9 Progressive HR Policies From HR Professionals

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 2,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

To help you identify the next best HR approach, we asked HR experts and people managers this question for their best insights. From automating repetitive functions to conducting “stay” interviews, there are several HR approaches your team should consider.

Here are 9 progressive HR approaches from experienced professionals: 

  • Prioritize Flexible Work Policies
  • Automate Repetitive HR Functions
  • Offer Minority Groups More Support
  • Keep Benefits Competitive
  • Think About CYA Squared
  • Continue Leveraging Social Media
  • Make Data-Driven HR Decisions
  • Conduct “Stay” Interviews
  • Cross-Train Team Members

Also Read: How important is feedback in today’s world

Prioritize Flexible Work Policies

Flexible work policies are both a progressive HR approach that we practice and see as a rising trend. Having run a fully remote company for the better part of a decade, we have long offered employees freedom and flexibility in terms of working hours and practices. 

With the mass shift to remote work and the uncertainty and upheaval caused by the pandemic, this approach has become more needed than ever. Many professionals have experienced massive lifestyle changes, such as having to take on supplementary work or an increase in caretaking responsibilities. 

It is important for HR professionals and leaders to be conscious and empathetic about these complications and compromise on scheduling needs rather than forcing employees to adhere to strict working hours solely for the sake of following traditions or asserting authority. Allowing employees to choose their working hours and environments is a best practice in supporting your staff.

– Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Automate Repetitive HR Functions

Technology is developing so rapidly that sometimes companies have no time to incorporate it into their work for maximum benefit. Still, more and more businesses are introducing partial or complete HR automation. 

The benefits are incredibly tempting, especially if the company is growing fast. First, it saves a lot of money and reduces the HR budget. It also allows employees to solve their HR issues and get their questions answered 24/7. It is crucial when companies work with flexible working hours. Additionally, it reduces the toll on the HR department and allows them to focus on the things that matter the most instead of doing manual tasks like reviewing sick leave requests and analyzing feedback forms from scratch. 

Also Read: Why do you need a Real Time Performance Management Software

HR automation allows for maximum accuracy, efficiency, and productivity and becomes a great assistant in day-to-day HR operations.

– Ewelina Melon, Tidio

Offer Minority Groups More Support

One progressive HR approach that we are seeing as a rising trend is providing more support for minorities within the organization. As we have seen in the news and through our lives, minorities face numerous challenges that often go overlooked. 

As HR, it is our responsibility to help support these individuals with everything they need to perform their job successfully and feel comfortable in their roles within the company. This is why adding additional support to individuals of color or ethnic differences is so important when growing an organization and promoting diversity and inclusion.

– Jeremy Gardner, MadeMan

Keep Benefits Competitive

Organizations are struggling to fill up vacant positions now! The power of negotiation has shifted to the hands of the employees. Before choosing an organization, they evaluate the culture and work environment to find the correct fit.

Previously, interviews were very one-sided. Companies grilled candidates to decide if they were a good fit. A lot of that has reversed; employees are interviewing companies. To stay competitive, employers need to find new ways to stand out beyond offering a “great company culture” or “excellent work-life balance,” especially because that’s what everyone is offering. 

At our company, we lead with empathy and offer personalized perks tailored to each person. People are looking to work for a company that actually cares about them and fulfills their needs. 

Also Read: Employee Rewards and Recognition for an engaged workforce

The one size fits all, Friday pizza party days are over now. People want to be able to choose what works best for them, whether that be a gym membership, daycare stipend or support for continuing education.

– Amy Spurling, Compt

Think About CYA Squared

A simple but progressive approach to HR is what I call “CYA Squared”: cover your a__ and care for your associates. HR, particularly in California, typically swings the pendulum too far to the first CYA due to fear of a lawsuit. This strategy backfires, and we have witnessed it with the “great resignation.”

Employees are demanding to be seen, heard, and cared for in the workplace. Let’s face it, don’t we all want that?

Moving forward, companies will need to be mindful to swing the pendulum too far to the second CYA, causing them to get burned. Too much of anything is not good and ping pong tables and policies aren’t going to cut it.

HR will need to play a significant role in helping businesses find a new balance, creating a psychologically safe and compliant workplace. We’ve already seen what happens without it.

Dawn Myers, Guided Leadership Solutions

Continue Leveraging Social Media

Recruiters reaching out to talent over social media platforms like LinkedIn will increase as “The Great Resignation” resumes, and many are pumping the brakes on applying for jobs. Now more than ever, recruiters are constantly seeing no-shows for job interviews or employees leaving the company after 20+ years — even some CEOs are taking a step down. 

The current job market is turning into not what a company can do for you, but what an employee can do for them. In today’s day, whichever business will respond to the fastest and offer the best benefits will retain top talent. Recruiters are utilizing their professional circles, such as LinkedIn, to successfully get more people into the office than walking out the door.

– Lance Herrington, UNICO Nutrition

Make Data-Driven HR Decisions

HR reps have to deal with a lot of data on a daily basis. This data can be streamlined to help HR process it more efficiently. HR analytics allows professionals to get deeper insights into the data they receive. 

With these metrics, professionals can find correlations such as voluntary turnover and promotion wait times. Having data-driven HR is a progressive approach that improves workflows. I expect this to be a rising trend.

Evan Zhao, Revela Health

Conduct “Stay” Interviews

As we continue to navigate our next, I continue to encourage managers to proactively host “stay” interviews with their individual teammates. The changes since 2020 have altered the work equation. It remains a critical time to discuss with your current teams what they would like as they move with you into 2022.  

Ask specific questions about what it will take to keep them on the team as valued members of your organization. Salary, flexibilities, professional development, vacation increases, and new incentive plans are a place to start. 

This will be hard work, but will serve as a foundation of deeper trust if you are genuine in these efforts. This is an important moment to be proactive and take action.

Diane Fennig, The Gallagher Group

Also Read: 6 step guide to conduct effective stay interviews 

Cross-Train Team Members

I think companies now need to offer more than just training programs for specific jobs. They need to train all people in all areas of business functions — marketing, graphic design, and human resources so they can be more effective at getting their jobs done. 

Too many companies are spending time hiring somebody new, but either never teach them or show them how things work before sending them off on their own. There should be a unified system where you’re not constantly managing your employees but helping them grow professionally and be more like business owners themselves.

Iryna Kutnyak, Quoleady

We created this article in association with Terkel. It is a community-driven knowledge platform that creates content based on expert insights.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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