact when dealing with different personalities there is need for supervision especially to those employees that lack self-drive. This can be mitigated by using technological monitoring tools to measure the productivity of employees while working from home. It can also proceed through setting of business goals and targets on a daily basis in a bid to enable assessment of work done in a given period (NI Business, Info, 2020)
Last but not least, remote working has the potential of increasing employee burn out as remote working provides a very thin boundary between work hours and home life. When employees struggle to switch off from work and continue working for long hours in a bid to meet targets and accomplish daily gaols then there are likely to suffer from increased stress due to long hours of working and thus leading to burnout which dims productivity. To this end, people professionals should remind and encourage the employees to regularly take short breaks from work to unwind as well as adequately rests so as to remain alert and productive (NI Business Info, 2020).
The Covid19 pandemic has expanded the concept of homeworking and given its desirable advantages companies continue to grapple with the idea of continuing with the practice post pandemic. Some organisations are considering hybrid model where employees can work for a period of days at home and report to the office occasionally. This paper has identified some of the strengths of homeworking to include heightening agility and flexibility in organisations, increased productivity and financial benefits such as saving on office space and office supplies. The limitations on the other hand include isolation of employees which can then impact on their mental wellbeing, difficulties in monitoring of performance and rise in employee burnout due to challenges in separating working hours and home duties. Ultimately, there is need for continued research on the modalities of implementing remote workings so as to maximise on the benefits therein and subsequently manage the limitations by exploring the options provided by new technologies while still respecting employee privacy.
Dudovskiy, J. (2013). Approaches to SHRM. [online] Research-Methodology. Available at: https://research-methodology.net/approaches-to-shrm/.
Francis, A. (2012). Best Fit and Best Practice Approaches in Strategic HRM. [online] MBA Knowledge Base. Available at: https://www.mbaknol.com/human-resource-management/best-fit-and-best-practice-approaches-in-strategic-hrm/.
NI Business Info (2020). Advantages and disadvantages of employees working at home. [online] nibusinessinfo.co.uk. Available at: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/advantages-and-disadvantages-employees-working-home.
Office of National Statistics (2021). Business and individual attitudes towards the future of homeworking, UK – Office for National Statistics. [Online] www.ons.gov.uk. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/businessandindividualattitudestowardsthefutureofhomeworkinguk/apriltomay2021.
Solution : TASK 3
In every organisation there exists two parties’ employer and employees, and the two need to meaningfully coexist for any organisation to thrive in its core business. It is from this vein, that the term employment relationship is derived. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) (2011) employment relationship refers to the legal link between the employers and their employees. This is similar to a definition provided by Budd and Bhave (2010) who stated that employment relationship serves as the connection between employers and employees within the context of buying and selling labour (p.51). In light of this, human resource professionals play a significant role in building a strong and effective bridge between the employer and the employee otherwise stated as employment relationship. To this end, people professionals have a daunting task of ensuring that employees are provided with a conducive environment to deliver in achieving the goals of a company while also ensuring that the employers’ interests are protected in the quest. Needless to mention, it is a tricky balance to ensure both the employer and employees are happy in the quest for maximum profits.
For people professionals to succeed, they need to work together with all stakeholders in an organisation and key among them is the line managers. Mayhew (2011) explained that human resource professionals and line mangers are intertwined by common interests which is to witness the organisations they work for excel. This is while appreciating that line managers conduct human resource functions in the conduct of their work. Thus, the need for the two to work together as their roles are intertwined. While much has been written on how people professionals can support line managers in their work there is much that has changed in the world including the Covid19 pandemic that has essentially disrupted the labour world.
According to a study by McKinsey on the future of work after Covid19, the pandemic became the biggest disruptor of labour a position that had previously been held by rapid changes in technology (Lund et al., 2021). In view of this, remote working has been accelerated by the pandemic and thus need for human resource professionals to support line managers in the handling of virtual teams. This is cognizance of the fact that the management of virtual teams is different from those within the same vicinity or location (Cipd, 2021). The support given to line managers should be premised on scientific evidence that has demonstrated that virtual teams experience more challenges when compared to face to face teams given their dependence on electronic communication, diversity of needs as well as overlap of working hours among the team members (Cipd, 2021).
Prior to covid19, there was a study report conducted in April 2010 on the challenges experienced by virtual teams in a random survey focusing on approximately 30,000 from across the world. The largest country representation was the United Stated at 23% and UK at 18%. The reported asserted that virtual teams experienced almost similar challenges as face to face teams but had certain unique challenges such as absence of face to face to contact, time and distance, language difficulties and cultural variations on styles of personal communication that make virtual work more complex (Hastings, 2010). In a more recent study, Morrison-Smith and Ruiz (2020) conducted a literature review study on the challenges and barriers of virtual teams and subsequently categorised them into geographical distance, diversity of employees, temporal distance, configuration of dispersed teams and dispersed teams. The physical challenges were aligned to social, cognitive and emotional challenges. The results were based on a review of 255 studies deemed to be relevant.
From this vein, HR professionals need to align policies to the new work structures in order to ensure that virtual teams function optimally and seamlessly. A line manager’s ability to create a conducive environment can heavily influence the outcome of remote working and thus the need to be supported. According to Cipd research, line managers can support the employee wellbeing, health and engagement by focusing of five key behavioural areas including being open, consistent and fair, effectively handling conflict and people issues, building and sustaining relationships, providing clarity, knowledge and guidance as well as supporting employee development (Cipd, 2021).
The HR can support the line managers in setting expectations and thereby streamline communication, establish a workflow and set daily deliverables for employees. This should be conducted while appreciating individual needs but also being fair to all the virtual team member. To enhance the process, it should be supported by documentation and the information shared across the team members. Additionally, the HR can work with the line managers in setting the expectation as well as in establishing the communication protocols for the team (Atchison, 2020).
The other way that HR help the line managers is in setting an agreeable shared language cognizance 0f cultural diversity and communication challenges that might arise. For example, the language of the team should be technical when dealing with aspects such as engineering and science and in other less technical subjects the team can agree on the most important phrases and words to ease interpretation (Watkins, 2013). In line with this, the HR can help the line managers to embrace diversity in the virtual team by helping in the identification of common grounds for the team members. In this regard, the HR can train the line mangers on cultural nuances that can minimise potential cultural miscommunication and conflicts (Keenan, 2020).
HR can also support the line manager in celebrating the accomplishments, this is essential when team members are dispersed in multiple locations. Celebrating the accomplishments demonstrates to the employees that their work is appreciated and thus strive to enhance on their delivery in order to gain recognition and positive feedback. This can proceed through sharing of positive reviews from clients, blog mentions, press releases and metric milestones on the team webpage. This is likely to instil a sense of togetherness among the dispersed members of the team and further make them feel that the line manager understands their needs and appreciates their wins and thus boost productivity (Keenan, 2020).
In conclusion, as the Covid19 pandemic fades, into history its impact on the world work is bound to leave an indelible mark particularly in aspects such as rise of remote working. Managing of virtual teams has unique challenges and hence the need for human resource professionals to work closely with the line managers in this quest. This can proceed through several strategies including creation of a conducive environment that support employee wellbeing and builds on sustainable employment relationship. In addition, it can help in setting clear expectations and communication protocols, setting agreeable shared language and embracing diversity. Last but not least HR can help the line mangers in the celebration of accomplishments made by virtual teams whilst adhering to the principles of an effective employment relationship.
Budd, J.W. and Bhave, D. (2010). The Employment Relationship. The SAGE Handbook of Human Resource Management, pp.51–70. doi:10.4135/9780857021496.n4.
Hastings, R.R. (2010). Fostering Virtual Working Relationships Isn’t Easy. [online] SHRM. Available at: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/fosteringvirtualrelationships.aspx [Accessed 3 May 2022].
International Labour Organization (2011). Employment Relationship. [online] Ilo.org. Available at: https://ilo.org/ifpdial/areas-of-work/labour-law/WCMS_CON_TXT_IFPDIAL_EMPREL_EN/lang–en/index.htm.
Keenan, N. (2020). 7 Ways to Overcome the Challenges of Virtual Team Management. [online] www.cpl.com. Available at: https://www.cpl.com/blog/2020/03/7-ways-to-overcome-the-challenges-of-virtual-team-management?source=google.com [Accessed 4 May 2022].
Lund, S., Madgavkar, A., Manyika, J., Smit, S., Ellingrud, K. and Robinson, O. (2021). The future of work after COVID-19 | McKinsey. [online] www.mckinsey.com. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/the-future-of-work-after-covid-19.
Mayhew, R. (2011). Why Should HR & Line Managers Work Together? [online] Chron.com. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/should-hr-line-managers-work-together-10377.html.
Morrison-Smith, S. and Ruiz, J. (2020). Challenges and Barriers in Virtual teams: a Literature Review. SN Applied Sciences, [online] 2(6). doi:10.1007/s42452-020-2801-5.
Watkins, M.D. (2013). Making Virtual Teams Work: Ten Basic Principles. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2013/06/making-virtual-teams-work-ten.
Solution : TASK 4
In the world of work, there are increased calls for professionals across the board to be guided by data or evidence in their decision making in order to steer away from biases, stereotypes, misconceptions and unreliable information. In light of this, HR and Learning and Development managers are no exception to this call. According to Cipd (2020) evidence based practice entails combining the best available evidence and critical thinking in the making of decisions. Further, it shifts from the reliance of personal experience, acquired wisdom and anecdotes in decision making and precisely to people professionals whose decisions impact on the wellbeing of employees across organisations (Cipd, 2022).
Research by bodies such as CEBMa have determined that evidence based practice is more effective, accurate and yields positive outcomes when compared to decisions pegged in accumulated experience or anecdotes (Cipd, 2022) Nonetheless, its utilisation among people professionals is limited by the lack of capability in its utilisation. In view of this, this article will argued that HR and L&D managers often lack capability in adopting of evidence based practice in execution of their roles.
McCulloch (2019) noted that whereas the majority of the HR Managers lauded the significance of data in informing decision-making in recruitment only about 50% of UK organisations often relied on gut feeling and instinct on evaluating skills. Webber (2020) on the other hand indicated that whereas the was a substantial demand for HR data analytics only a small proportion was actually utilising data and analytical techniques in making business decisions. This is confirmed by a 2020 Cipd people profession survey that determined a gap between the heightened demand for data and the continued struggle for HR to spend time on analytical tasks and subsequently effectively utilise HR data for decision-making.
In a different study, by Capital Resourcing interviews of 2850 employees revealed that 50% of HR leaders believed that skills gap in organisations could be addressed through effective utilisation of data (McCulloch, 2019). This is cognizance of the fact that skills gap in organisations is addressing through training that is conducted either by the learning and development managers and HR professionals in smaller organisations. In addition, the study indicated that 45% of the HR leaders were of the opinion that data and insight had the potential of helping people professionals in accurately predicting future skills gaps prior to their metamorphism to crises.
Despite overwhelming belief in the potential of evidence based approaches to decision making by HR leaders, studies have confirmed that HR function makes the least progress in utilisation of data to optimise and measure their performance. This inconsistency is attributed to lack of capability among the people professionals in effectively utilising data. The capital resourcing research study noted that 24% of the HR leaders stated that people professionals were the worst in data collection and analysis as well as it subsequent utilisation (McCulloch, 2019). This in contrast to other departments in organisations where use of data is constantly hailed for yielding to better business outcomes. The paradox is further accentuated by the fact that HR departments produce a voluminous lot of data but fail to analyse the same for decision-making. For example McCulloch (2019) 40% of HR leaders had cited volume of data as a challenge to analysis for insight while other notable barriers indicated include 32% lack of budget, 26% obsolete technology and 25% limitations in analytical skills within organisations.
In reference to future utilisation of data among HR professionals, the Cipd (2020) study identified that only a mere 11% were choosing not to embrace data in decision making. Additionally, the study found that only 5% in house HR professionals had a professional focus are on data compared to 14% of independent HR professionals. (Cipd, 2020). This signifies a gap of capability among both in house and independent people professionals in data acquisition, analysis and utilisation. The study further went ahead to identify that the lack of capability is precisely affected due to aspects of data analysis and reporting which is identified as a challenge to most people professionals.
Giving more focus to learning and development managers who serve a function in HRM, the use of data is deemed significant for several reasons. Key among the benefits is measuring the effectiveness of training and business impact and thus determine if they are meeting the set expectations and filling an identified gap (Cross, 2021). This is essential to human resource professionals and tapping into valuable data can help in decision making such as talent development strategy in the organisation. Cross (2021) cited a 2019 LEO Learning study that revealed that learning and development professionals are under pressure in the modern world of work of to measure the impact of learning in organisations.
Further, the study noted that though 96% of L&D professionals had a desire to use data to measure the impact only 50% were actually subjecting their activities to return of Investment performance. In the noble quest to utilise data in their role, L&D managers can proceed through gathering quantitative data from metrics from LMS as well as qualitative data drawn from qualitative data such as observation as well as employee feedback on a provided training (Cross, 2021). Verlinden (2020) emphasised that evidence based decision-making among L&D managers is essential as it helps in optimising where necessary and help and help employees maximally utilise the opportunities availed to them.
Giving reference to big data, Coutat (2018) noted that HR practitioners can benefit from big data in identification of human interactions and habits that can subsequently be used to make decisions on employee satisfaction as well as initiate sustainable staff improvement strategies. Nonetheless, there is fear that artificial intelligence may replace the role of decision making by HR professionals. In regard to L&D, big data is also faced with scepticism as there exists a human limitation to analysing big data as well as internal resistance to use of generalised data in making context specific decisions (Coutat, 2018).
In conclusion, HR and L&D managers need to move beyond appreciating the significance of data in their role and function and actually start gathering and analysing data that guide them in decision making. This will result in filling the gap in the demand for HR data and further give credibility to HR role in the making of business decisions. Consequently, for the L&D managers need to start utilising data to measure their efficacy as well as justify their ROI to organisations and thus build on justification of offering trainings to the employees. In view of this, people professionals need to enhance their skills in data acquisition, analysis and use the results to inform decision making.
Cipd (2022). Evidence-based Practice for Effective Decision-Making | Factsheets. [online] CIPD. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/analytics/evidence-based-practice-factsheet#54305.
Coutat, C. (2018). How big data could transform L&D. [online] www.peoplemanagement.co.uk. Available at: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/article/1746027/big-data-transform-l-d [Accessed 10 May 2022].
Cross, M. (2021). 4 Reasons to Put Data Management at the Center of Your L&D Program. [online] Training Industry. Available at: https://trainingindustry.com/articles/measurement-and-analytics/4-reasons-to-put-data-management-at-the-center-of-your-ld-program/ [Accessed 10 May 2022].
McCulloch, A. (2019). ‘HR held back by failure to use data effectively’. [online] Personnel Today. Available at: https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/hr-held-back-by-failure-to-use-data-effectively/.
Verlinden, N. (2020). The Learning and Development Manager: Everything You Need to Know. [online] AIHR. Available at: https://www.aihr.com/blog/learning-and-development-manager/.
Webber, A. (2020). No better time for HR to boost data analytics capability, says CIPD. [online] Personnel Today. Available at: https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/no-better-time-for-hr-to-boost-data-analytics-capability-says-cipd/ [Accessed 7 Jun. 2021].