Best practices are the methods that are accepted as better or superior to other available methods for solving any issues or problems, and that is why they have become a standard way of doing associated activities. Best practices come into play for maintaining quality as an alternative to the mandatory legislated standards, as these practices are based on self-assessment or benchmarking.
Best practices may be a feature of accredited management standards like ISO 14001 or ISO 9000. Best practices are established methods or procedures followed by governing bodies or a company’s management team, which result in optimal outcomes. These are the standard courses of action used by a plethora of industries to deal with problems.
In the business arena, companies use these guidelines to lay down a path that would help them do business and tackle issues that arise along the way. Furthermore, best practices help in streamlining a system where the employees feel motivated to perform efficiently.
Understanding Best Practices
Best practices are defined as a set of guidelines, ideas, or ethics that are used to representing the most efficient, effective, and prudent course of action for accomplishing a goal or objective. A best practice is generally set forth by a governing body, authority, or management based upon the given circumstances.
They can apply these guidelines by balancing their unique qualities to ensure that all the problems are solved in the best way. The framework can also include safety measures that would bring down the rate of employee injuries. Accountants may adhere to the generally accepted accounting principles as best practices, and even an investment manager may stick to the best practices while handling the client’s money.
How to Develop Best Practices?
Have a look at a few steps that can be taken to develop best practices:
1. Do the Research
Probe into what other companies incorporate in their best practices related to hiring, promotion, production, etc.
2. Communicate the Information
After finding out the best practices, the optimal thing to do is to share them with all the essential individuals in the organization for a level-set.
3. Set the Metrics
Define the metrics to fathom the best practices to keep track of the progress when they are met.
4. Accept the Change
It is a well-known observation that employees in an organization are always hesitant to accept any change. The critical thing to do in such a scenario is to develop a strategy that would motivate the employees to embrace the change and forge ahead with flexibility.
5. Modify the Best Practices According to the Business
The best practices must be customized in such a way so that they are in keeping with the organization’s unique qualities because that would help in achieving the goals more smoothly and efficiently.
6. Include Everybody
Everyone in the organization must be completely aware of the best practices, and efforts should be made to ensure that they are on board.
7. Always Seek Guidance
The best practices should never be too rigid. Organizations must align business with customer needs for refining and implementing the framework in a much better manner.
8. Analyze to Refine
It is highly fundamental that the organizations keep a check on their best practices and refine them as the business evolves.
Best Practices for Business Management
Follow these eight best practices to remove unnecessary hurdles and manage the business properly:
1. Encourage participation
Managers need to figure out a way to make the workers realize the company’s objective to work together to achieve it. Bring all the left-out workers in the mainstream as this would improve their performance.
2. Recognize and Reward
Managers need to recognize and appreciate the employees’ efforts more often than not. This instills a sense of loyalty and motivates the employees to achieve more.
3. Embrace Vulnerability
It is crucial to know the employees to encourage participation. Vulnerability is required to speak up and put the ideas on the table; else, it gets difficult to build trust among the team members.
4. Commit to the Team’s Initiative
Lack of commitment is the root cause of all the poor decisions. To do away with the vagueness in decisions, the team members should realize that conflict is healthy and welcoming.
5. Ensure Clarity
6. Create an Environment to Promote Cultural Cohesiveness
Another best practice is to create an environment of shared values with the right level of engagement to ensure the best results. Any diversity in values can be damaging for the company.
7. Focus on Team Effort
Managers need to focus on the team dynamics to ensure that the team members remain focused. The key to achieving the best outcome is constant revaluation and realignment of team goals.
8. Conduct Regular Meetings
No organization can function without holding regular meetings. According to Lencioni, successful management holds separate meetings for strategic business planning; assesses the tactical agenda once the team reviews the progress; ensures proper allocation of time for clarification, debate, and resolution of critical issues; and holds quarterly meetings for analyzing the industry, the company, and the team.
Examples of Best Practices
Two of the common examples of best practices are
1. Just in Time
Just in time (JIT) is considered a best practice that is used for focusing on inventory for aligning the raw material orders from suppliers to the schedule of the production.
The goal of Just in Time practice is the optimize efficiency and reduce waste by just receiving materials when needed. The best practice is effective in reducing the inventory cost, as it helps businesses in forecasting the demand for their goods accurately for ensuring there is no shortage/oversupply.
Kaizen is a best practice that is a Japanese management philosophy used for improving productivity in a gradual and methodological manner. The meaning of this Japanese word is “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.”
This practice suggests the involvement of all the employees to improve operations continuously. It talks about a workplace that is efficient and effective by building a team atmosphere, making sure employees are engaged, improving everyday procedures, and seeking to make jobs more fulfilling, less tiring, and safer.
Best practices are a framework of ethics used in the business world to carry out the tasks, such as managing a project or auditing functions, effectively and efficiently. There are consulting firms that provide a straitjacket template for carrying out standard business processes.
The best practices can be used as industry benchmarks, and if companies want, they can share or communicate their best practices to other organizations.
How important do you consider these best practices in optimizing the chances of getting favorable outcomes?