The value of having a strategic HR planning process at your organization is enormous.
Your role as an HR professional is no longer simply administrative—you are a strategist, an advocate, and a change champion. Having a strong and iterative HR strategic plan supports the kind of workplace culture where talented employees thrive; it propels it forward. Having a strategic HR planning process that you can follow will allow you to target your skills, efforts, and other resources to successfully support your organization.
But what makes a successful HR strategic plan, and how can you go about creating one? Simply put, your plan fits in tightly with your organization’s mission, vision, and values. This should be your first consideration in devising a strategic plan.
One of the best ways to start or revise your plan is by asking executives, managers, and employees what they need from HR. In her article for SHRM, Beth Mirza writes that being able to ask the right questions will generate more success than having all the answers. Those answers will come as you focus on the following areas:
- Assessing the current HR capacity
- Forecasting HR requirements
- Gap analysis
- Developing HR strategies to support organizational strategies
These steps are explored further below.
Assessing the current HR capacity
- Can you meet your organization’s needs with your current HR capacity?
- What skills do your staff members have, inside or outside their job descriptions?
- Are there any functions listed in those job descriptions that are not being performed?
Forecasting HR requirements
- What does your staff need to be able to do to implement your strategic plan?
- What skills and tools will they need?
- What, then, is the difference between your current capacity and your goal capacity?
- How will things need to change in your department to provide optimal support for your organization moving forward?
Developing HR strategies to support organizational strategies
Some initiatives are successful. Others are not. Have a regular look at what is not done that should be, what is done that should be stopped, and what is being done right now that is working well.
Compensation and benefits can be a key factor in attracting talented, hard-working employees, but once those employees are on the job, it’s necessary to play to their strengths and create the kind of environment where they can thrive. This requires providing opportunities for employees to expand their current skills and develop new ones. It also requires eliminating negative or toxic practices and building up positive ones. In her article for Built-In, Kate Heinz suggests the following:
- Setting clear departmental goals,
- Promoting the organization’s goals
- Promoting diversity and inclusivity
- Allowing humor
- Prioritizing respect
- Establishing zero-tolerance policies
- Creating employee recognition programs
- Accepting and utilizing employee feedback
- Being flexible
- Planning social outings
Carefully consider how your organization presents itself on social media and how the branding reflects the workplace culture. Do these areas align with organizational goals? Employees need to feel personally responsible and invested in the company’s values.
As important as it is to implement the right performance management tools, HR staff must also be trained on how to implement and use them.
Once your strategic plan is created, document it, and make sure it complies with applicable legal requirements. Gain approval from your executive team and share the documentation with the rest of your organization. Establish practices for implementing and evaluating your plan.
With a strategic plan in place, your HR department will be better able to gain your business the competitive advantage it needs to succeed.
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