Monday, July 25, 2011

HR with an Iterative Approach

Too often, human resources initiatives are seen as locked in stone. Policies are set and often forgotten. "That's how we do things around here." HR practices become blockades to how people can operate in the organization - and how effective the human resources function is. Sure, there may be reasons why you have stifling policies and procedures in place - but you should be able to easily explain these reasons, why they are important to employees and the organization, and embrace the opportunity to change them.

Software improves with each release. Product offerings, financial targets, and customers profiles all seem to be more dynamic than human resource initiatives. They change with new pieces of information. With each failure and success.

So should your HR practices.

Does the incentive plan drive cooperative behaviors? Does your health plan provide good utility to employees and make financial sense? Do performance reviews impact performance and do you use them to guide decisions down the road? How do you post jobs and interview? Can employees work from home?

Whenever appropriate, examine the purpose of the policy and the behavior it produces. Is it reinforcing the beneficial behavior? Does it produce negative outcomes? Is it necessary? Can it be simplified, clarified, or improved?