Advanced People Strategies Thursday, January 11, 2024

How to Apply Evidence-Based HR to Hone Leadership Skills

We start learning about leadership from the moment we are born.  Babies observe their caregivers and older siblings; children are taught to respect authority figures; athletes take instruction from coaches.  As we grow up, we’re constantly placed in situations where we are expected to either lead or follow, and these experiences shape our definitions of leadership before we enter the workplace.  Although society might have reached conclusions on what leadership skills are, individuals arrive in leadership roles with their own perceptions.  How do you begin a conversation about improving someone’s ability to lead when we’re all so diverse?


Evidence-based HR is ultimately about making informed decisions.  Approaching business issues related to leadership begins with establishing context and gathering data: which set of skills does the organisation need from their leaders, and how are those individuals currently performing in those areas?


Imagine a national telecommunications organisation, Teledo*, have promoted some internal talented managers to senior positions and want to accelerate their performance in the new roles.  Teledo have identified that their departments function best with leaders who are skilled in decision-making, relationship-building and creativity. How do they support their Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to excel in these areas? 


Starting with baseline assessments is key.  Teledo’s HR business partner must determine how the SLT are currently performing before devising an action plan. Running a bespoke 360-feedback survey for each of the Senior Leaders would generate valuable quantitative and qualitative data regarding how each individual is regarded by self and others.  Such data is even more powerful if combined with the robust scientific insights provided by completing psychometric assessments.  In addition to diagnostic methods, HR should review any relevant organisational data relating to the SLT, such as operational metrics and customer satisfaction scores.


Consulting a range of sources will allow the HR team to identify trends and patterns and make evidence-based recommendations regarding Teledo’s next steps.  Click below to see the recommendations the HR business partner prepared for one of Teledo's SLT employees.

Download our action plan example:

leadership review example

Find out more about how Evidence-Based HR could help your organisation.
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*Teledo is a fictional organisation