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Redefining the Workplace

Redefining the Workplace


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SHRM uses the AmeriSpeak Panel to get its research right. NORC provides reliable and timely data that further SHRM’s mission to provide insight and expertise that shape today’s workplaces.

Dan Costanzo, Senior Manager
Business Development, AmeriSpeak

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the premier association of HR professionals, aims to be a thought leader in “all things work.” As such, SHRM depends on AmeriSpeak—NORC’s nationally representative, probability-based panel—to access diverse and reliable samples of American workers. Across more than 30 projects in the past two years, NORC has supported SHRM research with services ranging from design to data collection to analytics.

The research has real-world implications for American workplaces. NORC and SHRM surveyed regular workers, hiring managers, and HR professionals about their views on employing people with a criminal record. A majority of both managers and non-managerial workers indicated a willingness to work with individuals who had criminal backgrounds, a finding that challenged popular assumptions. The research helped to fuel Getting Talent Back to Work, an initiative led by SHRM that provides companies with data-driven insights and tools for the effective hiring of workers with criminal backgrounds. The initiative challenges companies to pledge to give opportunities to qualified workers with criminal records. The initiative’s website also provides a toolkit for employers that addresses such issues as risk analysis, background checks, and liability for negligent hiring.

NORC’s AmeriSpeak Omnibus survey allows SHRM to get rapid-response data to meet the pressing needs of its research team and leadership. In one notable example, SHRM fielded a series of questions about workplace romance, and in just three weeks, was able to feature the results in a USA Today advice column written by their president and CEO.

Recently, NORC partnered with SHRM on a study for Workplace Initiative, a network of companies, nonprofits, and government agencies that support employment for people with disabilities. Through resources, training, partnerships, and direct support, Workplace Initiative and SHRM inspire employers to welcome differences and connect job seekers to meaningful career opportunities. To investigate this important issue, NORC’s Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-Making team conducted focus groups with HR professionals and executives. We then collected quantitative data from employees, managers, and HR professionals.

Results revealed that companies that created truly inclusive environments for people with disabilities experienced reduced employee turnover, lower recruiting costs, increased productivity, and improved customer outreach.

In 2020, AmeriSpeak will collaborate with SHRM on our most ambitious joint effort yet: the building of the SHRM Voice of Work (VOW) Panel, in which HR professionals from SHRM’s membership will be recruited to take periodic surveys about workplace topics. The results will be weighted to benchmarks for U.S. companies, yielding data that are representative of U.S. workplaces. Paired with AmeriSpeak’s ability to reach U.S. workers, the SHRM VOW Panel will have tremendous value to any organization or company trying to understand the American workplace. The SHRM VOW Panel opportunity is another example of NORC’s burgeoning panel capabilities.