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What are the best practices for building high performance in human resource management?

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In response to the survey on Stress points in the Dental Practice, we introduce a series of posts related to the topics identified in the survey responses. This post relates to human resources management.

This summary is based on the article published in the Global Business and Organizational Excellence: best practices for building high performance in human resource management (January 2014)

Context

Human resource (HR) professionals have long realized the value of learning from leading organizations’ experiences that taking a best practices approach to the HR function can drive the high performance necessary to survive and thrive in a competitive market.

An overview of recent studies concerning best practices points to the effectiveness of the following approaches in human resource management: providing job security, offering job rotations to stellar performers, providing ongoing training to develop employees’ skills, conducting developmental performance appraisals, sharing information and knowledge, providing career opportunities, fostering employee participation, and using performance-based incentives to reward employees.

The application of these and other HR-oriented best practices that complement an organization’s mission, strategy, and culture can help it achieve its objectives while enhancing its reputation.

Best Practices

Job security leads to employee satisfaction

  • Job security leads to job satisfaction an essential element for improving performance. 
  • Having a sense of job security also enables employees to maintain a balance in the employment relationship, which employees tend to prefer (1)
  • The perception that the employer has provided prospects for greater job security represents a broader horizon against which to build a history of inducements and contributions.

Job rotations encourage stellar performance

  • Allow employees to move into other parts of the company that would be more amenable to and consistent with their backgrounds and skills.
  • A  study (2) of high-performance workplace organizations showed that innovative organizations provide non-managerial employees with the opportunity to participate in decision making, work in self-managed teams, enhance their skills through job rotation, and have autonomy over the way they perform their tasks. These practices are associated with a higher level of communication with coworkers, employees outside the work groups, and customers. Employees typically value these new opportunities, which leads to a direct increase in overall job satisfaction.

Developing employees’ skills through training and development

  • Training and development plays a crucial role in increasing work adaptability, ability, and flexibility, and in maintaining necessary competence and motivating employees. (3) This variable influences employee productivity (4)
  • Keep in mind that traditional courses are not the only option. Other avenues for training include peer training, reading, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Some benefits of training and development:
    • Provides a reward to employees,
    • Improves employees’ technical and interpersonal skills,
    • Remedies employees’ poor performance,
    • Prepares employees for future job assignments,
    • Builds teamwork,
    • Helps employees understand the business (for example, its competitors and needed technologies),
    • Imparts knowledge across various disciplines, and
    • helps inculcate the business vision and values.

Addressing the need for developmental performance appraisals

  • Performance appraisal should be a continuous process, and not a once-a-year exercise. It is a formal system of periodically assessing and evaluating an individual’s or team’s job performance and providing feedback. (4)
  • It is important that employees know exactly what is  expected of them, and the yardstick by which their performance and results will be measured.

Enhancing information and knowledge sharing

  • Knowledge that is created in the mind of an individual is generally of little value to an enterprise unless it is shared. Organizations are rapidly learning that just because appropriate knowledge technology exists, knowledge will not necessarily flow freely throughout an organization. (5)
  • Making information available at all levels increases employee motivation and also permits decisions to be made more quickly. (6)

The benefits of creating career opportunities

  • Highly effective strategies to attract key staff to an organization include in-house career development and promotion opportunities and allowing employees to participate in key decisions and providing them with access to resources when required.
  • The ability to retain employees depends significantly on the ability to manage them.

Fostering Employee Participation

  • Employee participation in the decision-making process will improve performance:
  • If employees possess more information about the procedures performed by the organization, they will be better able to identify and solve problems as soon as they arise. This will lead to an improvement in their own performance and the global performance of the firm. (7, 8)
  • Sharing of information concerning financial performance, strategy, and operational measures conveys to the organization’s members that they are trusted. (9)

Rewarding employees with performance-based Incentives

Benefits: 

  • Greater achievement of organizational and personal goals;
  • Increased productivity, project completion, and revenues;
  • Stronger relationships, increased appreciation of others, and greater teamwork;
  • Stronger organizational culture;
  • Increased motivation and happier staff;
  • Reduced turnover; and
  • Enhanced marketplace reputation and branding.

References

  1. Shore, L. M., & Barksdale, K. (1998). Examining degree of balance and level of obligation in the employment relationship: A social exchange approach. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 19(S1), 731–744.
  2. Bauer, T. K. (2004, August). High performance workplace practices and job satisfaction: Evidence from Europe. IZA Discussion Paper No. 1265. Retrieved from http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/20531/1/dp1265.pdf
  3. Tai, W. T. (2006). Effects of training framing, general self-efficacy and training motivation on trainees’ effectiveness. Personnel Review, 35(1), 51–65.
  4. Zohurul, I. & Sununta, S. (2010). Human resource management practices and firm performance improvement in DHAKA Export Processing Zone (DEPZ). Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 18(1), 60–77.
  5. Small, C. T., & Sage, A. P. (2005/2006). Knowledge management and knowledge sharing: A review. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 5(3), 153–169.
  6. Kaliprasad, M. (2006). The human factor I: Attracting, retaining, and motivating capable people. Cost Engineering, 48(6), 20.
  7. Pfeffer, J. (1998). Seven practices of successful organization. California Management Review, 40(2), 96–123.
  8. Wright, P. M. McComic, B., Sherman, S., & McMahan, G. (1999). The role of human resource practices in petrochemical refinery performance. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 10(4), 55–71.
  9. Pfeffer, J. (1998). Seven practices of successful organization. California Management Review, 40(2), 96–123.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous April 15, 2014

    Great article. Leaders have the responsibility of developing other

    Reply
  2. Alley Bradford February 6, 2019

    Awesome post. Members of the human resource department really need to step up so that they can help employees reach their maximum potential.

    Reply

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