“Human Resource isn't a thing we do; it's the thing that runs our business.” Steve Wynne
HR is a vital department in any company, regardless of size or industry. Therefore HR best practices have been for a long time discussed in many environments, and everyone has tried to find the perfect ideas for their organization.
There are, of course, some well-known practices, tested and accepted for a long time, but the world is constantly changing, which means the way we conduct work will also change. The pandemic has only accelerated this process.
The following article will discuss HR best practices, how to differentiate them from HR activities, and the eight most essential HR practices you need to pay attention to in 2023.
“You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don't have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.” Renee West
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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. 2023 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
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