What are HR Best Practices?
HR best practices are global principles that help optimize and regulate any organization they are applied to. We speak about foundational precepts that are applicable regardless of period or industry, which have been validated by research and experience to deliver good or great business performance results.
Even though it’s undeniable that such universal HR principles exist, we cannot forget that “one size does not fit all.” It is essential to coordinate HR objectives with your organization's overall goals so that the HR and all the other departments are lined up and for your organization to achieve optimal efficiency.
Once you’ve managed to interlace best practices and best fit, you can be proud to say you are practicing strategic human resource management.
The difference between HR practices and HR activities
Before we develop the subject of HR best practices, it is essential to mention the clear distinction between these and HR activities. Both are necessary for the HR department to work at its best and for the organization to enhance its human capital investment.
HR practices relate to strategic operations the HR department needs to undertake. They build the foundation and guidance for managing employees and should always sync with the executive business plan. Some examples of HR practices cover:
- Creating and implementing the mission and vision of the HR department
- Planning and managing the HR department
- Developing talent and leadership
- Creating plans to improve the quality of the work environment.
On the other hand, HR activities are daily tasks/projects/jobs/endeavors meant to implement the strategies decided by HR practices. You may think of them as routine tasks. HR activities may consist of:
In simpler terms – HR practices respond to the WHAT and WHY questions, while HR activities respond to the HOW question.
Keeping these 2 in harmony and aligned will mean that your company has everything to gain. You and your team will benefit from a strategic approach to these two areas of HR. If one of these is ignored, the organization will suffer, the functioning will not be optimal, and it will only create damage in the long run.
The eight best HR practices
1. Ensure transparency
One of the most important best HR practices is sustaining an environment of transparency. Being open with the employees about the state of the business, even if we are talking about failures.
Companies that make a priority out of offering feedback always and communicating openly with employees will make them feel appreciated and trusted.
How exactly can you work to achieve the best level of transparency?
- Encourage collaboration and focus on sharing ideas: employees who are kept up to date about the business’s state are more likely to share their input and contribute to decisions that are important to the organization.
- Maintain and promote transparency in all possible areas.
- Communicate processes, global purposes, and expectations, especially when we are talking about every employee's job description.
- Offer your employees access to self-service tools to boost visibility within the business, such as Attendance Calendars where they can track when their colleagues are off, and what is the status of their PTO allowance.
2. Invest in recruitment and selection
Every company strives to find top talent and then retain them. Nowadays, we can talk about all kinds of innovative processes that are meant to consolidate hiring. Here are some examples of what you can focus on:
Keep the interviews to a maximum of 4. It has been shown that this is the perfect number of interviews that should be undertaken during a recruitment process to be effective and have the desired result.
Make sure you advertise your job postings correctly by engaging with candidates, not only listing the requirements and benefits of the job. Include information about the company’s mission and values, the level of digitalization, or the technology you are currently using.
Offer internships. It’s a great way to mentor new people, and it’s easier to convert them into full-time workers.
Be selective in hiring. Don’t hire poor performers only because you need to fill out a position. It’s not a smart move. Use software for recruiting and hiring that will allow you to see the metrics and analytics needed to hire the best people for your organization.
3. Boost training and development
After hiring, you still have work to do with the new employees. Invest in continuous training and in helping them develop new crucial skills. Every industry is growing, so people need to keep up the pace. Learning is the way to stay competitive and innovative. Let’s see how to maintain them engaged:
Foster the idea of internships so that those interns can become the employees you need with some training.
Pay attention to skill-specific training. Make sure you don’t offer only general training and specialized ones in every area needed.
Don’t forget about soft-skills development.
4. Offer fair compensation and benefits
Above-average compensation is needed if you want to retain your top talent. It’s a requirement of every organization that wants to show their employees they are valued. Here are some HR best practices to focus on when it comes to compensation:
- Combine good compensation with benefits. Also known as a rewards package, it’s a crucial part of any company. It shows your people you care about their well-being and their work-life balance.
- Various benefits. Compensation is not only about numbers but also about additional holiday days, gift cards, stock options, etc. Make sure you research the market constantly to keep up with the newest trends in benefits to attract and retain the people you need.
- Loyalty time off bonuses. We have discussed with many HR managers who track leaves with LeaveBoard, who shared that their companies have policies that give an additional day of PTO per year after three years in the office. In this way, loyalty is gets compensated, and experienced colleagues have more days to enjoy relaxation and vacations.
- Transparency in communicating about this area. Your managers should be able to communicate transparently about the factors taken into consideration when talking about the rewards package. Your employees will know that their contribution is valued and rewarded.
5. Value employee incentives
Employee incentives are tricky because you risk demotivating your employees when implemented the wrong way. Let’s see the HR best practices in this area:
Know the What. It is important to know what motivates your employees to understand how to incentivize them. If you are simply offering annual raises to everyone, you risk losing your best performers regardless of performance.
The choice between pay raises and bonuses. People tend to appreciate and be more satisfied with raises because of the long-term effect. If you still decide to choose a bonus over a raise, make sure that is the right choice for your organization.
It’s the best way to streamline your work processes and simplify all traditional procedures. The key to organizing data fast, secure, and in a single centralized place. The HR software industry has evolved a lot over the last few years. Millions of dollars have been rushed into software products that can significantly support hiring, onboarding, PTO management, payroll, compliance, and so much more.
Let’s see how can this help:
- Employee management software: administrative data doesn’t have to be a burden. Discover a new way to automate HR tasks and streamline absence management with automated policies and dynamic workflows.
- Core HR software: facilitate human resource processes, data management, organization configuration, access payroll reports to drive business efficiency and increase ROI.
7. Staying compliant
The HR department has to juggle many tasks, and compliance is one of them. Dealing with compliance issues is hard, especially when it’s done and handling daily human resource tasks. Let’s see what can be of help:
Start using HR software. It’s a great way to automate repetitive tasks and therefore eliminate as much possible human error.
Assign a point person for your HR team. It’s the best way to stay on top of all the new laws and regulations. This designated person will be in charge of conveying this information to all the other department members.
8. Boost productivity with Absence Management Software
- Manage leave days and other absences quickly and efficiently. You can forget about answering emails from employees asking how many holiday days they have left. Cut repetitive tasks, and start using a system to automate leave management. Boost productivity and become more efficient every day. Digital transformation in HR is possible. Let’s see how:
- Track all leave of absence. It is essential to track employee leave patterns to monitor the amount of paid leave, sick leaves, and holiday patterns within your organization.
- Use a vacation calendar. Understand the big picture in your organization with an overview of all working days, holidays, and planned leaves through the vacation calendar.
- Benefit from a great leave planner. The leave manager helps organizations plan more effectively, increase transparency, and adapt staff workload levels to conditions.
We hope you enjoyed these best practices in human resource management. Find below a graphic summarizing this list.
Using this variety of human resource practices in your organization can increase employee retention, engagement, and motivation.
Make sure these best practices are aligned with the business’s strategic goals to have the best results. 2024 will bring many changes, and HR is the key to facing them successfully.
“The more seriously you take your growth, the more seriously your people will take you.” – John Maxwell