Yes, Best practices are harming your business. The reasoning is simple – they are someone else’s success story and not yours. Just because another business was successful with whatever you are copying doesn’t mean you will be. This is especially true if you are using someone else Best Practice to solve your Recruiting and Retention problems. In simple point of fact, you probably won’t be. So what can you do instead of copying what someone else is doing?
Just because something was a good idea for company A does not mean that it will be a good idea for your company. If you and everyone else decided to copy a Best Practice or even choosing to copy a competitor’s Best Practice, what happens? All it means is that you are now identical and you’ve done nothing more than made yourself the same and most likely with some expense tied to that sameness. This is a key reason why Best Practices are Harming Your Business. Using someone else’s Best Practice more than likely will not solve your Recruiting and Retention Problems.
Consider Google. They have incredible perks for their employees, and these perks are a great attractant, or are they? Perhaps for Google; Here are a few of Googles perks that any company could copy:
- Free Food
- Free Cooking classes
- Free on-site gym
- On-site massage therapist
- Death Benefit (*If a Googler dies while employed by Google, their spouse will receive 50% of their salary for the next ten years.)
These are, according to many in the industry, Best Practices, and apparently, they work well for Google. Another common fad emerging in Best Practices is being able to work remotely. That does work if the job you apply it to can be done remotely. I’m not certain that auto repair, patient care or CNC work are good candidates for remote work. There is also the challenge of accounting for time worked for those employees classified as eligible for overtime and the worker’s compensation exposure to the business. I’m not against remote work. I’m just realistic enough to know that it doesn’t work well in many organizations. According to Fast Company Magazine “History is clear that best practices can be enemies of growth. They allow us to take the lazy way out instead of pushing ourselves to be creative.”
Does that mean Best Practices are bad? Not completely. You can use a Best Practice to spark an idea or develop a train of thought, but be careful when doing that. It is very easy to slip into the herd mentality of Best Practices, and before you know it, you are copying what someone else is doing.
A solution – be innovative; learn what your good employees see as having value. That starts with holding individual managers accountable for turnover. Consider these ideas:
- Asking employees what they value
- Understanding why employees come to work at your business
- Asking employees why they leave
- Creating an environment where employees are engaged and appreciated
All in all, don’t think that employees are looking for catered meals, cooking lessons and massage therapy as a reason for wanting to work for a specific business. I do believe that creating work with a meaningful impact on their lives, where they live and what they value can be powerful drivers for recruiting and retention.
How well does all of this work? That’s up to you. Tracking key metrics such as employee referrals, open positions, time to hire and turnover can point you in a direction to getting the right information. Remember, you have a workforce that cannot be duplicated, and from that, a recruiting and retention strategy that cannot be duplicated. Because Best Practices are Harming Your Business you should avoid them, especially for Recruiting and retention. All you have to do is BE ORIGINAL in how you engage the workforce in those efforts.
Take a look at our series on Fixing Your Recruiting and Retention Problems.
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