Evaluating Human Resources Programs: A 6-Phase Approach for Optimizing Performance / Edition 1

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Over the past decade, human resource (HR) functions, large andsmall, have played an expanding role in supporting the strategicdirection of their organizations. Where at one time HR was seenprimarily as an enforcer of policies, it is now considered amongtop-performing organizations to be a key partner in driving andsupporting critical business objectives. HR's ability to contributeto the organization's bottom line involves more than aligning itstalent management accountabilities with the mission and vision ofthe organization. It means continually evaluating and strengtheningthese accountabilities to ensure value, meaningful impact, andcompetitive advantage.

Evaluating Human Resources Programs is a groundbreaking bookthat offers readers a systematic method for enhancing the value andimpact of HR and supporting its emerging role as a strategicorganizational leader. It provides a practical framework foradjusting and realigning strategies across all types of HRprograms. The authors outline a proven six-phase process that willmaximize the likelihood of a successful HR program evaluation,including real-world techniques, strategies, and examples toillustrate their recommended steps and actions.

Evaluating Human Resources Programs offers consultants andprofessionals an invaluable resource for understanding andimplementing a successful evaluation that will have a meaningfulimpact on their organizations' HR programs and strategicoutcomes.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This book provides a new and fresh perspective on HR programevaluation by outlining a comprehensive, step-by-step approach tothe entire process. HR professionals, OD practitioners, and anyoneelse who might find themselves held accountable for an HR programor process will find this an invaluable hip-pocketreference."
—Dr. Allan H. Church, vice president, Organization &Management Development, PepsiCo, Inc.

"The authors make a compelling case for the why and how of HRprogram evaluation and have done so with a rigorous andcomprehensive guide filled with practical and useful examples. Iwill keep it nearby as I advise companies on their workforceissues."
—Gilbert F. Casellas, former chair, Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission

"When I teach a course to HR professionals or graduate studentson evaluating human resource programs, this book will be requiredreading. It is a highly informative how-to guide chock full ofinsights by seasoned practitioners written in a clear andaccessible manner."
—Steven Rogelberg, professor and director, OrganizationalScience, University of North Carolina Charlotte andeditor-in-chief, Encyclopedia of Industrial andOrganizational Psychology

"The tone is superb. The authors really make the points well andthey are so practical and useful that I wanted to cheer. It’svery down-to-earth, practical, and extraordinarily useful—thekind of material that every faculty member teaching Human Resourcesshould be using."
—Maureen J. Fleming, emerita professor of Human ResourceManagement, The University of Montana

"HR professionals who want to assure their programs are alignedwith the strategy of their organizations through disciplinedprogram evaluation should read this practical guide. The authorshave done an excellent job of recognizing the challenges ofevaluating HR programs within organizations and present pragmatictips for overcoming the pitfalls."
—Ben E. Dowell, retired vice president, Talent Management,Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Edwards is an assistant director in the DefenseCapabilities and Management area of the U.S. GovernmentAccountability Office (GAO) in Washington, D.C.

John C. Scott is vice president and co-founder of AppliedPsychological Techniques (APT), an HR consulting firm in Darien,Connecticut.

Nambury S. Raju was a distinguished professor in theInstitute of Psychology and a senior scientific advisor at theCenter for Research and Service at the Illinois Institute ofTechnology, Chicago, Illinois, until his unexpected death in2005.

The SHRM Foundation was founded in 1966 as a 501(c)(3)not-for-profit affiliate of the Society for Human ResourceManagement (SHRM). It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directorsfrom the HR profession, including academics, practitioners andrepresentatives from SHRM. All contributions are tax deductible.For additional information about the SHRM Foundation, visitwww.shrm.org/foundation or call (703) 535-6020.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables, Figures, and Exhibits.


A Few Words of Thanks.

Overview: Human Resources (HR) Program Evaluation.

Chapter Objectives.

Use the Approach That Best Addresses Your HR ProgramEvaluation’s Objectives.

Use Goal-Based Evaluations to Focus on Program Objectives.

Use Process-Based Evaluations to Focus on Workflow andProcedures.

Use Outcome-Based Evaluations to Focus on Results.

Integrate Ongoing and Periodic Program Evaluations into theOperation of HR Programs.

Enhance HR Program Performance Through Ongoing Formative ProgramEvaluation.

Enhance HR Program Performance Through Periodic SummativeProgram Evaluation.

Consider Our General Philosophy of HR Program Evaluation.

Be Prepared to Address Potential Excuses for Not Conducting anHR Program Evaluation.

Potential Excuse 1: The Resources Required to Conduct a ProgramEvaluation Are Better Spent on Administering the Program.

Potential Excuse 2: Program Effectiveness Is Impossible toMeasure.

Potential Excuse 3: There Are Too Many Variables to Do a GoodStudy.

Potential Excuse 4: No One Is Asking for an Evaluation, So WhyBother?

Potential Excuse 5: “Negative” Results Will Hurt MyProgram.

A Look at How the Remainder of the Book Is Organized.

Phase 1: Identify Stakeholders, Evaluators, and EvaluationQuestions.

Phase 2: Plan the Evaluation.

Phase 3: Collect Data.

Phase 4: Analyze and Interpret Data.

Phase 5: Communicate Findings and Insights.

Phase 6: Utilize the Results.

Deviate from Our Approach When It Makes Sense for YourEvaluation.

Phase 1: Identify Stakeholders, Evaluators, and EvaluationQuestions.

Chapter Objectives.

Identify Stakeholder Groups.

Decide on Internal Stakeholders First.

Consider the Perspectives of Unions and Their Members.

Don’t Forget That There Are External StakeholderGroups.

Identify the Evaluation Team.

Ask, “How Big Should the Team Be?”

Ask, “Who Should Be on the Team?”

Ask, “Who Should Lead the Evaluation Team?”

Ask, “Should the Evaluation Team Write aCharter?”

Identify Evaluation Questions.

Determine the Types of Evaluation Questions That Match theEvaluation Objectives.

Develop and Refine Evaluation Questions.

Attend to Desirable Characteristics When Selecting CriterionMeasures.


Phase 2: Plan the Evaluation.

Chapter Objectives.

Determine the Resources Needed to Conduct the Evaluation.

Develop a Preliminary Budget.

Set Milestones with Dates—Making a Commitment Is Hard toDo.

Lay Out Plans for Data Collection.

Determine Desirable Attributes for the Data That Will BeCollected.

Remind the Team of All the Sources and Methods They MightUse.

Decide Whether Pledges of Anonymity or Confidentiality Will BeNeeded.

Avoid or Minimize Common Data Collection Errors.

Decide When a Census or Sample Should Be Used.

Identify the Data Analyses Before the Data Are Collected.

Plan the Procedures for Supplying Feedback.

Enhance Buy-In from Top Management.

Provide an Overview of the Program Evaluation Plan.

Prepare to Defend the Budget.


Phase 3: Collect Data.

Chapter Objectives.

Select Optimum Data Collection Methods and Data Sources.

Use Internal Documents and Files—Current andHistorical.

Gather Internal and External Perceptual Data.

Assess Internal Processes and Procedural Information.

Utilize External Documents and Environmental Scans.

Don’t Forget Other Types of Evaluation Data.

Use Evaluation Research Designs That Address PracticalConstraints.

Subgroup Comparisons.

Before-and-After Comparisons.

Time-Series Designs.

Case Studies.

Enhance Data Quality During Data Collection.

Check for Potential Vested Interests or Biases.

Document Procedures and Data.

Match Evaluators’ Skill Sets to Types of Assignments.

Pilot-Test Procedures and Instruments.

Train the Data Collectors.

Obtain the Same Data with More Than One Method When ResourcesPermit.

Verify the Data.

Beware of Becoming Sidetracked During Data Collection.

Avoid Excessive Data Collection.

Monitor Data Collection Schedules Closely.


Phase 4: Analyze and Interpret Data.

Chapter Objectives.

Create and Modify a Database.

Design Data Codes.

Design the Database.

Decide What, If Anything, Needs to Be Done About MissingData.

Take Full Advantage of Descriptive Statistics.

Consider the Many Types of Descriptive Statistics Available tothe Team.

Look for Opportunities to Use Descriptive Statistics withQualitative Data.

Address Additional Concerns in Deciding Whether InferentialStatistics Are Appropriate.

Balance the Concerns for Type I vs. Type II Error Rates WhenUsing Statistical Tests.

Determine Whether You Are Really Using the Alpha Level That YouSaid You Would Use.

Be Clear in Understanding What Statistical Significance Is andIs Not.

Use Inferential Analyses If Warranted and Underlying AssumptionsCan Be Met.

Look for Areas in Which Findings Support and Conflict with OtherFindings.


Phase 5: Communicate Findings and Insights.

Chapter Objectives.

Stick to the Basics Found in Any Good CommunicationStrategy.

Maintain Confidentiality When It Was Promised.

Adapt Communications to the Audience’s Skills andNeeds.

Get to the Bottom Line Early.

Determine What to Do with Findings That Do Not Fit.

Tie It All Together:Findings→Conclusions→Recommendations.

Depict Findings and Recommendations Visually.

Picture the Situation to Let Stakeholders See How It Really Isor Might Be.

Show Stakeholders a Path Through the Process.

Clarify Numerical Findings with Graphs.

Use a Table to Convey Easily Misunderstood Information.

Deliver the Product Orally and in Writing.

Share Findings When the Promise Has Been Made.

Use Briefings to Put the Word Out Quickly and AnswerQuestions.

Write a Report to Preserve Information and OrganizeDocumentation for Storage.


Phase 6: Utilize the Results.

Chapter Objectives.

Adjust, Replace In-House, or Outsource the HR Program.

Adjust the Existing Program.

Replace the Existing Program.

Outsource the Existing Program.

Leverage Insights Relevant to Evaluation Use.

Build Team Accountability and Skill.

Involve Stakeholders Early and Often to Increase the Odds ThatResults Are Used.

Incorporate Proven Strategies for Implementing Results.

Build Expertise to Engage Stakeholders.

Leverage Politics.

Manage Resistance.

Establish Follow-Up Responsibilities.

Be Timely and Communicate.

Follow Up with Hard Data.



Author Index.

Subject Index.

About the Authors.

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