What is People Science?

Decisions involving and affecting people are far too important to be based on inaccurate information or simply a gut feeling. Instead, such decisions should be based on complete information and insights that we know will guide us towards making the right decisions. In short, people science help you find the right information and apply it to your talent management processes.

This invaluable knowledge can only be obtained by taking a scientific approach to talent management. But what does it actually mean to take a scientific approach to our people and the processes affecting them? By a scientific approach we mean using and conducting research and evidence to obtain accurate insight about our people. Also, remember that research isn’t enough, you need to apply it and use the insights to support people decisions. We believe that knowledge and experience are valuable components in HR, but that deep insights built on data should be used as an important complement.

The importance of people science applies to all organizations, from start-ups to large global companies. Therefore, it should be a critical part of every single process relating to people. Whether you are trying to recruit the right people, develop and retain them, or trying to create a stimulating workplace experience, the success of such initiatives depends on what methods you are using and how well you know your people. To know what the best methods are we need to use research. Most importantly we need to generate insight and stop making guesses and take short cuts.

It is time that we start using the more objective and more accurate information that is available to us and let that information guide us in the right direction

It is time that we start using the more objective and more accurate information that is available to us and let that information guide us in the right direction. By using this type of information we also enable a more proactive approach to HR processes. Having the right insight makes it possible to influence the future of your organization. You can prevent negative future outcomes such as disengagement, burnout, turnover, recruiting mistakes, leadership failure, skill gaps, and gaps in succession planning as well as enable maximum future motivation, engagement, happiness, and performance among employees.

There are two main approaches to implementing people science into talent management processes:

  1. Use insights from years of scientific research conducted outside of your organization but still applicable to your people. This is a great alternative when limited internal data is available as well as a complement to the second approach.
  2. Use insights from research on your own people. This approach requires internal data and will provide you with insights about what really works within your company.

When talent management is done right (i.e., a well-connected process; read more about this in our previous blog post) and people science is applied to such processes there is an abundant amount of insights that can be obtained and applied to maximize organizational performance. What is important to keep in mind is that scientific insights are dependent on accurate data and analytics, which is why people analytics is a critical component.

Do you want to discuss how you can predict future success in your people decisions?

« What is Talent Management?

People analytics »