Talent leaders can prevent best practices from turning into worst practices by creating and sustaining a positive work environment.
In theory, best practices bring positive results. The intent is to use them to simplify processes, improve quality, save time and provide a consistent framework within which talent can efficiently operate. Organizations create best practices to support employees and help them succeed. However, a 2012 Fierce Inc. survey titled “Workplace Practices: What Role Do They Play in Your Organization?” finds there is often a disconnect between an organization’s well-meaning best practices and their impact on talent.
Of the nearly 800 corporate executives, employees and educators across the finance, health care, retail, aerospace and defense sectors who responded to the survey, 44 percent claim their company’s best practices hinder employee productivity and morale. Forty-seven percent report their organization’s current practices consistently get in the way of achieving results. This means long-accepted best practices are failing to address the issues they were intended to fix and instead escalate problems and limit performance.
Three practices can create and sustain positive, productive work environments, and have the added benefit of giving talent management clear insight into what employees want: corporate transparency, individual autonomy and organizational responsiveness. These three practices are also tools organizations can use to ensure best practices remain relevant and do not devolve into worst practices. Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents identified one or more of these three practices as the top ones that consistently improve their organizations.The Need to Be Clear
According to the Fierce survey, some 50 percent of respondents identified lack of company-wide transparency and too little involvement in company decisions as key areas of concern. Nearly 50 percent selected lack of transparency as the top practice holding their organization back, while 25 percent were concerned that decisions were made behind closed doors or information is only disseminated on a need-to-know basis.
Transparency into how and why decisions are being made is no longer optional in the modern workforce. Because of the last 20 years’ economic roller coaster, including the Enron scandal, the mortgage crisis, even the recent Facebook IPO, lack of transparency and closed-door discussions are increasingly equated with dishonesty, corporate greed and corruption.