Storytelling as a practice is a frequently used and effective tool for human resource analytics professionals, new research from Trinity Business School, UCD and Maynooth University has found. According to the research, undertaken by Na Fu, associate professor of human resource management at Trinity Business School, and Anne Keegan, full professor of human resource management at UCD and Steven McCartney, assistant professor, Management & Organizational Behavior at the Maynooth University, HR analysts regularly engage in storytelling to help them do their jobs.
After undertaking 15 semi-structured interviews with HR analytics professionals, the researchers identified two key uses of storytelling practices: storytelling as a showcase and storytelling as a brake. According to the researchers, HR analytics professionals routinely engage in these two seemingly contradictory aspects of storytelling to develop enduring and legitimate HR analytics.
“Presenting HR analysis involves translating the results and information of HR analysis to different stakeholders to take action, i.e. revise, update or launch new policies,” explains Dr. Na Fu. “In the meantime, limitation involves the careful curation of short-term projects, driven by a desire to protect the quality of implementation, the interests of employees, including privacy, and to establish sound analytical principles based on solid data and systems that their organizations do not currently have. .
“This research also provides valuable insights for other professionals who want to thrive at work. To do this, business professionals must navigate and combine enhancement (eg, promoting a new practice, intervention, or changes) and limitation (eg, slowing down, refocusing). Braking isn’t about taking a simple step back, it’s about preparing our organizations, people and professionals like us, and preparing for the presentation – to make it happen.
Dr Steven McCartney added: “While much has been said about the need for analytical skills in roles such as HR analysts, this paper illustrates the sometimes under-recognized skill of storytelling in carrying out management tasks. HR analysis in practice while highlighting its complexity.Typically, when we think of the role of the HR analyst, we are immediately drawn to the myriad of analytical skills required to perform complex data analysis.However, we find that storytelling is also a multi-faceted concept involving more than just translating and selling HR analytics to stakeholders, and is an important finding for companies as they continue to build their HR analytics capabilities. .
“A key takeaway from this research is that companies need to invest in developing HR analytics experts who not only have a fundamental understanding of the technical elements, but also the ability to balance the complex challenges of analytics. HR through storytelling.”
The paper, The duality of HR analyst storytelling: highlight and curbpublished in Human Resource Management Journal, can be viewed here.