HR Best Practices and Competitiveness

We are obsessed with HR best practices. We love challenging benchmarks, those great success stories and examples to be followed and the complex people management procedures of large corporations. However, we have to take in mind what our business needs. Is it something complicated that almost no one understands? Is it the best practice we can blindly follow? Alternatively, do our employees wish to use the system that suits their preferences and needs? Do not we kill or impact strongly our competitiveness by implementing the best in class solution that works great in another business?

We love to watch presentations where the results of the research are summarized and commented by the experienced HR consultant. They always look amazing and surprising. They promise a high productivity and employee engagement increase. The key message is usually straightforward and easy to understand. They just do not show all obstacles to be solved during the implementation. It just presents the ideal solution without any tailored features to meet the requirements of the business. Does the proposal address the challenges the business faces every day?

We usually forget to ask critical questions about our approved HR strategy when we watch the fancy presentation. You should never allow any consultant change your strategic plan. This plan represents a wider agreement of the leadership team. It represents the vision of the company. You should always ask critical questions during the presentation. Does the proposal suit our needs? How will it improve our competitiveness on the tight job market? How will we fit the project to our HR environment? We forget that it is easy to transfer processes and procedures, but it is the corporate culture that makes solutions successful. As always, it is easy to destroy, and it is hard to build something new.

HR Best Practices and Competitiveness
HR Best Practices and Competitiveness

The organization can hurt the competitiveness if it follows various HR best practices. You can quickly implement a too big solution for a relatively small business. It will hurt your competitiveness on the market. Think twice before applying a new externally designed idea.

First, it has to make a decision what are the strategic areas of a focus. No company can excel in everything. The HR team has to make a proposal what areas it will excel in, and the leadership team has to approve them. Second, everyone in the leadership team has to understand why and how the proposal was approved. No excuses.

Just then, the HR team should monitor all HR benchmarks to find the optimum way. However, it should not implement proposals without a critical evaluation. The strategic thinking is a must when it comes to core competitive advantages. Otherwise, the HR team can fail.

The HR consultant never talks about obstacles. As a consultant, he presents great opportunities (to earn additional income). He benchmarks the proposal against the average non-existent company. He compares the potential client with the best in class HR solution.

Finally, the consultant draws the primary requirements. The commitment is usually among them because the HR advisor understands the proposal can be rejected a few months after the implementation. This refusal reason is regularly called a lack of commitment. Often, it is just the denial of the leadership team because it wants something else. However, the beautiful presentation can suppress our ideas and thinking. We do not think how the solution will improve our HR competitive advantage.

On the other hand, managers and Finance department usually love HR benchmarks. It is an excellent tool to demonstrate the issue of the over-employment in Human Resources. However, they do not realize what HR benchmarks indicate. They do not show the best practice in the industry. They usually combine the least critical HR processes for the particular organization. If the organization X makes a strategic competitive decision to be strong in the talent acquisition, it will not be displayed as the best in the class company. It will focus its resources on the recruitment and staffing procedures. Naturally, it will employ more employees in that HR functional area because it sees the area as a source of the competitive advantage.

All HR Best Practices are a great business opportunity for HR consultants. They do not want to sell the unique solution; they sell what they know. They usually observe a great practice in one organization, and they transfer it to other clients. However, the corporate culture does not like the copy-paste approach. It likes to be designed and cultivated inside the business. It needs to become a core driver of all decisions.

The HR leader has to build a strong relationship with the Finance departments. The finance analysts usually ask for various benchmarks to identify weak and costly spots in the organization. They have to understand the HR strategy, and they have to be aware of the investments required. The company cannot improve its employer brand if it does not invest into it. It can seem like a waste of money in an Excel spreadsheet, but it enhances the productivity of the workforce and employee engagement. Without a healthy relationship HR costs and headcount will always be under attack.

Various HR best practices can inspire your strategic thinking. That is how you should use all HR best practices and benchmarks. You should not hurt your competitiveness; you should just enrich a few strategic ideas. Human Resources should run the internal discussion what topics and ideas seem promising. They should be critically evaluated against the HR strategy. They should not be seen as examples to be followed; they should be regarded as an inspiration.

The best HR organization never implements HR best practices. It creates them, and it has many followers and copycats. However, they do not have the same tremendous results because they do not transfer the corporate culture and leadership values. They copy and paste processes and procedures; they cannot copy employees, leaders and the spirit of the business. The HR team has to cultivate Human Resources function to be different from competitors. It is the best way how to become the one to be followed and copied.

A highly competitive business always builds the unique corporate culture (it is a sustainable basis for the competitiveness). Employees love the company because it is not the same as other organizations around. They can be proud that they work for the team that brings great products and services. They love to talk about Human Resources because it is something others do not enjoy. It is the best way how to build the employer brand. Be unique and evaluate carefully all HR best practices.

Best HR Management Articles, week 34

Next week, the summer will start turning to the Fall (sure, the real Autumn begins on September 21st). Yeah, another week of 2016 is over. Once again, Human Resources will enter its high season. Everyone starts to think about getting back to the office. We have to think about goals and objectives again. The fall is always about catching things, projects and initiatives to be eligible for the bonus. So, there is no article about goal setting and rewards management. They will come later because the modern business requires innovative thinking and ideas in these two critical areas. This time, my selection of the best HR Management articles is about the corporate culture, wrong promotions and how to avoid them, failing diversity initiatives in large organizations and finally – success is a matter of a positive mindset.

The talent acquisition becomes hotter and hotter topic for most HR professionals. Managers and leaders open many vacancies, and Human Resources is not able to deliver top talents. In some cases, we are not able to provide anyone. The job stays posted for weeks, and nobody applies for it. The job market changes dramatically again. We usually do not understand what job applicants look for. That is the reason why I start with the recruitment and staffing issues.

What the modern job applicant looks for …

As the excellent recruitment strategy in the war for talents becomes the critical success factors, more organizations start to ask job applicants what are the essential information required to make an affirmative decision about the business. They just do not ask relevant facts and data about the organization. They want to see the company serving local communities.

Each HR professional has a different view what is critical to job applicants. You will always discover many various topics, and each business function prefers other benefits. However, everyone shares one – it is the corporate culture. We know that some companies enjoy better internal atmosphere than direct and indirect competitors. They have the advantage because employees like them. The recruitment and staffing procedures have to advertise the positives of the company. Processes must clearly state what are the fundamental values of the potential employer.

Best HR Management Articles, w34
Best HR Management Articles, w34

Human Resources has to ask all applicants what were the key reasons to apply for the role. Most candidates will talk about the need for a change in their lives. However, after a while, they will start talking about the corporate culture. They will spot what they like and what they do not value. It is a great lesson learned for HR managers.

How the wrong people get promoted …

You know the story of the guy who was great in his sales role. He was promoted to lead a small team. The results were not that perfect, but he was still one of the best. Later, he was finally promoted to become the leader of the large sales team. Moreover, he just failed in the role. We always keep promoting the wrong people.

We always expect that the expert is also a great manager and leader. Also, we always repeat this fundamental managerial mistake. However, they usually do not want to lead anyone. They want to perform and reach purely individual results. They want to achieve goals sooner than others. They do not like teamwork; they do not trust others. Human Resources usually warns the rest of the leadership team, but they have to dismiss such an employee later.

There also other reasons why the wrong people get promoted. Just read the article to find out more. It is a great story how HR managers can fail.

Corporate diversity programs do not work

A diverse team always brings richer and more creative results. Yup, diversity translates into profits. All team members have to find the agreement, and they can improve proposals coming from different backgrounds. No large multinational corporation does not support diversity. However, results of the corporate diversity programs are disappointing.

Human Resources can protect rights of particular groups of employees, but it cannot bring a successful program without the support of the leadership team. HR has to find rich recruitment sources that bring enough candidates from targeted minorities. Everyone should understand that all performance standards are the same for each employee. No excuses.

Building diverse teams is about the full commitment of the leadership team; HR has no power to push the idea through all managerial levels. Leaders have to promote the great opportunity to enrich the strategic thinking of the organization. It is their job; Human Resources has to find the best way how to hire new employees from minorities.

Winning Companies lead with a new corporate culture mindset

This is another great article about the corporate culture – one of performance and result driven organizations. Today, you cannot hide your real values and behaviors. The successful company has to keep its promises; it has to engage and empower employees to keep innovations coming. Most organizations advertise the corporate culture they want; they do not talk about the environment they have.

Winning teams do not speak of the customer-centric internal environment; they just act. They make sure all employees understand that the client is the only source of the cash. They allow employees to make exceptions to keep customers satisfied. Moreover, they promote the importance of fair and valuable internal relationships because they build the trust. These businesses have the purpose and profits in balance. They have the story why they exist and what experience they provide to customers.

They clearly value the timely delivery of results, consistent quality and tolerate occasional failures. They are friendly to new joiners, and they provide excellent induction programs. However, they do not tolerate when any employee breaks the ground rules. All staff understands what is not tolerable in the workplace. On the other hand, they promote the positive approach.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Do you know you can follow the HR tutorial on Facebook or Twitter? It is easy, and you will miss no news.

Best HR Management Articles, week 33

My selection of the best HR management articles is clearly focused this time. It is all about the leadership and the management style, people management approaches, performance-driven corporate culture and unlucky top performers. There is also a small bonus – why Monster failed. The summer is turning slowly into the fall. I suppose the activity of all fellow HR bloggers will increase soon, as well. The community is still very active, but I expect they all think about new creative ideas to improve their marks.

Moreover, I want to have more articles to comment. I like the first article about the image of Human Resources most. It describes the reality we enjoy. Also, it covers the future challenges all HR professionals will face. It also shows the HR roadmap how to become the valuable strategic partner.

Why we will all love new HR

I will start with the optimistic article about the future of Human Resources. It covers the leadership development in general. The HR Manager will become one of the most valuable employees shortly because all organizations will face many issues like the aging workforce, competitiveness, and millennials. Yup, even millennials will become the issue because their approach to work is not compatible with the current corporate set-up. It will become a great dilemma for all leaders.

It emphasizes the strategic planning and the necessity to include Human Resources into it. The HR professionals can bring a new perspective; they can also hear interesting insights from job applicants. They have to be the essential part of the core strategic team.

Best HR Management Articles, week 33
Best HR Management Articles, week 33

HR will have to introduce a new workforce planning procedures shortly. The competitive organization has to predict all needs in advance, and HR will have to discover the predictive analytics. Working in Human Resources will be fun, once again.

Dear Leaders: Please revisit your corporate culture

A great leader cannot exist without a friendly and honest corporate culture. Also, many best talents research the approach of the organization before they agree to join the company. Most performance-driven businesses advertise their values; they also post examples. Right now, it is time to revisit our corporate culture. We cannot do any significant changes without touching it.

It is often linked with the retention issue in the firm. Many employees leave because they cannot live values and accepted unethical behavior of others. They leave because they look for a more friendly, fair and honest environment. We usually do not see our internal environment as the unfriendly one. We have to ask employees regularly how they feel.

There is another issue – we have to mix the new corporate culture that can cover all groups of employees. It is not just about the age, race or sexual orientation. Even a small start-up business is multicultural, and we have to unlock the potential and creative of all.

So, let us start solving this leadership challenge.

Wellness is a Culture

Well-being becomes an imperative for HR leaders. We love to work, but we cannot just work. The employer has to create the environment that supports our work-life balance. It is not just about paying any fitness contribution. Well-being needs to become an essential part of our DNA.

It is also about turning line managers into real wellness champions. Employees tend to stay long at work when the manager stays. They do not want to look lazy. It is a great challenge for both because the change of behavior needs to start at a top of the business. It means that the CEO has to participate in the program. She has to sponsor it.

Wellness should not be seen as a pure benefit. It is the feature of the corporate culture. This should change how Human Resources communicates the program to employees. Being healthy and fit becomes one of the main HR roles.

People Who Create Find New Ways to Thrive.

It is a pretty short article inspired by the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”. However, it looks at the film from the HR perspective. It does not judge any person; it clearly summarizes what happened after.

Mr. Belfort is a successful speaker who earns money by making speeches about being a successful sales guy. The market believes that he is the man who creates the value. It is clear evidence that success is not just about meeting goals. The networking is the essential success component, as well.

Each Talent Manager has to find right opportunities for the employees in the program. She has to ensure that all participants have the chance to be visible in the business. The leaders will not remember just results. They tend to remember faces.

Why Monster failed

Do you remember Monster.com? It was a large corporation, but it is pretty tiny today. It was one of the first websites specialized in job searches. It was great for connecting candidates and HR recruiters. However, those great times are over. It was bought by Randstad. LinkedIn dominates the field today because it acts as a social network.

It is a great story of a company that was once an industry leader. It was just too slow in innovations. LinkedIn came with the idea of a friendly network that is not focused purely on Human Resources. It offered to make connections. It was the beginning of the end of Monster.

All leaders should read the story to be brave enough. They have to make tough decisions that can turn their businesses to LinkedIn ones. It the winner of this battle. Even it was bought by Microsoft lately.