HR Around the World – Which Countries do it Best?

Person Building City

Author: Dean Hunter

Published: 4th May 2018

We should always be looking to improve our HR practices, from within our own company or on a wider scale as a British society. With this in mind it’s a good idea to have an outward gaze as well as an inward gaze, to research what’s working in other countries and see which nations have cutting edge HR practices we could adopt.

Management styles and the adoption of technology differ across the globe, sometimes due to cultural traditions and beliefs. For example, in the Middle East and Asia, learning and mentoring is highly regarded because the importance of teaching is culturally embedded. Therefore managers prioritise learning above anything else, ensuring staff are well trained, and mentors are commonplace.

Best Places to Work

You could argue that a country where employees are most satisfied, is the country which triumphs in HR. According to the minimum wage, average hours worked per week and benefits such as holiday pay, the best places to live and work are Luxembourg, Switzerland, Australia and the US. However, although the average income in Switzerland is relatively high at $58,389, it’s worth noting that there is no set minimum wage and a low unemployment rate.

However, with workplace demands changing so rapidly, we need to look at other factors to determine which countries are taking the lead in HR.

Global Engagement

An effective way to measure job satisfaction is to look at employee engagement in different countries. Engagement is a reflection of HR practices as it embodies company culture and engaged, happy employees are likely to be loyal advocates for the business. AON Hewitt’s 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement research allows us to directly compare engagement rates in organisations around the world – and the findings are surprising.

When comparing continents, Europe has the worst engagement rate at 58%. Latin America and Africa were the only two global regions to improve their engagement rates last year. In terms of engagement, we need to be taking the lead from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam and Canada who are achieving the highest engagement rates. Canadian employee perceptions of reward & recognition, career opportunities and employee value proposition are all increasing.

Finding out what your employees value can help improve your overall engagement. You don’t have to throw money at engagement to be successful – if you offer visible career paths and focus on creating a supportive company culture, engagement will automatically increase.

What do you think – where does the UK stand in terms of HR development and optimisation?