Understanding the link between people and performance
Extensive and powerful research at the 'Work and Employment Research Centre', School of Management, University of Bath completed in 2003 examined the impact of people management on organisational performance.
Much past research has shown there to be a positive relationship, but none has explained the nature of this connection - in other words, how and why HR practices impact on performance. This is commonly referred to as the 'black box' problem.
The purpose of studies over 6 years at Bath was to unlock the 'black box,' to show the way in which HR practices directly link people management to organisational performance.
Researchers proved that people perform well when:
Firstly, they are able to do so because they possess the necessary knowledge and skills; when, secondly, they have the motivation to do so and do it well; and when, thirdly, they are given the opportunity to deploy their skills both in the job, and more broadly in contributing to their work groups and organisational success.
The executive summary of the final report published by the CIPD asserts that a range of 11 HR policies and practices are required to turn this into action. These were:
- recruitment and selection,
- training and development,
- career opportunity,
- involvement in decision-making,
- job security,
- job challenge/job autonomy and
- work-life balance.
These performance-related HR policies encourage people to exercise a degree of choice on how and how well they do their job. In other words, they help induce employee discretionary behaviour which makes people work better and improve performance. This happens because the HR policies and practices develop positive employee attitudes or feelings of satisfaction, commitment and motivation.
For a copy of 'Understanding the People and Performance Link' click here.