Best Practice for Whom?

How many times in the past week have you used or read the term “best practices?”  We certainly are enamored of best practices; MBA students search for them in case studies, HR professionals read the journals and assure their organizations that they are indeed adopting them, and consultants come in and share them.  But surely not every best practice is a good fit for every organization?  While we do know this cannot be true, how much effort have we undertaken to ensure that the best practice we are pursing is actually what is best for a unique and individual organization?

Al-Karim Samnani and Parbudyal Singh from the School of Human Resource Management at York University have researched the need for a good fit – congruency between overall business strategy and environment with human resource and management practices.  In HRPS’ People & Strategy they assert that an approach focused on this congruency will result in a sustainable competitive advantage for organizations.

We must be just as selective in deciding which best practices to pursue as our organizations select which business models, customers, and services they pursue.  Organizational development must carefully select which practices will have the maximum impact and strategically focus investment and learning on that practice.

There are two challenges that demand this carefully selected focus:

  1. Many HR departments are still clustered into separate training, recruitment and compensation functions.
  2. A devaluation of HR services as merely required overhead.

We must ensure that HR is continuing to strategically provide integrated approaches to solution development and delivery.  To focus on a good fit, we must also align our priorities with the concerns of employees, business leaders, and the organization at large.  With our priorities aligned and integrated, we are then equipped to ascertain which best practices are indeed best for our unique organization.

We will continue to look at assessing fit in our next blog.  How integrated is your HR department, and your training and development priorities with your organization’s purposes and goals?  How have you aligned these pieces?

 

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