06 Apr What Are the Benefits to Human Resources Strategic Planning?
Do you feel frustrated as an HR executive, especially when it comes to developing a strategic plan? As HR management, you have plenty on your plate, yet you may not always get the respect you deserve.
Often, a CEO perceives their HR executive as low on the leadership totem pole. Yet, you look after the single largest item on your company’s budget, its people. What’s more, CEOs rank talent as one of their most consistent and pressing concerns.
It can feel like an uphill battle to implement a fantastic HR strategic plan.
From communication breakdowns to passive management, Human Resources executives encounter many issues when it comes to crafting and implementing a great plan.
Incorporating strategic Human Resources management into your company’s vision is essential. Let’s take a closer look at how to leverage your position to affect positive change and implementation.
Benefits of Strategic HR
Leveraging HR’s unique role is critical to helping the leaders in your organization see that how strategy develops matters as much as the strategy itself.
As you well know, HR boasts the competencies, capabilities, and tools to support an organization when it comes to bringing its strategic plan to life. Yet, making sure that leadership understands this can prove challenging at times.
CEOs and other decision-makers often get so caught up in day-to-day operations and financials that it’s easy for them to lose sight of their company values and vision.
Fortunately, you’re well-positioned to reorient these leaders around your organization’s purpose. You can remind them about the values that drive people’s behaviors and motivations.
You can also play a vital role in modeling organizational values with your team’s actions. This modeling proves helpful when corporate-wide changes need to happen and employees require a sense of direction.
Ultimately, you can play a huge role in reigniting the values and vision upon which your company rests.
Assessing Your Organization’s Current Environment
When it comes to developing a robust strategic Human Resource plan, recognize that the best-laid intentions can get derailed by a dysfunctional culture. Conversely, an effective culture empowers the right strategic vision and plan.
Central to choosing a great plan is thinking carefully about how an organization’s culture supports and aligns with this strategy.
HR is the only function within a corporation that benefits from an organization-wide view on employee effectiveness and performance. Your department is well-positioned to drive conversations about the current culture and how it may need to evolve.
As an HR leader, part of your job is articulating the desired culture in relatable and specific behaviors and examples. In essence, it is your job to articulate and identify the people components of your company’s strategy.
It’s easy for critical aspects of a company’s strategic plan, such as people and talent, to get subsumed by financial goals. Through your leadership, however, you can ensure that factors such as attracting and retaining top talent stay on your company’s radar.
You can also guarantee that developing new core capabilities and enhancing inclusion and diversity are guideposts.
Human Resources can and should have an active role in guaranteeing that talent and people factors get addressed head-on in their company’s organizational strategy.
Developing an HR Strategic Plan
HR leadership should play an active role in supporting a corporation’s strategic plan. What are the steps you should take when crafting an effective strategic HR plan? Start by identifying your organization’s current positioning in the enterprise life-cycle.
Your company may fit into any of the following:
- The start-up phase
- The growth phase
- The mature phase
- The decline phase
After identifying where your company stands now, fill the gaps between its current state and envisioned future. How do you do this? By aligning the objectives outlined by corporate leaders with the HR needs and interests to get there.
Creating a solid strategic HR plan involves five steps. They include:
- Creating Statements of Vision, Mission, and Values
- Anticipating future HR needs
- Assessing your current HR capacity in terms of future needs
- Comparing where you’re at with where you need to be
- Formulating gap strategies
- Implementing, monitoring and evaluating your HR strategic plan
Let’s take a closer look at each critical step in this process.
1. Creating Statements of Vision, Mission, and Values
When it comes to effective Human Resources strategic planning, start with clear statements of your department’s vision, mission, and values.
What should an HR vision statement look like? It should provide an aspirational description of what you want to achieve in the future. As a result, it must guide your department’s actions both now and in the future.
Next, comes the mission statement. This document represents a written declaration of your HR department’s core focus and purpose. This document generally remains unchanged over time.
Last but not least, you need to create a values statement representing the guiding principles and fundamental beliefs for your department. While similar to your mission statement, it won’t change over time. Check out this example of a mission and values statement.
2. Recognizing Future HR Needs
As you familiarize yourself with your company’s strategic plan, have an eye for how it will impact your future HR needs. To anticipate these needs, you’ll need to ask questions such as:
- What type of culture is required to support this productivity?
- What’s the nature of our work?
- What skills will be required to deliver results?
- Where are those skills, and how are we using them?
- How large is our organization?
- What risks are associated with this future vision?
- How are we making certain our employees’ skills match our needs?
- What processes and systems do we need?
By asking these questions, you’ll gain a better overall sense of where you need to make adjustments to fill gaps between this plan and its implementation.
3. Assessing Your Current Strategic HR Capacity in Terms of Future Needs
Next, you’ll want to compare the future HR needs that you’ve outlined in the previous step with the talent from which your company currently draws. With this in mind, helpful questions include:
- How is the company doing against benchmarks?
- Are there legislative requirements the company must consider?
- In terms of the future, what is the company’s current capability?
- Where do potential risks lie?
- What are we already doing well that we need to do more of in the future?
- Which current systems will help and hinder progress moving forward?
- Which HR-related problems could impact the future?
These questions will help you gain a better understanding of how your company is positioned in its current form to respond to changes sought by upper management.
You’ll also be well-positioned to identify where critical recruiting, such as top talent searches, will be needed. That way, you have plenty of lead-time. Find out more about why you should consider working with an executive search firm.
You can then compare the answers to these questions to those in step one to blaze an HR path forward.
4. Comparing Where You’re at with Where You Need to Be
By comparing steps one and two, identify where your company’s greatest strengths and liabilities lie. Always do this within the context of your company’s strategic vision. This method will also allow you to locate significant gaps.
These may be gaps in procedures and policies, resource allocation, or capabilities. No matter where they are, develop a method for filling them.
Knowing where deficiencies and discrepancies lie will help you craft the most efficient strategic Human Resources plan for bringing your department up to speed with a proposed transition.
5. Formulating Gap Strategies
Let’s discuss crafting a plan to bridge any divides between your company’s future vision and current state. You’ll need to consider the following areas as you develop a strategy:
- Job/work design
- Performance management
- Safety and health
- Workforce diversity
- Employee relations
As you move through these areas, acknowledge that not all stop-gap measures will prove of equal importance. Create a list of priorities from most to least pressing. That way, you’ll have a more definite sense of how to move forward.
How will you identify which gaps require the most attention? Here are some questions to consider:
- What is the degree of change needed
- How do these strategies work with the company’s budget?
- Where can we experience rapid progress?
- What are the top priorities?
As you work to create a system where HR can meet the talent needs required to move forward with your company’s strategic plan, factors such as your HR information system need to top the list.
After all, you’ll need the employee progress data for future company goals. It will also provide you with the tools to facilitate long-term strategic growth.
6. Sharing, Implementing, and Monitoring Your Strategic HR Plan
A vital component of your HR strategic plan remains getting senior leadership on board. You must also inspire company employees to get invested in your department’s vision and objectives.
The more your team understands your plan, the more empowered and motivated they’ll feel when it comes to supporting and aiding the process. Here are some tips for building effective relationships within your company.
As your strategic HR plan goes into place, you’ll want to monitor its implementation scrupulously. Throughout the process, communicate modifications and successes to your team.
You’ll also need to monitor progress as your plan’s implementation goes into effect. Review the plan regularly to ensure that you’re still working towards the goals outlined in it. You should also use these opportunities to make adjustments as needed.
Strategic Human Resource Management
The steps outlined above will help you create a comprehensive strategic HR plan you can implement and monitor regularly. You’ll also guarantee this plan remains well aligned with your company’s broader strategic plan.
This approach will help you avoid the five pitfalls that often lead to failed HR strategic plans. Many HR executives report problems with:
- Communication breakdown
- Lack of leadership
- Passive management
- Lack of personal ownership and motivation
How does this approach help your department avoid these issues? It enables you to align your values and vision with that of your company’s senior leadership, and that’s a good thing. After all, HR doesn’t operate on an island.
Your ability to efficiently and effectively communicate your plan to everyone in your company will support the implementation of your efforts. Clear communication is critical to getting buy-in from all company tiers to meet your key objectives.
You’ll also avoid the pitfall of lack of leadership, which can occur when HR departments get understaffed. By implementing a healthy plan and making communication an essential pillar of its implementation, everyone in your department and company will understand their role.
You won’t suffer from the charge that there’s no plan behind your HR strategy. Because you’ve done your due diligence, it will be interconnected with your company’s broader strategic plan.
You’ll also be in a better place to avoid passive management errors by understanding when and how to hold team members accountable. Finally, the process outlined above will ensure that your employees feel empowered to bring this plan to life.
Strategic HR Works
Do you want to ensure adequate Human Resources to meet the strategic objectives and operational plans set forth by your organization? The right talent with the right skills can help you do this.
That’s where we come in. At Scion Staffing, we build successful teams one match at a time. Contact us so that we can leverage our award-winning staffing agency and executive search capabilities to help you realize your HR strategic plan.