A new paper published by HR solutions provider ETS, has challenged the reliance of adopting ‘best practice’ and reveals the business benefits for organisations instead implementing ‘best fit’ HR solutions.
It explains that while HR professionals often seek to replicate best practice processes, based on accepted industry thinking, they could be more successful if they shape and deploy HR practices and technology that are the best fit for their organisation.
A best practice solution that addresses a problem or achieves a desired goal in one company may not ‘fit’ a different organisational structure, which can lead to problems such as a lack of user adoption.
A best practice approach is often favoured by senior management as they are reassured by implementing a solution that has been used successfully by other organisations and therefore seems to guarantee them success.
The main problem though with adopting best practice solutions is that it fails to take into account organisational context and specific needs of an organisation.
Hannah Stratford, Head of Business Psychology at ETS and the author of the report, explains: “Best practice programmes are often too rigid and can be detrimental to people processes, resulting in resistance from employees. The bespoke HR or ‘best fit’ approach offers highly tailored and flexible solutions that are designed by balancing business and HR goals, best practice and the company culture and processes. Such solutions enable organisations to gain a competitive advantage by meeting companies’ specific needs and better reflecting company culture, which leads to enhanced business results.”
Duncan Brown from the Institute for Employment Studies agrees on the need for a best fit approach, saying: “I hope in 10 years’ time the whole notion of ‘best practice’ – in other words, copying what everyone else has done – will be dead and buried, replaced by ‘best fit’, with HR professionals crafting differentiated approaches to people management in their organisations that suit their circumstances and their culture, as the best HR directors do already.”