It’s business awards season, the time for our local businesses to shine.
It’s always exciting to learn about what these great local businesses have achieved, and just as importantly, what they’ve set their sights on for the future.
Awards are about the pursuit of business excellence. In this column I want to talk about what excellence in HR might look like.
When it comes to recruitment, retention and development, what should your business be doing to stand you apart from the rest?
First, it’s about moving beyond the basics. Policies, procedures and compliance are the fundamentals of best practice in HR. For excellence, these need to be in place – and more.
Excellence is about what you do over and above standard practice, and how you keep improving and innovating.
Here are four areas to focus on:
Employer brand and workplace culture
It’s very important for organisations to understand and nurture their cultural advantages. Great work cultures are usually linked to a strong shared purpose.
And money aside, shared purpose is fundamentally the reason that people come to work every day. So being able to clearly articulate and communicate what makes your organisation tick is powerful for both motivating current staff and attracting new talent.
Beyond good health and safety practices is employee wellness. For people to perform well at work, they have to be well. In fact, employee wellness and resilience are key attributes to enabling businesses to achieve their strategic objectives.
Looking after your employee wellness doesn’t have to mean implementing fancy Employee Wellness Programmes with on-site yoga, massage and diet plans (although if you can, please do, because the benefits are multiple).
You can help by encouraging employee wellness through simple initiatives such as insisting people switch off their devices when they have time off to ensure they get some rest and downtime. By fostering open and honest communication. By making wellness part of your workplace culture and values, and by monitoring and reporting on how well this is being achieved.
Enabling flexible working hours and remote working, helps people achieve a better work-life balance, thus improving overall wellness. Some businesses are even going as far as implementing a four-day working week. The issue is always flexibility vs productivity, but I have had good reports back from employers that productivity has hugely improved by letting employees manage their own time. Generally, businesses that spend more time promoting wellbeing and resilience see an upturn in performance, engagement and productivity.
Most employees don’t want to be stuck in dead-end jobs with no prospects for advancement, doing the same thing for years.
So it’s important to challenge staff with stimulating work that has a direct impact on your company’s success. Share the big picture, set expectations and let employees know when they are doing something right.
Feedback that is constructive is vital to employees’ ongoing development. Feedback clarifies expectations, helps people learn from their mistakes and builds confidence. Embedding feedback practices and indeed a feedback culture is key to business performance. And the feedback needs to go both ways. It’s important to remember that the employee/ employer relationship is two-way.
Time and again we hear it’s the people that matter. So it’s important to offer opportunities for your employees to get to know one another.
When teams get to know and understand each other it builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. As the workplace becomes increasingly collaborative, crafting high-performing teams has become more and more important.
Is it time for your business to move beyond HR compliance and into HR excellence?