Say Goodbye to These 20 HR Standards

Change is here; big time change. You all know it and feel it every day. The pace and type of change that is upon us affects everything we do, as people and employees.

For human resources (HR) departments and employees, the way we approach our work and daily activities is different and will continue to evolve quickly.

I look forward to it. Just as my personal life has changed in a good way with technology, for the most part — except for the constant urge to text — I look forward to exciting new ways to get things done during my working hours. I want a new employee experience, and fortunately, I am getting one with my employer. Here is what I am noticing in the HR marketplace with the organizations I work with.

Being in the HR profession for over 25 years, I have a way of doing things. It’s called tradition, right? “We’ve always done it that way” kind of thing. Well I’m finally ready to let go, and here are 20 things I’m ready to be free of. I am seeing many of my colleagues at progressive and successful organizations do this as well. Get ready as my guess is you’ll be letting go of many of these things too, very soon, if not already.

Recruiting, Onboarding

  • Goodbye to resumes as we knew them and hello to using social media profiles to get hired.
  • Goodbye to orientation forms and company tours on day one of employment and hello to avatars to help with benefits and tax forms, introductions to buddies at work even before employment starts and tours of facilities through wearables.

Performance Management

  • Goodbye to giving 3.5 (not a 3 but not quite a 4, sound familiar?) performance ratings, and ratings in general, and hello to strategic calibration, talent pools and continuous development discussions.
  • Goodbye to once a year performance reviews and hello to ongoing monthly conversations.


  • Goodbye to classes and “smiley face” evaluations and hello to gamification and real-life applications of learning.
  • Goodbye to fixed year-long learning curricula and hello to more just-in-time training.


  • Goodbye to the 9-box model and hello to talent pools.
  • Goodbye to high potential labels and hello to competence based critical business resources (such as employees who are both high performing and agile).

Total Rewards and Compensation

  • Goodbye to employees accepting pay raises with no explanations (other than “HR told me I had to do this”) and hello to providing feedback and coaching all year long minimizing pay surprises at year-end.
  • Goodbye to old school benefits like healthy food in the cafeteria and memberships at health clubs (they become the norm not a benefit) and hello to well-being.

Core HR

  • Goodbye to “spreadsheet central” and weeks to get just okay reports and hello to one centralized source of data with just-in-time global reporting and accurate data.
  • Goodbye to calling HR for everything and hello to more and more self-service (think Uber, Airbnb, online banking, Open Table and Amazon).


  • Goodbye to long engagement surveys and hello to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to engage, retain and motivate employees.
  • Goodbye to program measurements such as effectiveness of compensation or career management and hello to measuring the overall employee experience (with programs embedded in this measurement).


  • Goodbye to secrecy and “because we want to do it that way” philosophies and hello to millennials, GDPR and transparency.
  • Goodbye to PMOs, project management as we knew it and “rollouts” and hello to iteration.


  • Goodbye to the balanced scorecard quadrants (customers, financials, operations and people) and hello to one integrated dashboard with interdependencies of the four woven in.
  • Goodbye to solving today’s problems as fire drills and hello to predictive analytics to solve tomorrow’s problems before tomorrow.

Your Turn

I promised you 20 HR standards to say goodbye to, but only provided 18. You pick the other two.

So long old HR processes. I look forward to ushering in new, simple, flexible, business-driven approaches to HR that make the employee experience awesome and businesses super successful. It’s all good. Remember when we shook our heads in disbelief at paying for bottled water, an upscale cup of coffee, our smartphone, or 700 channels on television? Well look at us now. It is HR’s time to go forward, full speed ahead. Let’s do this!

Final Recommendations

  • Use social media often, predictive analytics and AI when you can, well-being programs like never before, self service as a routine norm, and iterate iterate iterate.
  • Learn about GDPR and from millennials and Gen Z.
  • Be agile and stay practical, real and open minded.

Greg Selke is vice president and HR thought leadership executive at SAP SuccessFactors.