How Innovative can the HR Function Get?
Innovative Human Resources (HR) policies can go a long way in boosting employee productivity and enhancing organizational effectiveness. For instance, it is often the case that the HR Function comes up with a mix of work-related and fun related activities that employees find interesting and something they can relate to in their daily schedules.
To take an example, some multinationals allow employees to bring their families and children to work during specified days so as to introduce a personal touch in the way the organization treats its employees.
In addition, some Silicon Valley firms such as Facebook and Google are known for having specially designated spaces for pets and kids of employees who then can take breaks from work from time and time and spend time with them.
In this way, the HR Functions can indeed help the employees de-stress and take time from their hectic schedules and unwind and relax so as to ensure that they remain productive and efficient. Since organizational effectiveness is closely tied to employee productivity, such innovative and employee friendly policies can go a long way in helping the employees and in turn, helping the organizations.
Formal and Informal Methods of Boosting Employee Productivity
Having said that, fun related HR policies are not the only way that the HR Managers try to boost employee productivity. Indeed, while fun and relaxation policies do take a place of importance the budgets for them are adequate, most of the time; the HR Function focuses on how to boost employee productivity through informal and formal methods.
For instance, the formal method of boosting employee productivity can take place through experiential training and team building exercises as well as training and development programs.
In this context, it is worth noting that most organizations do have specified training schedules and calendars for training and development programs that include both formal and informal methods of employee development.
Also, there is often a thin line between what is formal and what is informal as far as HR policies to boost employee productivity are concerned. This is because the HR Managers unlike the Immediate Managers of the employees focus on the personality side of employee productivity rather than the technical or domain related aspects. This means that the HR policies are often separate and distinct from the latter.
Some Specific Examples of Innovative HR Policies
We have discussed how the HR Function can help in boosting employee productivity. Turning to the other key aspect of this article which is the innovative methods, it is the case that the HR Managers need to think outside of the box to come up with innovative policies to enhance employee morale and boost productivity.
This can take the form of group celebrations of birthdays and personalized greetings from Senior Leadership on such occasions as well as having parties on New Year and such occasions where the objective is to ensure that employees at all levels mingle with each other and in this way, the organization can send a clear message that they or the Senior Leadership cares about employees at all levels.
In addition, some organizations are also known to have bookings for married employees on their wedding anniversaries where such employees can avail of a car to take them to the specified restaurant or hotel with their spouses the expenses of such outings are borne by the organizations.
As mentioned earlier, the whole objective here is to ensure that employees feel wanted and hence, perform to their potential rather than being demoralized and leading to attrition and other undesirable outcomes.
Measuring Impact and Aligning with Organizational Goals using HR Scorecard
Turning to how the success or otherwise of such policies can be measured, tools such as the HR Scorecard can help the HR Function in assessing the impact and the clear bottom line effect of such policies.
For instance, the HR Scorecard can be used to align outcomes with objectives wherein the former and the expected outcomes are then tallied against the actual outcomes as measured in hard data about employee productivity.
Of course, it is not always easy to measure specific outcomes exactly aligned to the objectives since informal ways of boosting productivity (in this case) cannot be really measured in hard data terms.
However, the fact remains that over a period of time, data can be collected through surveys and other methods where such outcomes can be measured against the objectives. Further, the fact remains that organizational objectives such as decreased attrition can be tied into the HR imperatives through the HR Scorecard which can then be used to assess the success or otherwise of the said initiatives.
Indeed, among the many uses of the HR Scorecard, the ability to use data is among the most effective benefits of the tool. Thus, the HR Function can both measure its internal efficacy as well as align such policies with the overall objectives of the organization.