6 Bad HR Habits You Need to Leave Behind in 2019

4 min read
Jan 24, 2020

New technology. Shifting workplace demographics. Continuous talent shortages. Those pesky Millennials.

These are a few of the forces pushing companies to change the way they think about HR in 2020. 

It’s not enough to stick to the status quo anymore. Let me explain.

Companies need to actively plan and implement HR strategies that boost employee engagement and reduce turnover.


Ready to leave behind stagnation and embrace the employee engagement trends of 2020? Here are 6 bad HR habits to let go of this year (and what to do instead):


1. Short-term thinking

When you’re under pressure to boost your bottom line, it’s tempting to focus on paring down current costs and finding quick, inexpensive solutions to problems.

But implementing temporary fixes without planning for the future isn’t sustainable.

Play the long ball.

Rather than just putting out fires, make sure you account for long-term needs and goals.

In 2020, long-term thinking means:

  • Performing frequent gap analyses and incorporating findings into long-term strategy
  • Forecasting skills that will likely be needed at your organization in the future
  • Cross-training employees so that multiple people can step in to fill a role if necessary
  • Scoping out new technology that can be used to improve efficiency

The right balance of short-term agility and long-term planning is key to helping your organization overcome challenges and continue to evolve.


2. Undervaluing organizational culture

Organizational culture is the foundation for productivity, engagement, and morale at any company, and HR plays a huge role in determining what it looks like.

Because HR is largely responsible for fostering and maintaining company culture, it’s important for the department to align its goals with that of the company overall and ensure that employee expectations are being met.

To learn more about culture and getting to grips with it at your organization, check out our Complete Guide to Culture.


3. Not offering the right perks

By now, most companies understand that a decent PTO policy isn’t enough to attract and retain the best talent — vision and dental insurance, tuition reimbursement, and stock options are becoming more and more common.

But it’s not all about the money. Don’t forget about additional perks like gym memberships, free snacks, catered lunches, games and activities, and employee recognition. They’re key for building a great org culture that incentivizes staff and builds employee loyalty.


4. Enforcing rigid work schedules

If flexible hours can work for your company, leave the strict 9-to-5 schedules in 2019.

Flexible work schedules have numerous benefits for workers that can have a dramatic effect on productivity — employees with flexible schedules tend to get sick less often, experience less burnout, and are happier with their jobs. That means lower turnover and higher morale.

Flexible work arrangements can include work from home days, adjusted work hours (e.g. starting one hour early and leaving one hour early), flexible vacation days, and more.


5. Focusing solely on the workplace

There’s a whole world outside the office door, and employees want to be a part of it. 

For years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been used as a tool for increasing consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty, but as it turns out, it also matters to employees — particularly women and millenials. Employees increasingly want the companies they work for to give them a greater sense of purpose beyond the workplace and make a positive difference in the community. 

A CSR policy should be well-thought out and strongly align with your company culture and values. Activities like a food drive or volunteer days, for example, can help your employees feel a stronger connection to your company’s mission statement, boosting morale and employee loyalty.


6. Neglecting diversity and inclusion

More and more companies are recognizing the need for diverse workplaces, and demand for diversity and inclusion (D&I) professionals is on the rise, particularly at the enterprise level.

For a D&I policy to be successful, HR needs to effectively manage hiring, recruiting, internal promotions, performance reviews, and office culture in a way that supports and protects diversity. 

Related: 3 Highly Effective Templates for Performance Reviews

Make sure your commitment to D&I is more than just lip service by implementing programs and policies that empower and include employees, such as:

  • Mandatory training about workplace harassment, bias, and discrimination
  • Clear lines of communication and opportunities for employees to provide honest, anonymous feedback
  • Flexible PTO for religious/cultural holidays that are not observed company-wide

A diverse and inclusive workplace ensures that employees from all backgrounds feel engaged and psychologically safe. When everyone feels free to speak up, share their ideas, and offer new approaches, that makes for a more positive environment where collaboration and innovation can thrive.



To counteract the above bad habits, here are 6 corresponding good habits for HR strategy to focus on in 2020:

  • Plan for the long-term
  • Improve organizational culture
  • Use perks to boost employee loyalty
  • Implement flexible work arrangements
  • Work on a meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy
  • Prioritize diversity and inclusion

Changing bad HR habits can be difficult, but it’s necessary for creating a positive organizational culture, maintaining morale, attracting talent, and retaining employees. By staying up to date on employee engagement trends and making strategic changes, your HR department can lead your organization to success.

Inform your HR strategy with real employee feedback. Start a free trial of TINYPulse today!

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