Creating a sound HR Strategy
29.01.2020 | Tom Haak
Not connected and too much
I see and review many HR strategies and HR plans. Most of the time, they have two elements in common.
1. The connection between the HR strategy and the most burning business issues is not clear.
2. The strategic plan is too broad and not focused enough.
Not connected and too much 8 steps to create your HR Strategy
1. Summarise the strategy of your organisation
Talk to your boss and other management team members. The strategy on paper is one; it becomes a lot livelier if people express their most burning business issues related to the strategy. Focus on the most burning business issues
2. Determine required capabilities and culture
By using the results of 1, try to capture the capabilities that need to be strengthened and the culture that is required to implement the strategy. Do not define capabilities too narrow. It can be leadership, commercial, technical or organisational capabilities.
When you have your list ready, circle back to your stakeholders and colleagues. Do they agree? Do they have additional thoughts?
3. Make a (quick-and-dirty) gap analysis
Looking at the determined capabilities and culture, where are the biggest gaps?
You can use data you have available out of your employee surveys, the assessment centers and other sources, and you can also talk to people who know your organisation well (partners. suppliers). When you are finished, make a list with priorities. Which gap is most urgent to close, and where can you reach the biggest impact with, preferably, the least effort?
4. Refresh your insight in the global and regional trends in the domain of people and organisation
What is happening outside? Can you determine the opportunities and threats? Do you know what other companies are doing? Can you try to extrapolate the trends covering the timeframe of the strategic plan?
5. Talk to you colleagues in other staff departments
Most issues need to be tackled in a multidisciplinary approach. IT and Communications are almost always involved. Also Legal, Finance, the Strategy team and what have you will be able to contribute. Gather their views and see where it makes sense to team up.
6. Utilise your knowledge of HR
What are the most effective interventions to close the high priority capability- and culture gaps?
As HR professional you have a broad array of HR interventions at your disposal. Recruitment. Training. Development. Compensation and Benefits. Organisational Design. Talent Management. Performance Management. And so on.
It might be as simple as a matrix with the gaps on one axe and the intervention possibilities on the other axe. If you tick all the boxes in the matrix, you do not have a plan. Again, prioritise. What are the interventions where you expect the biggest impact?
7. Make a planning and cost calculation
This is a clear step that does not need further explanation. Do not forget to clearly assign responsibilities per project. Also decide how you are going to track progress.
8. Communicate and discuss your plan
Discuss your draft plan with your management team, your HR team, your external partners and other stakeholders. It helps a lot to visualise your plan. Try to capture it in one visual.
Check if you are able to tell a sound story. Make adaptations where necessary.
After these 8 steps you are able to start implementation. Keep close track of what is happening inside and outside the organisation, because your plan will need frequent adaptation.