Develop a Strong HR Strategy with These 5 Tactics

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HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Being aware of HR strategy best practices can help you deliver results by reaching high standards in human capital management.

Article 4 Minutes

It's often said that a company's most important asset is its workforce, so it follows that every organization has something to gain from a carefully planned, relevant and effective HR strategy.

Finding the right HR strategy can help you to:

  • Ensure your people are prepared and equipped to help the business achieve its wider goals
  • Understand your workforce and how it might need to change to support growth
  • Prepare for staff turnover and future hiring needs

Here are some of the most useful steps you can take to ensure your HR strategy delivers results:

1. Align with business strategy

Your HR strategy can't exist in isolation; it must be clearly connected to the company's wider plans and objectives to ensure it's providing value and contributing to success.

Therefore, it's vital to have a clear understanding of the firm's current outlook and ambitions before starting to work on your HR strategy.

You should also ensure you have a firm grasp of the current challenges facing the organization and your industry as a whole. This will help you plan your hiring and general workforce management with maximum confidence that your decisions will put the business in a stronger position to overcome obstacles to success.

If, for example, one of the company's current focuses is digital transformation and being ready for technological change, this should be clearly reflected in your HR strategy, particularly with regards to talent acquisition and skills development.

2. Assess your workforce

A clear picture of your workforce as it currently stands is essential if you want your HR strategy to deliver improvements in terms of the effectiveness and reliability of your human capital.

Conducting a thorough workforce assessment can improve your understanding of:

  • Employees' current strengths, knowledge, and skills
  • Where there are skills gaps that need to be filled
  • Spare capacity in the workforce and how it could be used

There are various steps you can take to build a more comprehensive, in-depth picture of your labor force and how it could be optimized.

People analytics can yield valuable results by giving you insights into staff performance, productivity, and wellbeing, which can also help you make well-informed predictions about future trends and challenges.

3. Communicate and collaborate

Like many business functions, HR strategy works best when it's based on an open, collaborative approach that invites input from various departments and stakeholders.

One of your immediate priorities should be to ensure that decision-makers at management and executive level are given some involvement in the creation of the strategy and kept up to date with its development. This will make it much easier to gain senior buy-in and secure the budget you need to turn your strategic plans into reality.

It's also important to get frontline professionals and team members within the HR department involved in the process of creating your strategy. This helps ensure the people responsible for executing key elements of your plan fully understand the thinking and motivations behind it.

4. Focus on resourcing and development

One of the most important responsibilities of the HR department is to ensure the business can access the people and skills it needs not only to function but to thrive. It's crucial, therefore, that your strategy places emphasis on the organization's resourcing needs, now and in the future.

If the company has ambitious growth plans and anticipates taking on more customers and a heavier workload, it's the HR department's job to have the necessary staffing procedures in place to support this expansion.

Your strategy should also reflect the importance of training and professional development, which contributes to employee satisfaction, engagement, and motivation while giving the business access to a wider range of skills and experience.

5. Monitor and measure

Strategy success depends not only on the work that goes into planning and executing your HR activities but the actions you take to monitor their effectiveness and measure the impact they're having on the business.

Your strategy should outline clear steps to track and evaluate results. Central to this are key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you build a data-based picture of how you're progressing towards your goals. Your KPIs might include:

  • Absence rate
  • Staff productivity
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement
  • Internal promotion rate
  • Staff turnover
  • Net promoter score

Using these metrics to evaluate your strategy can help you identify where you're performing well and where changes need to be made. This contributes to the constant evolution and improvement of the HR department and the success of the business as a whole.

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