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Well said, Ann. In my opinion, another risk here relates to the excuse of being "too busy to learn that stuff." With such an excuse, one could wake up one day to discover that less experienced analysts ARE well equipped for data analysis and an evidence-based approach. When that happens, it will be too late to look for the bus...

Well said, Steve! We can all manage to be "too busy" until the day we aren't ... because we've been replaced by someone else who has the skills.

Finance people are so far ahead of comp people in this area that it is, literally, not funny.

We need to jump to the next level. If we don't find a way to justify or designs and decision making, others ill find a way to do it for us, or worse, prove us wrong.

We need to be better at Big Data, little data, Business Intelligence and more. Our survey and consultative providers also need to be better at this. Much of the data we have has been smoothed and cleaned to no longer reflect the initial, somewhat messy, picture. Like the woman who "fixed" as famous mural in Spain, sometimes the messy original is much better than the "corrected" final version.
Check it out.

Glad you wrote this. I'm really "into" evidence-based HR these days.

I'm increasingly troubled by all the assertions of stupendous results in company performance that ___ (you fill in the blank) tout is the result of high employee engagement, high mployee satisfaction (supposedly different from engagement), great T&D, great comp, etc. You name it.

HR as a whole --- in my experience --- is not that analytically inclined including compensation. WE (myself included) tend to bury our noses in spreadsheets and survey input/output but don't go much further than that. I question the result on the WatW survey above that asks if HR is quite/very competent in the use of analytics. The answer was overwhelmingly yes. Just really question that . . . If so, then why don't we see more of it???

Lost my train of thought. I'm worried about the fact that HR seems to be all "agog" by all the wild assertions of increased profits, creativity, stock price, revenues, profit margins, etc. due to high engagement scores,etc. Sort of like Daniel Pink. Wave the flag, spout the assertions, serve beef and you have a bunch of pumped up, cheering HR people who never question the numbers/stats behind the assertion.

See my article on this in TLNT. I'm really worried. I took stat courses in college too Ann. I know enough to be dangerous --- but on the other hand I DO know enough to raise a lot of questions.



I'd like to hear more from others.

LOL ---meant to say "serve beer" not "serve beef" above!!


Great comments and observations. Yes, our "disinclination" towards numbers and analysis puts us at risk to chase claims and assertions that authors and consultants put forward, but cannot (in truth) withstand a closer examination of the evidence.

Great article noting the common confusion between correlation and causation - readers, please be sure to click through and read.

(Beer... beef... funny the difference a letter can make, isn't it?)

The WorldatWork Journal publishes articles like these periodically to keep us abreast of recent research:

Compensation Professionals Should Know About 10 Recent Studies

By Steve Werner, Ph.D., and Naomi K. Werner, University of Houston

Several recent academic studies have focused on compensation-related issues. This paper identifies 10 that are particularly relevant to compensation professionals. These studies explore the important issues of pay justice, global pay plan design and compensation system design. By focusing on each study’s agenda, its findings and the bottom line for compensation professionals, the authors show how these studies can increase compensation professionals’ understanding of important issues as supported by theoretical and analytical rigor. Additionally, the authors offer some overall conclusions by looking across the studies.

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