How to Do Good HR – Simplified!

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How to Do Good HR – Simplified!

article by Jodi Wehling

Someone once said to me that she has always been fascinated with human resources because she’s seen it done well – and also done poorly. She stated that there was a stark contrast between her experiences as a person working in these different organizations.

So how do you know if you’re doing good HR or not?

HR touches every person in the organization.  It sets the tone and culture for the environment, whether intentionally or not.  Whether or not you have a human resources department, every organization has all the functional areas that comprise HR to one extent or another.

Some of these areas are hiring, pay and benefits, leadership and supervision, health and safety, conflict resolution – and the list goes on.  No wonder HR’s positive or negative impacts can be felt so strongly by the people in the organization.

There are lots of details that go into a good HR program.  It can be overwhelming to know where to start, what to keep, what to add, and what to change.  I’m going to share three things that will make getting there easier.

1. Philosophies about people and work

13757838 – keystone

This is the keystone; the piece that holds everything else in place.  The beliefs of individuals in charge of making and enforcing the policies and practices that guide the organization are what the HR system will be built upon.

For example, do leaders believe that people can be trusted?  I’m not talking about intellectual agreement, but rather do their everyday actions support this philosophy?  Many policies are put in place to manage the few outliers that may abuse their privileges, but what message do these policies send to the rest of the staff?

If you’re looking to do better HR, it may be time to take a deep look at your policies and practices to see if they are aligned with what leaders deem is important.  Any misalignment will send mixed messages and lead to confusion and frustration.

2. Using HR best practices

Every organization is unique and therefore each HR system will look a little different.  However, there are best practices that can assure that your organization is doing good HR.

One example that comes to mind is having clean, accurate job descriptions. It can seem like a burden to create job descriptions and keep them up to date. But they are the foundation of many of the other key components of an HR system such as hiring, compensation, and performance feedback. Having these flow from a clear job description creates alignment and increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the HR function.

3. Benchmarking to competition

We all know that to attract and retain the best and the brightest, we have to compensate people competitively and provide them a benefit package similar to what they can get elsewhere.  But are we doing regular competitive analysis to ensure we are keeping pace with others?

In addition to pay and benefits, it’s important to keep current with other trends in HR.  Things like whether or not working remotely is allowed, or whether to allow employees to use the internet for personal purposes while at work are two examples of other HR policies and practices that could draw a candidate or employee to another company.

HR Assessments

It is a good business practice to audit your books and your security systems, but have you ever audited your HR function?

A thorough assessment of your HR policies, practices, and procedures is the key to ensuring you are doing good HR.  It can also allow organizations who are doing HR poorly to progress to doing HR well.

This can be done internally by a careful review of all areas of HR: what’s working, what’s not, and benchmarking to the outside world.  It also includes checking compliance with the myriad federal, state, and local laws that govern HR.

It can also be beneficial to have someone from outside the organization assist with this process.  Looking at your own HR function is a bit like re-reading a document several times and still missing the typos.  Once you’ve looked at something for a period of time, you start to overlook the parts that aren’t working well.

Reflect on Good HR – Today!

The impact that good HR can have on your organization is worth the effort.  Even small shifts in practices and philosophies can make a huge difference.  Spend a few minutes today thinking about how you know if your company or organization is doing HR well or not.  And if you’re not sure, consider how you can plan for an HR assessment in 2017!

If it seems like too much to take on internally, People Matters can be for you that outside, neutral party to provide an analysis of your current situation and a plan for how to improve. Please give us a call if you’d like more information.

Share Your Thoughts, and This Post!

Please share your thoughts on doing good HR in the comment section below. I’m eager to hear your thoughts!

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