Is Quality Being Compromised?
Posted on September 2, 2011 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
I have noticed a reoccurring theme in my graduate studies that concerns me and leaves me feeling frustrated. In my program, we study the science behind human resource practices. For instance, an organization should not give out just any survey to employees. The organization would be wise to ensure the survey will truly meet the purpose of administering the survey. Time and time again my professors have said that most organizations will not spend the time or money to take the steps truly necessary.
I remember walking out of my job analysis class feeling like I wasted a semester because of the lack of real life application. In speaking with human resource employees in the field, the majority would say that while a thorough job analysis is often necessary to truly understand a job, organizations do not provide employees adequate time to conduct the job analysis as it should. Often, an employee may be asked to do a job analysis on a few jobs and have them finished in a week or so. The troubling thing is that industrial organizational psychologists are trained to conduct detail oriented job analyses that truly examine the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform a job. Organizations are more interested in quickly defining positions rather than ensuring quality.
This creates a dilemma for students upon graduation. Students are taught how to perform tasks one way and professors drill the importance of thorough processes. But, in the real world, there is just not enough time or resources. So the question remains: What should organizations be doing differently?
A classmate of mine who works at a nationally known bank described her experience with conducting job analyses on the job. As a compensation analyst, she is given multiple positions within the organization to evaluate and determine proper compensation. Throughout our class on job analysis, this classmate expressed the inadequacy of the organization using scientific methods. Instead of observing someone on the job and undergoing extensive survey processes, the method used in organizations is not very grounded. The organization uses a very abbreviated version instead of ensuring accuracy.
The most difficult challenge new graduates in the human resource and other fields may face is convincing his or her organization that certain practices are worthwhile and necessary to gain a reliable and valid sense of the organization’s employees. This is a difficult feat considering organizations efforts to cut spending as much as possible. Organizations want rapid turnover of projects and are not generally willing to budge.
Have you experienced similar situations at work? How have you handled these types of situations?