High Performance Work Practices are those HR practices that encourage commitment to the organisation through a high level of employee empowerment, engagement and productivity. They are usually developed within High Performance Work Organisations that are typically flatter in structure; with a higher focus on team autonomy based on high levels of trust and communication. Practices relating to employee development and training, participation and empowerment, information sharing, and compensation systems are often combined to create HPWPs that synergise to create a company culture promoting higher engagement and productivity, along with higher organisational commitment levels and lower employee turnover rates.
These practices fall into three distinct categories:
- High involvement practices that aim to create opportunities for engagement (eg semi-autonomous teams, problem-solving teams, continuous-improvement teams, responsibility for own work quality, job rotation within and/or between teams, team briefings, staff suggestion schemes, attitude surveys)
- Human resource practices to build skill levels, motivation and ability (eg formal recruitment interviews, performance or competency tests, psychometric tests, share ownership schemes, personal development plans, training, competence- based pay, team rewards, incentive pay)
- Employee relations practices that help build trust, loyalty and identity with the organisation (eg formal grievance procedures, formal salary reviews, social gatherings).
So what are some HPWPs you can implement in your organisation today?
Here are 14 key HPWPs associated with high productivity and high commitment levels:
-Realistic job previews
-Use of psychometric tests for selection
-Well developed induction training
-Provision of extensive training for experienced employees Regular appraisals
-Regular multi-source feedback on performance
-Individual performance-related pay
-Profit related bonuses
-Flexible job descriptions
-Presence of work-improvement teams
-Presence of problem-solving groups
-Information provided on the business plan
-Information provided on the firm’s performance targets
-Harmonised holiday entitlement
Previous studies suggest positive improvements to organisational performance with the implementation of high performance work practices; with case studies reporting higher rates of productivity and growth, as well as profitability. Implement some of these practices now and build upon them incrementally to improve your firm’s performance.