We all know why HR strategies are an essential part of any successful business. If this was not the case, then companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, Zappos, etc would not exist! Their stories would not even register on the radar. These businesses truly understand the value of effective HR. They use this very important strategic lever to drive competitive advantage. Bill Gates once famously said:

“Take my 20 best people and, virtually overnight, Microsoft becomes a mediocre company.”

Why do executives and management ignore HR strategy?

So, if everyone knows this, why is HR strategy an afterthought when developing business strategy? Why do Executives and Management teams still write off HR in this process?

Well, most Executives or Business owners do not really understand what HR Strategy is?

And HR Practitioners are part of the problem here. Typically, we find that HR Strategies are normally overcomplicated. They are overshadowed by academia and jargon (especially in Corporate Landia!) HR strategy documents quite often turn into 30-page juggernauts that only the creator really understands or reads.

Keeping HR strategy simple

At HR Gurus, one of our key philosophies is around keeping things simple. This applies to creating a HR strategy.

We find that the beauty of any strategy is in simplicity. Especially when we are dealing with SMEs and non-HR folk. A strategy document must:

  • speak in plain terms
  • give a clear and concise picture of outcomes
  • link to the overarching business strategy.

Sounds simple, right? Well…it really is!

A great HR Strategy

Good HR is about being commercial.

Great HR is about helping the business drive its strategy by creating a performance-driven workforce.

Awesome HR is about creating an environment where people understand how they fit into the bigger picture and, in turn, want to contribute to the success of your organisation!

The HR Gurus HR Strategy Roadmap is an example of designing an awesome HR strategy.

So what are the key considerations when developing a HR Strategy:

  • What is the overarching Business Strategy, including mission, vision, and values?
  • Does the business have 5-year, 3-year, and 1-year plans/goals?
  • What do you need to do from a people perspective to mobilise this strategy (short/long term)?
  • Where are the obvious gaps? Close the gaps.
  • Create a People Strategy that plugs into and complements your business strategy.
  • Who do you need to engage in the development of your strategy?
  • Track and measure ROI! If you cannot measure it you cannot manage it!

Five tips for developing a HR Strategy

Here are five tips for developing an awesome HR strategy:

  • Engage your stakeholders – don’t create the Strategy by yourself you need buy-in and input.
  • Keep it simple/ don’t over promise and under deliver.
  • Use your team, and plan your resources.
  • Be realistic and measure your progress.
  • Implement HR KPI reporting to show how HR adds value to the bottom line e.g.
    • Headcount reporting
    • Labour costs as a % of revenue
    • Staff turnover reporting
    • Lost Time Injury reporting
    • Absenteeism reporting
    • Employee engagement.

If you need help creating a HR Strategy in your business then get in touch today.

Written by Head Guru Emily Jaksch.

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We make HR simple because it should be.