Employers Resource

8 HR Best Practices to Build an Engaged Workforce in 2024

The workplace is undergoing sweeping transformations. Are your HR best practices reflecting the demands of this new reality?

After the Pandemic, remote work models and virtual tools became part of our daily lives. Mental health and well-being are now (finally) in the spotlight. On top of that, the ‘great resignation’ shows that employees expect more in terms of compensation, benefits, and flexibility to accommodate family demands.

As the calendar turns towards the new year, it’s time for HR professionals to redefine and adapt their strategies. Attracting top talent is a priority, but keeping employees satisfied and avoiding turnover is an even bigger challenge.

Feeling a bit lost? Here’s a guide to the 8 HR best practices to build an engaged workforce.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding HR Best Practices

HR best practices are the bedrock of HR strategy. They serve as a guiding compass for HR professionals, shaping strategic decisions, defining what the main priorities are, and helping them build a thriving work environment.

However, best practices are not static; they evolve at the pace of a dynamic workplace. As the workplace evolves, so must our strategies.

Are you ready to learn about them? Let’s go!

8 HR Best Practices for 2024

1. Hire the Right People

A solid recruiting process is a priority for any HR team. As we delve into this new year, it becomes important not only to hire skilled, qualified talent but also to find employees that resonate with your company’s core values and culture.

At the same time, job seekers are seeing organizations with a new lens, prioritizing positive work environments that match their work style and ethics.

So, how can you find the right people?

  • Promote your company culture in job ads. When advertising for new positions, infuse your ads with the essence of your company’s values and culture. Share your approach on topics like collaboration, work-life balance, leadership, and career development.
  • Ask questions to assess cultural fit. During the interview process, ask candidates to describe their ideal work environment, identify if they prefer to work alone or in a team, and ask them how they like to communicate with coworkers.
  • Focus on diversity, not homogeneity. Prioritize people who can enrich the current team and make positive contributions to your organization. Cultural fit shouldn’t be about hiring people with the same background but allowing for different perspectives and experiences.

2. Provide Stellar Onboarding Experiences

First impressions matter. An effective onboarding process ensures a harmonious journey for new employees and can have a significant impact on productivity and long-term satisfaction.

Research suggests that 51% of employees say they’d go ‘above and beyond’ in a new role if they were given a good induction and onboarding.

For a standout onboarding program:

  • Design customized e-learning programs. Allow new employees to learn at their own pace and acquire the skills and resources they need to thrive.
  • Plan for the long term. Arrange informal meetings with managers to discuss personal development goals.
  • Assign peers to mentor new hires. Take the stress out of your new employees’ first weeks and make them feel supported.

3. Offer Continuous Skills Development

In the competitive landscape of talent acquisition, the quality of your training programs is key to attracting and retaining top-tier talent.

Top-performing employees value companies that allow them to advance on their career paths and offer frequent training opportunities to develop new skills.

Here’s how you can stay ahead of the curve and contribute to unlocking your employees’ full potential:

  • Contemplate different learning styles and needs. Provide an array of options, from engaging e-learning courses and live webinars to face-to-face mentorship programs.
  • Embrace soft skills. Incorporate training on communication, empathetic leadership, and problem-solving into your development initiatives.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning by regularly assessing and addressing the evolving skill needs of your workforce.

4. Build a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Nowadays, an inclusive workplace isn’t just good HR practice; it’s a daily commitment that defines the fabric of your organization.

To cultivate inclusivity and diversity:

  • Promote collaboration among diverse teams. Encourage employees to share their unique experiences, knowledge, skills, and points of view, and learn from each other.
  • Review hiring practices to eliminate biases. Ensure fair recruiting processes by implementing blind recruitment techniques and focusing on skills.
  • Offer multiple channels for feedback, creating an open dialogue that empowers employees to express their opinions comfortably.

5. Improve your Employee Feedback Strategy

Providing constructive feedback to your employees is vital for creating a thriving workplace.

When done properly, employee feedback cultivates a culture of continuous improvement, enhances individual performance, and fosters a positive and collaborative work environment.

According to Gallup, frequent and meaningful feedback has a direct impact on performance and makes employees more engaged and motivated to do outstanding work.

If you are redefining your approach to employee feedback, consider this:

  • Integrate 360-degree feedback mechanisms. Incorporate multiple perspectives from supervisors, coworkers, and even customers to provide a comprehensive, unbiased evaluation.
  • Recognize and reward employee contributions. Contemplate different ways of showing appreciation to your employees, from an extra day off to a gift card.
  • Don’t limit feedback to annual reviews. Promote a culture where feedback is constantly exchanged and seen as an empowering tool.

6. Align Benefits with Employee Priorities

Your employee benefits package plays a critical role in attracting and retaining talent. In the context of inflation, rising healthcare costs, and economic uncertainty, this becomes even more decisive.

A recent study shows that 53% of employees would consider accepting a job offer with lower pay but a more robust benefit package.

Are you offering the benefits that your employees really need? The same study evidences a gap between employees’ perception of benefits and how employers feel about them.

A few things to keep in mind If you are planning to make changes to your benefit structure:

  • Listen to your employees. Engage in regular surveys or thoughtful focus group sessions to glean insights into the evolving needs and desires of your workforce, ensuring that your benefits packages resonate deeply with their expectations.
  • Diversify your benefits offerings to encompass different preferences, ranging from conventional choices like health insurance to flexible options such as remote work policies.
  • Address the demands of family care. Offer family-focused benefits, such as on-site childcare or nursing services.

7. Craft Solid Work-from-Home Policies

Flexible work models require well-defined policies to support remote and hybrid work effectively. These arrangements enable better work-life balance and ease the challenges associated with childcare responsibilities for parents.

To craft policies that resonate with your employees:

  • Clearly define working hours and communication expectations. Establish transparent expectations regarding working hours and communication protocols. Clarity on availability and communication channels is crucial for remote and hybrid teams.
  • Set up security protocols. Safeguard sensitive information by implementing robust security protocols, especially for remote workers handling critical data. Create private networks for tasks involving sensitive information.
  • When remote work isn’t feasible, establishing more predictable and consistent schedules, communicated well in advance, can be a responsive approach to address employee needs.

8. Stay Compliant with Regulations

Staying compliant is one of the most challenging responsibilities of HR teams. Workers’ compensation claims can cost you a lot of money and hurt your business reputation.

Stay ahead of regulatory changes by:

  • Using HR compliance management software. Harness the power of technology to streamline compliance. HR compliance management software simplifies document collection, provides updates on regulatory changes, and ensures adherence to local laws and regulations.
  • Partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Mitigate the complexities of compliance by partnering with a PEO. We have an in-depth understanding of federal and state compliance and rich experience across all 50 states to help you.

How Can Employers Resource Help Your Company?

As we embark on the challenges and opportunities of a new year, these HR best practices aren’t just guidelines; they are the essence of your daily decisions.

By embracing and implementing these HR best practices, you aren’t merely navigating the complexities of the modern workplace; you’re actively shaping the future of your organization.

At Employers Resource, we understand the unique needs of growing businesses. Our comprehensive administrative HR solution, spanning payroll and tax services, compliance, and employee benefits, is tailored to empower your company and help you focus on what you do best.

Contact us to explore how we can align your business to HR best practices now!

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