Five Innovative HR Practices


Companies worldwide are competing to hire and retain top talent they can find. While they have their plates already full of keeping up with latest changes in the market, they also need to create and implement creative HR practices, or they risk being left in the dust by the competition. From recruiting new employees successfully, onboarding them, provide training and to finally orienting to the office work environment; there are numerous scopes of improvement of the HR practices.


Furthermore, a 9 to 5 schedule with 30 days off a year and a corner desk were once considered perks to a job, creating satisfaction and loyalty: but not necessarily anymore. Today, especially with Millennials transforming the workplace, new employees look for a sort of work/life integration and a greater sense of fulfillment from their jobs. The foundations of the nature of work have transformed, and HR professionals should adapt themselves to the progressive environment; or risk losing out great talent which otherwise can be retained.

So let’s take a look at some of the most innovative HR practices companies around the world has implemented. These examples may not necessarily be adaptable to the conditions in the UAE, but can be referred to merely as inspirations.


1.    Pay to Quit

This is more of a test of commitment and dedication. When it comes to recruitment and termination, there seems to be an unwritten rule in most companies, i.e., hire quickly and fire slowly. But the online shoe retailer, Zappos, believe that most harm comes from the time of hiring itself, i.e., hiring needs to be done carefully and deliberately. Based on this philosophy, they came up with a unique idea. During the training of a new employee, Zappos offers to pay them for any time spent training, in addition to a month’s salary, in case they quit at the end of the training period. This might sound counter-productive but it actually paid off in their favor. Only a small percentage of the newbies take the offer, but the committed employees stay and continue to provide the exceptional customer service that the company is famous for.


2.    Mentorship Programs to Engage Youngsters

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, millennials who planned stay 5+ years at the same company were likely to have a mentor who they have been shadowing since day 1. This study confirmed a long-understood principle that an employee’s loyalty to the company is massively influenced by the managers’ involvement in their training and development. According to PWC, millennials comprised half the global workforce in 2020.


3.    Welcome New Hires with High-Fives

According to a study in the Academy of Management Journal, new recruits are more productive when they welcomed with positivity and support by the other employees in the company. And this support has to be showered over them proactively. One way of doing this is by organizing a high-five lane for the new employee on their first day where everyone greets and welcomes them. This creates a euphoric atmosphere. Another study by the UC Berkeley which examined the NBA games over a period of 8 months showed that high-fives actually played a part in helping teams win.


4.    Company-Sponsored Personal Development Programs

A classic remuneration package looked like this – Salary, Bonus, Free Transportation and Health Insurance. But changes are happening in this regard too as modern companies are developing new, creative ways of attracting and keeping top talent. For example, promoting health and well-being of the employees by offering a great work-life balance and stress reducing activities such as free company gym sessions, flexibility in work schedules and time offs.


5.    Keep things interesting by Re-imagining the standard workspaces

It is easily forgotten that millennials were in college or university only few years ago and they are skilled in pretending to be engaged. So, placing them on a desk for an entire workday, providing classroom style training and asking them to attend long-drawn out meetings may be counter-productive. And the worst part is you, the employer, may not realize it until they hand in their resignation. An alternate idea is getting rid of fixed workstations and private offices. Instead let employees work together undivided by cubicles. Encourage physical connectivity and collaborations. This will increase their efficiency and productivity rapidly.