The value of a human resources strategy

A strategic plan provides the foundation and direction for your organization, sets priorities, and outlines clear actions for achieving them. Similarly, a human resources strategy – which, ideally, directly aligns with the overall strategic plan – underpins your people practices and provides an HR action plan. Without either of these in place, employers and leaders are much more likely to be reactive, as opposed to focusing on the priorities that support and align people with organizational success.

In a recent post, we talked about the importance of culture and the ‘why’ of your organization. We also outlined how we view HR through the three lenses of culture, protection, and productivity. While culture (starting with organizational identity, which includes the strategic plan) is the foundation on which all else is built, all three are crucial and, ideally, form the basis of your HR strategy.

Start by assessing where your HR practices are now

Whether you assess your HR practices on your own or engage an HR Consultant to do so, we recommend starting with a review of your current policies, procedures, practices, supporting documents, and overall HR infrastructure (e.g., recruiting, onboarding, performance management). To get a broad perspective on how well these areas are (or are not) working for your organization, you may also want to solicit input from your employees.

This allows you to get clear on where your HR infrastructure is currently, where you need to be, and what gaps exist in getting you from A to B. From there, you can develop the priorities and associated timelines that form your HR strategy.

Our HR dashboard forms the basis for HR strategy

When we conduct strategic HR assessments on behalf of our clients, we focus on culture, protection, and productivity, and the associated 17 key responsibility areas of human resources. We formulate our findings (based on objective review as well as input from leaders and, ideally, employees) into an easy-to-refer-to dashboard, which includes outcomes from the review and addresses the most critical recommended next steps.

This dashboard ultimately forms the basis for HR strategy and can be used to manage human resources priorities now and into the future. A key feature is a clear outline of urgency level and prioritization for undertaking associated projects and initiatives.

Though there are varying ways to go about developing an HR strategy, it’s important for leaders to understand how crucial it is to the organization’s strategy overall. Without it (and the steps you take in developing it), you risk missing key elements that foster employee engagement, productivity, success, and retention.

Our HR Consultants can help you develop a solid and effective HR strategy.