Evidence-based essay

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‘4Best practices’ in human resource

Best Practices’ in human resource

Human resource’s ‘best practices’ refer to strategic activities and plans aimed at improving services offered to employees which in turn is expected to increases employer’s productivity (Armstrong 2012 pp. 12). The term ‘best practices’ is believed to refer to successful methods applied so as to create desired results. For example, in Human Resources, ‘best practices’ are believed to be activities and plans applied to the human resource department so as to improve their motivation and hence increased productivity wish, in turn, is expected to impact positively on the employer’s productivity. Some of these perceived best practices in HR include equal employment opportunities, employee retention, fair compensation and benefits and fair performance management, among others. The question that arises is whether these are best practices since, in most of the cases, most of these ‘perceived’ best practices lead to employee demotivation hence lower profitability. This has led to an increased debate on whether there is such a thing as ‘best practice’ in Human resource.

In most cases, organizations are bombarded with ‘best practice’ models and processes that are most prevalent in HR. An organization is always evolving and applying the same best practice concepts may be something questionable, and this goes for the idea that there is nothing like best practice. Best practice depends on an individual and should vary from one organization to the other. For instance, there is the belief that proper financial benefits make the major part of the ‘best practices’ applied by the human resource department of an organization. However, research shows that not everyone is motivated by money and in such a case, what was perceived to be ‘best practices’ goes to waste. Thus it is imperative for organizations to understand that human resource ‘best practices’ depends on various circumstances and that there is nothing like best practices in human resource. Organizations are tempted to resolve all human resource related issues with ‘best practice’ solution. The problem with this is that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to solving HR related matters does not allow adaptability even if the solution purports to be applying the best of the ‘best practices.’ Application of these perceived ‘best practices’ stifles flexibility and creativity within organizations and focuses much on the wrong things which are believed to de-personalize work and this can be demotivating on the employee side (Armstrong 2012 pp. 121).

A certain ‘best HR practice’ may work well for one organization, but this does not necessarily mean that the same can be effectively applied in another organization. People ought to understand that not every organization can or should try to be Goggle or Microsoft. ‘Best practices’ may still depend on the size and the management of the company, and thus, it is crucial for organizations and businesses to have in mind that there is nothing like ‘best practices’ in human resource (Sisson &Storey 2000 pp. 124). Salary increment may not motivate an employee at Microsoft whereas an employee in a small company may be motivated by the same. The possibility of recognition and promotion NIL an employees at Microsoft is very high and this may not be the case for all organizations. I tend to agree with the statement that there is no such thing as ‘best practice’ in human resource. The basic thing is that there are various human resource practices but ranking them concerning which is better than the other is irrelevant and should vary from one company to another. This means that there are no contemporary ‘best practices’ in the field of human resource. Our organizations should be freed from such restrictions of ‘human resource best practices’ and should not focus on trying to implement these best practices and instead focus on what works for them.

In terms of adaptability, ‘best practices’ are usually described after the fact or after the desired result has occurred. In most cases, what is defined as ‘best practice’ does not necessarily mean that the best practice caused the outcome you want. Instead, these outcomes result from a combination of circumstances such as the starting point, the insight and the understanding of the processes that develop the solution. Organizations should increase their agility in management and leadership instead of focusing on the perceived ‘best practices’ in human resources. The employee is a paramount asset for any organization. Thus top quality human resources managers are required to ensure that they understand the likes and dislikes of the employees and can come up with practices depending on the current situation. Through this, the employees will be motivated at all times rather than following the theoretical basis of ‘best practices.’ (Grugulis&Marchington (2000) asserts that the issue of ‘best practice’ is believed to undermine the agility, responsiveness, creativity and innovation within the human resource department. Human Resource practitioners should think for themselves be allowed to work with flexibility, integrity as well as the intelligence that is required in this profession.

It is unfortunate that most human resource practitioners tend to apply the perceived ‘best practices’ in HR so as to ensure that they come up with an HR culture that is risk-averse and one that protects them from legal repercussions.

The profession of the human resource requires practitioners to think for themselves and come up with their own ‘best practice’ instead of following the contemporary ‘best practices’ that are believed to have succeeded in other organizations (Boxall & Purcell 2003 pp. 142). These practices can only be used for case studies but in real life situations, they may not be applicable and should thus be avoided. HR practitioners who think for themselves can make decisions that deal with specific issues at a time, rather than following human resource practices as applied by other organizations. Human resource practitioners should still have all the HR practices in place but should not necessarily implement them in all situations. Instead, the best practices depend on the situation at hand. This encourages flexibility, innovation and ensures that these human resource practitioners take responsibility for the sensible, practical and effective outcomes that are achieved from the HR practices they apply. From what has been discussed in the paper, it is very clear that I agree with the statement that there is no such thing as ‘best practices’ in Human Resource.


Armstrong M. (2012). Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice, 12 edition. Kogan Page Limited.

Boxall P. & Purcell, J. (2003). Human Resources, Management, and Personnel, Strategy and Human Resource Management, 57 (1).

Grugulis, I. &Marchington M. (2000). ‘Best Practice’ human resource management: perfect opportunity or dangerous illusion? The International Journal of Human Resource Management 11 (6) 909.

Legge, K. (2000). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities. MacMillan Business.

Sisson. K. &Storey, J. (2000). The Realities of Human Resource Management. Open University Press.