Global Best Practices in the Work Place

Global Best Practices contribute to providing best practices and benchmarking capabilities which when applied in organisations would increase efficiency, improve productivity and achieve operational excellence. Such practices are considered to be very effective, like reward system and employee relations e.g.work/life balance, flexible work patterns, equal employment opportunities policies and direct participation of employees as well as the feedback of employee survey results etc.

It is argued that best practice lacks conceptual clarity; for example, it may be best practice because:

–          The independent evaluators say it is so.

–          There is a claim of proof that it is best practice and it leads to improved outcomes.

–          Organisations know it is feasible to implement etc.

Also, there is the challenge of how to localise global best practice because of the complexities of the local context.

These arguments notwithstanding, one of the reasons best practice is encouraged is because it helps to identify the best ways of doing things. For example, when organisations inculcate best practice in the workplace, it helps to build the morale and productivity of the employees which ultimately benefits the organisation.

A major area that may impair employees’ wellbeing is work pressure and this can be linked to the organisational ethical climate. When organisations emphasize efficiency, profit making and the associated incentives, it suggests to the employees that the only goal is profit maximization and they will act accordingly and ethical concerns might be discarded. Non performance has ripple effects; a poor appraisal feedback which would eventually affect promotion and may  also lead to job loss. Often, management tend to overlook unethical behaviour as long as it yields positive results until when things go wrong. In many studies, researchers have consistently shown that a large number of employees feel pressured to behave unethically or have actually engaged in unethical or sometimes illegal activities to meet business objectives. Leaders shape organisational culture hence, they encourage and promote unethical behaviour when they mount performance pressures on employees.

In a positive work environment, the general well being of employees would be an organisation’s priority. When this is the case, employers would consider the family responsibilities of staff and consider the possibility of implementing flexible work practices; annual leave is an employee’s right and not a privilege, child care is provided, married females’ employees’ maternity rights are not unrealistically capped, employees are not unduly pressurised to meet business objectives etc.

According to Great Place to Work, “a total of 100 companies in Nigeria will get award for attaining some measure of best practice in the work place through managerial approach to employees however; the awardees are yet to be known”.

Wondering how much of employee relations global best practices are adopted by Nigerian banks? Can’t wait till the list is published!

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