If you follow the news these days, there are probably times when you feel confused by conflicting reports and contrasting storylines. This is exacerbated by the complicated web of media sources with various special interests that provide us information. Depending on where you live, what you read, or who you listen to, you may have a very different view of the truth from other well-meaning citizens. Trying to make sense of this increasing complex world is more of a challenge than ever before.
Leaders face similar challenges as it relates to their organizations. Given the continuous flow of information you receive at work, how do you make sense of it all? How do you get to the truth of what is really going on in your organization? At Mercer | Sirota, we have worked with numerous leaders over the years to help them understand critical leadership priorities. We do this by presenting hard evidence to leadership about what is enabling and getting in the way of employee engagement and performance. When we ask HR leaders about taking action based on survey data, only half of them feel their leaders do an effective job*.
Based on what we have observed in the way leaders process and react to this type of evidence, the following behaviors are common:
Evidence based leaders are more effective in that they accurately diagnose problems and drive necessary actions more effectively. At Google, for example, they have adopted the mantra “all people decisions are based on data and analytics.” Being an evidence based leader requires a data-savvy mindset.
Here are five questions to consider to evaluate yourself, your colleagues, or your direct reports:
More information is coming at us than ever before, and this will likely only accelerate in the future of work. The extent to which leaders can accurately understand information, use data and evidence to arrive at conclusions, and take action on critical priorities will be what separates the most effective 21st Century leaders from the others. For more information on why we need evidence-based practices in HR, see this article from Science for Work.
1. The DNA of Engagement Report, The Engagement Institute 2014
2. Study by Bersin by Deloitte, 2014
3. Studies from Mercer and Sirota 2014