HR needs to be the arbiter of good practice in business. That is one of its many roles. In order to do it effectively and with credibility, HR has to ensure its own function is in great order, as well as overseeing good practice in the organisation as a whole.
What does it mean to follow good HR practice? The CIPD’s HR profession map is a very useful resource and guide on what makes a good HR professional. It has many guiding principles that lead to best practice HR.
Essentially, it comes down to good HR. So let’s start with the business side:
- A best practice HR function maintains a key focus on business needs
- What does the business want and need now? What does it want and need in the future?
- How can HR support it to achieve those goals? HR has to align itself to the business
- In order to do this, HR needs to be thoroughly enmeshed in the business, working alongside the business.
- There is no room for the silo mentality that HR has been criticized for in the past.
According to a report by research and advisory organisation, Bersin by Deloitte, 39% of HR professionals rated structured governance and business case development as the most important skills related to good HR practice. Called ‘The High-Impact HR Organisation: Top 10 Best Practices on the Road to Excellence’, the report highlighted the need for HR to have a really strong business focus and the ability to get business buy-in and support.
The whole of workforce planning – recruitment, talent management, skills development – these are all key activities that when done well, make for successful HR. Effective HR professionals take good care of their talent. The employ the right people, retain the right people and develop the right people. They ensure they know what skills are needed, where any gaps are and how to fill them. Workforce analytics are now so important and should form a central part of any HR strategy.
HR needs to make sure practices are relevant, up to date and ethical. That goes for HR and the entire organisation. HR is a key player when it comes to setting the right culture and practices across the organisation and it has a major role to play in helping managers in particular to follow best practice.
That’s some of the exciting stuff. Then there’s admin. Good practice HR reduces the administrative burden for its business partners and for employees. Whether this is done in-house or outsourced, the aim is to make day to day life easier for the workforce.
Employee-facing HR systems also need to be carefully designed. This is a big growth area and HR teams can have a lot of fun and bring a lot of benefit by creating great community-building and self service areas – knowledge sharing portals, community portals, web-based recruitment tools, management dashboards.
HR as a whole needs to really get to grips with technology. It needs to use metrics to make strategic decisions and communicate those decisions and results to the business.
Good HR practice is based on compelling data.
There is no room for fads or fluffy HR anymore.
What do you think to this article - what are your thoughts on what good HR practice is?
Do you agree with this post - is anything missing?
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