How ISO’s HR Standards Can Improve Your Workplace

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops and publishes standards focused on relevant, topical issues of importance to address market needs. Since 1946, ISO standards have evolved alongside the way work is conducted across the globe. The ISO describes these standards “as a formula that describes the best way of doing something.” 

You may not have heard of the International Organization of Standards until now, but the global impact of ISO standards is profound: from food and technology to how companies conduct business, ISO standards have a far-reaching impact on the world’s major industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, information technology, and energy, and provide organizations with global credibility, operational efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, sustainable practices, and risk management, as a start.

Leading an organization is a challenge, and one critical resource that determines the success or failure of an organization is its people. Therefore, in 2011, ISO established Technical Committee (TC) 260 to begin developing Human Resource (HR) standards to effectively and efficiently manage this vital business function. ISO TC 260 guides organizations on Human Resource Management functions, processes, and practices to produce sustainable value creation for internal and external stakeholders, as well as continued organizational success.

The core benefit of utilizing the ISO TC 260 body of standards is the optimization of organizational performance, improved value creation, sustainable development, and higher levels of workforce productivity, satisfaction, and engagement.

Benefits of ISO Human Resources Standards

ISO HR standards harmonize internal practices with organizational goals, guiding human behavior within the organization. They provide opportunities to adapt and adopt practices to increase efficiency and return value to the organization. Leaders can analyze, learn from, and objectively compare practices with other organizations across national boundaries and industry sectors. This promotes policy awareness among all stakeholders, supplying additional support for HR practices. 

  1. Improved HR management: By following ISO HR standards, organizations can improve HR management processes and outcomes, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness. For example, an organization that adopts ISO 30414:2018 Human Capital Reporting can improve its reporting on human capital metrics, such as employee turnover and engagement, which can help pinpoint areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
  2. Compliance with regulatory requirements: ISO HR standards help organizations comply with regulatory requirements, such as the recent SEC ruling on Human Capital Management Disclosures. An organization that adopts ISO 30414:2018 Human Capital Reporting can help ensure it is meeting the requirements of the SEC ruling and avoid potential penalties.
  3. Increased employee engagement: By following ISO HR standards, organizations can create a culture of engagement and involvement, leading to increased employee satisfaction and performance. For example, an organization that adopts ISO 30415:2021 Diversity and Inclusion can create a more inclusive workplace that values diversity and promotes employee engagement.
  4. Improved collaboration and knowledge sharing: ISO HR standards can help organizations to collaborate and share knowledge with other organizations, leading to better practices and outcomes across the industry. An organization that adopts ISO HR standards can participate in industry-wide initiatives and share best practices with other organizations, leading to improved outcomes for all.

ISO Human Resources Standards in Practice

To fully realize the benefits of ISO HR standards, organizations should consider the following recommendations:

  • Conduct a gap analysis
  • Develop an implementation plan
  • Train employees
  • Monitor, evaluate, and continuously improve

ISO HR standards are important for organizations because they provide a framework for achieving excellence in HR management. ISO HR standards help organizations improve processes, reduce costs, and demonstrate their commitment to employees and stakeholders. By implementing ISO HR standards, organizations can optimize their organizational performance, improve value creation, and achieve sustainable development—not just for the workplaces of today, but for the workplaces of tomorrow.

This blog post provided by member Steve Winicki, Managing Director, Human Resource Standards Institute.