Doing things differently in HR – is there another way?

What is the development?

Last week we supported the CIPD at its West of England branch annual conference, facilitating a workshop led by Michael Rabone of the Rick Stein Group.

Well attended by variety of organisations, delegates were asked to consider whether HR should pause and think about entirely new approaches. We thought we would share some of the discussions with you.

What were the topics and ideas?

There are some very well established HR principles and practices, some of which will be essential to your business, but are they all delivering what they should?

–  Do your standard recruitment practices, perhaps developed to minimise legal risk, deliver efficient recruitment of the right people with the right skills? (You may have seen recent press discussion about the ‘only dyslexics may apply’ job advert, and the employer arguing that dyslexics are more likely to have the innovative skills they are looking for).

–  What is the purpose of your appraisal system? It could have many (too many?) objectives. Does a formulaic approach achieve them, or is a lighter touch required?

–  Is the fact that, with the introduction of tribunal fees, employees are less likely to bring unfair dismissal claims a significant factor when considering your options? Or is your general reputation (internally and externally) as a fair and values-driven employer equally important?

–  What about legal advice – do you simply look to minimise the risk of legal claims or are you getting legal advice that takes into account the values of the organisation and reputational risk when given?

–  Do you need so many policies and procedures? Might the issues be better addressed through good management and open communication? Might lighter touch policies in fact encourage that?

Our comment

Is it time to revisit all practices with an open mind? HR practices that do not achieve their objective are dispiriting and can cause additional difficulties if disputes arise - for example the appraisal that does not reflect the manager’s true view of the employee! As the values and culture of an organisation (and their importance) develop in an ever-changing world, HR policies and processes need to keep up.