The goals of the HR team are many, but one overarching and never-ending goal of the department is to promote the engagement and performance of employees. It’s a lot of responsibility with a myriad of ways to reach desired results. Thankfully, there are some HR best practices that all HR teams can benefit from implementing regardless of their unique company culture and structure.
1. Feedback should be Frequent
It’s come to light that the annual performance review just isn’t cutting it anymore. However you happen to feel about the matter doesn’t really change the fact that one meeting a year about the progress and performance of an employee probably lacks clarity and detail. Tack on their hope for guidance and development, and you have at least a month’s work of conversation packed into an hour long sit down. Luckily, when performance management programs include some form of more frequent feedback, employees are better equipped to make immediate changes and feel more engaged in their work. Additionally, managers are more involved in the daily work of their team, which gives them a better understanding of progress and allows them to hone in on details that are often overlooked when feedback occurs with less frequency.
2. Appreciation should be Plentiful
There is not enough words in the world to show how important employee appreciation is to the overall work environment and engagement levels. Employees need paychecks, but money is not the end all be all motivator. One survey found that 75% of employees feel an award or verbal thank you increased their confidence in their skills. Even the simplest sign of appreciation increases worker satisfaction and retention. In fact, organization with effective recognition strategies experienced a 31% lower voluntary turnover than those without one.
75% of employees feel an award or verbal 'thank you' increased their confidence in skills. Read more:
Appreciate This: The True Impact of Employee Recognition
3. Career Development is Key
This is a win-win investment for companies and one that is being embraced in so many new ways. When it comes to training and development, employees place high importance on obtaining more skills and growth within the organization. When it comes to top non-financial motivators, 76% of employees are looking for career progression.
4. Training and Onboarding shouldn’t be Ignored
Training has always played a part in bringing on new talent, but no longer does it suffice to devote a few hours to orientation and another few to learning the ropes. Thankfully, training and development program spend is on the rise and 56% of HR managers considered it to be essential to business. Unfortunately, only 38% of managers think the program is meeting their learners needs. Techniques now should step away from linear, classroom style instruction and adopt more innovative practices with mentorships and collaborative approaches to learning. That way, all learning styles are accounted for and retention isn’t hindered.
5. Experience isn’t Just a Resume Section
The candidate experience, the applicant experience, the employee experience… the skills and talent of the people your company interacts with deserve a certain level of attention. The culture of your company is important in determining who will apply for jobs, what your customers say about you and how engaged and dedicated your employees are to your cause and mission. If your company hasn’t given real thought to the experiences of your talent, no matter their relationship to you, then there’s a chance you’re missing out on amazing employees and partnerships.
6. Satisfaction should be Transactional
When it comes to giving employee feedback, we often think about the frequency with which we should be giving criticisms and compliments to our employees, but satisfaction should be something that both leadership and subordinates play a part in achieving. Solicit positive and negative feedback periodically via employee satisfaction surveys or by asking direct questions about concerns and improvements in performance reviews. Most importantly, create a culture of transparency and support so employees feel welcome to share their feelings and insight as well as eager to receive the same.
Here’s How: 5 Tips To Conducting Better Performance Reviews
7. Flexibility for the Real World is Mandatory
In one SHRM survey, 89% of HR professionals reported an increase in retention after implementing flexible work arrangements. Employees are human, no matter their level within your organization. That means, even the entry-level employee will need the flexibility to leave the office early for a doctor’s appointment or to make it to the DMV. Above all, grant your employees the comfort to approach their leaders with the surprises life throws at us all.
Make the Move: Going from a “Good” to a “Best” Place to Work
This list is in no way all inclusive. The interesting thing about the world of Human Resources is that it is just that: human. We are a constantly changing workforce and our employees are responsive to the culture you’ve built. Get in tune with your unique organization and build strategies that support those that fit within it.
Does your organization follow any unspoken rules of HR? Share your HR best practices with us!
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.