7 Best Practices of Successful HR & People Operations Teams

Nidhi Nair
February 14, 2023
successful teams, best practices, office culture, people operations, HR

7 Best Practices HR and People Operations Teams Should Follow 

Modern businesses need to take a more human-oriented approach to managing teams. This is why Human Resources and People Operations teams are more essential to the success of a business than ever. HR and People Operations are responsible for ensuring that team members are engaged, happy and productive.

If you’re a business owner or a member of an HR and People Operations team, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. In this blog, we’ll be going over seven best practices for successful HR and People Operations teams. Read on to learn more!

1. Following a People-first Approach 

People Operations teams work to manage the needs of employees, which naturally means that people should always be put first. Gone are the days when people were viewed as cogs in a machine, working until they could punch the clock and head home. Businesses are truly successful when employees are happy and engaged with their jobs. The employee experience and the well-being of your team should be your biggest priority.

A people-centric mindset that keeps the wants and needs of your employees in mind will always be a best practice. Take the time to understand the expectations of your employees and find ways to meet or exceed them. This also means you shouldn’t homogenize the needs of employees or whole departments. A people-first approach means learning the individual personalities, values and goals of your team members. When you take the time to get to know team members, you help to foster a more collaborative, comfortable and productive environment for everyone.

When employees feel respected and appreciated, they’re going to be much happier in their position. This also means that HR and People Operations should focus on improving training and career opportunities, but we’ll touch on that further down.

2. Offering Flexible Working Conditions 

High-quality employees appreciate businesses that appreciate their time and comfort. Many successful businesses of all sizes are now offering flexible working conditions to accommodate employees better. Flexible working conditions not only increase morale but also open up your talent pool to people around the country and the world.

There are various ways to implement flexible working conditions. One of the most common options is offering remote work or implementing a hybrid model. Hybrid offices allow employees to choose when they work in the office. Hybrid models can also implement policies where employees need to be in the office a certain number of days or hours, or outline situations where in-office work is preferred (i.e. client meetings).

Some other flexible work arrangements may include allowing employees to make their own hours or implementing an unlimited vacation policy. Remote work and other flexible arrangements can also lower costs for your business, saving you money on office space, furniture and utilities. Additionally, these types of policies show your employees that you trust them and respect their ability to complete their work.

Overall, flexible working conditions show that your business values the fact that your employees have a life outside of work. Top talent wants a good work-life balance, and flexible conditions make this easier to achieve.

3. Focusing on Onboarding and Improving Training

HR and People Operations teams recognize that onboarding and training are essential components of a successful business. Onboarding is a new employee’s first impression of how your company operates. The process should introduce them to their roles, get them up to speed and comfort and set them up for success in their position. This process needs to be as smooth and engaging as possible. Meanwhile, training programs help employees to further develop their skill sets, stay up to date with the latest industry trends and feel confident and motivated in performing their roles.

To make the onboarding process more effective, make sure to implement a fully developed orientation program. Some great ways to do this include automating the tedious aspects of onboarding (such as forms, policy education, etc.), introducing employees to team members and managers and providing them with the resources they need to succeed in their position. An employee should never feel lost during their first week, or if they do, they should know exactly where to go to get help.

To increase the efficacy of your training programs, make sure to continually update them and review your processes. This also means getting feedback from employees and management to see where they’d like to see improvement. Offer employees a variety of training offers, such as modules, seminars, webinars and more. This is also a perfect opportunity to implement quality training and onboarding software platforms to improve your processes and streamline them.

A platform with people success tools can make it easier to manage employee performance and see what can be improved. With these tools, you can consolidate information that will help you improve onboarding and training and optimize their efficacy.

4. Getting a Sense of Employee Engagement Through Surveys

Now more than ever, it’s important to keep employees engaged and interested in their work. This is a major part of an HR or People Operations team’s role. If you can better understand how employees feel about their job, you can find ways to help them thrive and improve different aspects of your organization.

Surveys are one of the most effective ways to get a sense of employee engagement. With surveys, employees can provide honest feedback without fear of repercussions and judgment. Surveys should cover a range of topics — from job satisfaction to workplace environment — to ensure employee needs are being met. Employees are seeing things at the ground level. Sometimes management misses these issues and employees can provide valuable insight into how things can improve. 

If you want to ensure your surveys are successful, make sure the questions are highly relevant. Employees should also be able to leave additional comments. Make sure you reiterate to employees that they can feel comfortable being as honest as possible with their answers.

You should make sure to offer surveys continuously to monitor employee engagement over time. This way you can adjust strategies and make sure things are moving in the right direction. It’s worth noting that engagement survey software tools can make this process even easier and help you to get the best possible feedback.

5. Building Strong Culture

HR and People Operations teams should strive to build a strong company culture. A strong company culture provides a distinct identity for your business and helps to build a collaborative and motivating environment for employees. Ultimately, it’s up to you what kind of culture you want to implement in your business, but the best company cultures should seek to foster diversity, inclusion, positivity and comfort.

To foster this strong work culture, HR and People Operations teams should encourage open conversation and feedback. Make it known that employees should always feel safe in the workplace and that they can come to HR with any issues that bother them. Every member of your team should feel respected and appreciated, regardless of gender, race or age.

You can further strengthen your company culture by clearly outlining company policies and codes of conduct. These will set out expectations for how employees should interact and how employees are held accountable if they break these policies.

Finally, HR and People Operations teams should try to connect and build their teams up. Team building exercises and other activities can help to build friendly, collaborative relationships among your employees. Employees want to feel like a cohesive team and get along with co-workers, so businesses need to try and help make this happen.

6. Keeping Top Talent

Every employee should receive equal treatment and opportunities, but it’s also important to identify and recognize achievements and top performance. Employee turnover can be detrimental to business and team morale, so you should make sure to reward top talent. This helps to keep your team competitive while also helping them feel appreciated when they put in the effort. Here are some quick tips for keeping your top talent around for the long run:

  • Make sure hard work and achievements are rewarded with incentives, bonuses and awards.
  • Encourage growth opportunities by setting up plans for advancement and providing education.
  • Let employees know you appreciate their efforts and that their performance isn’t going unnoticed.
  • Provide top-tier benefits like flexible work options, remote work, unlimited vacation and other competitive offerings that keep top talent around.

7. Addressing Burnout and Quiet Quitting

Burnout and quiet quitting are major issues facing HR teams. To address burnout and quiet quitting, businesses need to make sure employees are nurtured and that they feel their mental and physical health is being supported.

As mentioned before, keeping doors open for employees to provide feedback is important for preventing burnout. Checking in with employees about their workloads can make sure they’re not feeling overwhelmed. Flexible working options and other benefits can help alleviate employee stress as well.

HR and People Operations teams also need to be aware of the signs of burnout and quiet quitting. If employees start missing deadlines or if they seem withdrawn, it can be a sign that they’re unhappy in their role. It’s important to talk to these employees, but in a way that is positive and productive. Employees that are already feeling unsatisfied shouldn’t be confronted with negativity and punishment, as it’s certain to push them out the door sooner.

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