Professionals in human resource management (HRM) always have intuitively known that better-managed people work harder and more efficiently, and therefore achieve better results for their employers.
But HR leaders have often struggled to convince cynical business leaders of this fact. But the 1990s was a good decade for those making the case for the HR profession.
During this time, evidence began to crystallize that proved once and for all that people really are the key to bottom-line business performance.
For people to perform better—beyond the minimal requirements of the job—they must:
- Have the ability to do so because they possess the necessary knowledge and skills, including how to work with other people.
- Be motivated to do the work, and do it well.
- Be given the opportunity to deploy their skills, both on the job and more broadly by contributing to work-group and organizational success.
BOTTOMLINE: The research leaves little doubt that people really do make the difference to business performance. However, the relationship is complex, and therefore, ready-made solutions or prescriptive approaches are of little value. Organizations need to be able to analyze their processes in the light of the evidence that is now available to identify the triggers for discretionary effort among their workforce. If they can understand this, they can then make an informed judgement about the HR process model that is likely to bring them the most significant performance gains.