Saturday, August 1, 2015

Is HR Best Practices Overused

Best practices perhaps help you improve efficiency, but innovation and strategy will differentiate you and help you build the competency.

The principle, Policy, Practice, Process, and Performance are all important term in modern management discipline. However, the situation is, what is relevant to one organization may not, and is probably not, to another. There are principles, policies, and practices that a company could adopt from another, but even if in the same sector, there is no guarantee of success taking into account leadership, culture, and historical practices.

It's very difficult to call anything a 'best practice' because if it were, EVERYONE would know about it. In the end, it is what works best for YOUR company that leadership determines. So many of these types of questions are answered 'it depends.' It depends on because every company, location, industry is different. However, it is good to know the principles of effective practices - that help you learn from one another- learn from each other's mistakes, but not fall into the trap of copying each other and expecting the same results. HR professionals need to make more evidence-based decisions and be equipped with a strong understanding of what effective practice means for your own industry- that way you can make more informed decisions and be in a better position to question the business partners.

HR Benchmarking practice needs to be more strategic focus: Formal benchmarking provides evidence but only if you are benchmarking your own practices and outcomes with others, because this can potentially highlight strengths, weaknesses and how you can improve performance. Benchmarking done well is about becoming the best you can be (and getting there faster), not about proving you are the best - therein lies the route to complacency! Traditional HR benchmarks tend to be transactional ( budgets, headcounts), and don't provide any indication of how to change behavior and improve outcomes. Ideally, the transformational HR needs to benchmark with strategic measures (growth, future-driven performance) with the clear goals to change mindset, behaviors and outcomes.

Your “best practices” need to be well aligned with your core value, principles, and standards. If you are asking your employees to follow "best practices," how do you write performance evaluations? Are you measuring the performance against the best practices or the standards within your company? Employees should follow best practices, but often, those best practices are not aligned with corporate values, corporate strategy or performance metrics. Best practice is a phrase that is overused and poorly understood in many business areas, not just HR. You will hear "best practices" thrown around everywhere in many sectors etc. What does it mean, therefore, it’s always important to get back to the business fundamentals.

Either best practice or next practice, there are definitely effective practices that link to better performance outcomes, but in a dynamic knowledge-based environment, these may change slightly or significantly from one organization to another - there is no BEST that necessarily works for all. Either for HR, IT or any other business functions, best practices perhaps help you improve efficiency, but innovation and strategy will differentiate you from the mass, and build the competency to become an industrial leader.


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