So What Is Benchmarking Specifically?

How valuable is benchmarking when it is used for HR strategies and programs? What form should it take? What processes are most likely to make it useful?

Benchmarking is generally defined as a process used by organizations to evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best/common practice. It can assist organizations in thinking about how they might adopt best/common practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance. But how can an HR practitioner determine if what seemed to work in another organization would work well in his/her organization?


The HR strategies and programs adopted will, to a large extent, determine workforce effectiveness. But there are no universally effective HR strategies and programs. What works is what fits the unique context of each organization. Determining good fit to context begins by defining the context:

  • What the organization wishes to accomplish (vision/mission)
  • The culture that prevails
  • Internal and external realities it faces
  • Strategy and structure it adopts

These will define the context the human-resource strategy must function within.

An excerpt from:“Human Resource Management Strategies: Can We Discover What Will Work Through Benchmarking?” to request a copy of the full article by Robert J. Greene, PhD, CCP, CBP, GRP, SPHR, GPH