The HR Bandwagon: Kick Those Outdated Processes to the Curb!

The HR Bandwagon: Kick Those Outdated Processes to the Curb!

HR wants to jump on the D word (Disruption) bandwagon, so, before we disrupt everyone else’s world any further, how about a list of HR processes could stand to be given the old heave-ho?

“Best Practice”

Based on a host of definitions, I’ve distilled “Best Practice” down to “a set of procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.”

Trust me, if it’s legal, compliant and it works, then it’s the best practice. Somehow, we seem to have the idea there’s a great template-in-the-sky for everything we do. News flash: there isn’t. What works for one organisation doesn’t necessarily work for another, even though they are in the same industry or sector.

Which brings us neatly to the second item:


How often do I see in LinkedIn posts or on other forums: “can anyone let me have a best practice template for a (for example) Diversity policy?”


It’s sheer laziness, or incompetence, and furthermore, the offered template will not reflect the culture or even the business model of the organisation on which it’s going to be imposed. Write your own.


It all sounds so scientific, and we can run to the Board and explain that everyone’s leaving because we pay below the industry average. This is what happened in IT before the great bust of Millennium Bug 2000 and beyond. For all you know, your industry peers are going to the wall, or they’re in even worse shape than you are. Do your own research on what your best hiring times are, what locations have problems with recruiting or retaining, where salary resistance is encountered and at what levels. It’s all there in your HR system data, just learn to use it.

“Job Descriptions”

Oh, come on now. If you’re still producing those 8 page prescriptive documents, you deserve to be disrupted, especially if you claim your organisational culture is about trust and empowerment. How about this for a Payroll Manager job description:

“You will ensure that all employees are paid on time, every time, as cost-effectively as possible, in a totally risk-free and compliant manner.”

Something like that, which then opens the way for your manager to manage using their initiative.

“Holiday Request”

Ah, that anachronism from cave-dwelling times, the Holiday Request. I despair, really. Here you are, postulating a culture of  Trust and Empowerment, and then making them jump through some hoop to get what they are entitled to. If you can’t trust your people to ensure that they don’t clash dates and leave you without specific cover, then you have the wrong people, or you’re not managing them. You can even set up your HR system to block any date conflicts. The only thing you’ll have to adjudicate on is that parents don’t bag all the good dates (which they do!).

So, there you have it, a little disruption for you to ponder; more comfort zones to eliminate. Enjoy!

In this exciting era of innovation, there’s still a few things in HR that need to be changed – or eliminated.

We all want to be innovative. Yet, there are factors..

Don’t’ Be Average.

Templates, Benchmarking, Best Practice, Job Descriptions and Holiday Requests…. (oh my!).

We’ve all seen it, and maybe even done it; a new (and usually incomplete) piece of legislation looms and we haven’t read up on it. Rather than fail, yet again, to have a policy in place from Day One, we run to social media to ask if anyone has a ready-made one.

You are now proposing to commit your organisation to a policy that, although presumably compliant, has no relation to the culture or operation of said entity.

Get off the bandwagon.


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I am a consultant specializing in the selection of HR & payroll software for a range of clients in many sectors in various countries, primarily UK, Europe and the USA. I came into HR for a background in Finance, and this analytical training has stood me in good stead. A few years after, I was asked to computerize the payroll, which was manual at the time, which, having successfully been accomplished, the next step was to find an HR system for the personnel records. The rest is history, as ever since then people have asked me to do things because I “knew about that stuff” and the whole arena of HR & payroll systems was an area of considerable trepidation for HR & payroll professionals, and Information Technology had very much occupied that space by default at the time. My philosophy has always been to act as an enabler with clients, lighting the way for them to arrive at the most suitable conclusions; that way, the client has ownership, and the knowledge stays with them rather than passing through the door after the project. After co-founding the niche HRmeansbusiness consultancy in 2000, I went on to build and launch the HRcomparison website (for comparison of HR, Payroll and Time & Attendance software), that was the first of its kind in the UK and currently features over 60 vendors. Currently I am working on a series of webinars and seminars for 2015 on HRIS topics and a book is already under way. Sharing Our Expertise and Making Worldwide Connections


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