How HR Can Synthesize the Best Ideas to Help Your Business Succeed
HR is often the hub of an organization. You’re involved in onboarding and offboarding, communicating with employees, building company culture, administering benefits, and meeting with leadership—every single day. The scope of your responsibilities can be overwhelming, but it is also how you can add the most value to your business.
This article is part of series on HR Leadership. Read more here.
One of the most indispensable things that HR can do is cross-pollinate and consolidate ideas. Other departments add value in various specialized ways, but HR is in the best position to take the ideas from across teams, synthesize them, and apply them throughout the organization. Here’s how.
HR’s Unique Position to Synthesize Within Your Organization
Every day, HR is exposed to the best ideas within an organization. You’re the only person in your company who regularly works with leadership, employees, and managers across all departments.
Because you have access to so many different points of view, in a leadership meeting, you can say something like:
Or you can meet with a manager and say something like:
Hey, I’ve noticed Jasmine is using LinkedIn’s Recruiter feature, and she’s getting a lot more candidates. You should try it, too!
Or in an internal newsletter, you can write:
Sales has been killing it lately by using strategies from Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! So, I’ve asked Will to share some of those strategies with the whole office at our monthly meeting.
Most people in your company aren’t in the position to notice these things. As a result, it’s up to HR to take these ideas, synthesize them, and document them for the rest of the people in your organization.
That last part is key: Write down and share great ideas when you hear them or see them in action. That’s the first step to formalizing and implementing the best strategies and procedures.
The most successful small to midsize businesses codify these practices in two different resources: the Culture Guide and the Manager Manual.
How to Synthesize the Best Ideas into a Culture Guide
Going beyond the basic info included in most employee handbooks, a Culture Guide should outline how your company tackles problems, include each team’s mission statement, and establish policies, norms, and expectations, such as how to work and interact with one another.
It’s in this last function—establishing policies, norms, and expectations—that your role as “HR hub” can really make a difference. While a section of your Culture Guide should include information that’s unlikely to ever change—like your organization’s history, vision, and core principles—other parts should change as needed, for example, if compliance regulations change or if some of your procedures are outdated and inefficient.
When a team, employee, manager, or other leader finds a better way to work that could improve your entire company, write it down, gather more information, meet with leadership, and update your Culture Guide. Also, don’t forget to communicate the changes across all channels. After all, what good is consolidating all these great ideas if you don’t communicate them, too?
It’s important to document proven strategies for improvement in your Culture Guide for all employees to see and agree. But if you really want to see those ideas put into practice, focus on training managers to become more effective recruiters and coaches.
How to Synthesize the Best Ideas into a Manager Manual
HR may be able to reach all employees more broadly, but managers can likely influence individuals more deeply. Since managers are so often on the frontlines between employees and leadership, they’re in the best position to follow through, apply, and enforce the best practices you’ve gathered and documented.
That’s why the ideas you’ve collected and consolidated should also be codified in a Manager Manual.
A Manager Manual is a guidebook specifically tailored for management personnel in your organization. It should detail how to interview, hire, onboard, coach, communicate, and even terminate employees. An effective Manager Manual should also include templates that your managers can use to communicate important information to employees and applicants efficiently and consistently.
In light of the “Great Resignation” affecting so many organizations, it’s never been more important to learn, communicate, and standardize management best practices into a Manager Manual.
For example, if one team has a high turnover or attrition rate while another has an impressively low one, the manager of the former likely has a lot to learn from the latter. HR is better situated to not only see how both teams are recruiting and retaining workers, but also to effectively improve those practices through a Manager Manual and management training.
Both Culture Guides and Manager Manuals are essential to consolidating and codifying best practices that lead to organizational success. But, because each is a dynamic resource, they require HR’s stewardship to stay relevant and useful.
This is where cross-pollination really becomes useful. HR should have used the best ideas available at the time to initially develop your Culture Guide and Manager Manual. But each new idea presents another opportunity to improve your organization.
For more on how to develop your own Culture Guide and Manager Manual, check out our BernieU course, “How to Establish a Meaningful Workplace Culture.” HR managers may also be interested in checking out 5 Books Every Manager Should Read and 5 Essential Books for HR Professionals.
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