Top 4 Habits of Highly Successful HR Departments

February 21, 2015

There’s no reason to reinvent the HR Best Practice wheel when there are so many companies who have policies, procedures and practices which have proven to be successful year after year. Of course, they all depend on where you work, the readiness of all stakeholders to implement them and the maturity of your HR department. But if there’s a will there’s a way.


Here’s a collection of practices from some highly successful hr departments with real life examples of how and why they work. Start with a few and see if they can create success for your company.


Habit 1: Google – Make Decisions on Data and Analytics


Lets face it, no matter how many forms and processes most Asian companies have for recruitment – most of them base their recruitment decisions off of gut feelings. Sure, someone experienced with a solid hiring track record makes the decisions, but it’s still not data based.


Google leaves nothing to chance. Their People Analytics team lives by:


“All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics.”


And they really are. While most of the world is still coming to terms with the importance of Big Data in HR, Google owes a great deal of it’s success on making decisions based off of data and statistical analysis.


Habit 2: Netflix – Treat People like People, not “Human Resources”


I’ve talked about Netflix’s successful corporate culture before – they focus on only recruiting people who are “A-Players” in their company. Essentially, this means that you’re hiring responsible adults who have their best interest (and thus the company’s) in mind.


Because Netflix believes in hiring “A-Players”, they do some things differently such as:



  • Not distributing performance based bonuses
  • Employees are “encouraged” to act for Netflix’s best interest when traveling, they’re not forced by any policy
  • They don’t formally track leave for salaried employees, it’s up to people to work it out with their boss (unless it’s for more than 30 days)
  • They encourage employees to talk to recruiters and then share that information with HR

I know these are pretty “against the tide” types of policies, especially when it comes to Asian companies. But I’d really like to see if any of these could work in our region.


Habit 3: Marico – Weave Employee Motivation into Corporate Culture


Marico is an Indian Consumer Goods company which was featured as one of the “Top 100 Great Places to Work” at by the Economic Times amongst other prestigious awards. One of their most important HR values is that they view employee motivation as business as usual instead of some 1 or 2 day employee event.


To achieve a deep sense of highly motivated employees, they:



  • Have goals which are challenging and push people to achieve them
  • Provide extensive training
  • Encourage employee innovation
  • Provide job rotation options in areas where employees are interested

By encouraging employee motivation through culture rather than programs (which have a defined beginning and end) you’re going to significantly increase employee engagement. And this of course will lead to more focused drive to achieving organizational goals.


Habit 4: Telenor – Create Value for Employees


If you’re able to create a company where nobody really wants to leave, then you’ve achieved HR success. That’s what it seems like Telenor, a Norwegian multinational company has achieved. Their awards and recognitions span the globe and any company can learn from their HR practices.


Some of the best things that people like about the company include:



  • An open environment which empowers employees by giving them responsibilities
  • Benefits and rewards which extended from excellent medical coverage to gift certificates for personal rewards
  • An excellent office environment, often with “coffee shop” style cafe’s within the office premises.

In the end, if your employees feel they find value in the company they work in, you’re going to automatically get employee loyalty. Win – Win.


If you’re going to implement any of these to try to become a more successful HR department (which you should) let me know in the comments below.


photo credit: Arrows showing up (Blender) via photopin (license)

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