5 Ways HR can be more Strategic

Gone are the days when the old-style personnel department did all the hiring and general administration within a business. These days HR departments are expected to be forward thinking, strategic and fully aligned to the business needs.

Here are 5 ways HR can be more strategic and thus add value into an organisation

1. Top level

It is essential that there is a strong HR presence at a senior level within an organisation, whether this is on the board of directors or on a senior management team. Otherwise the vision and mission cannot be taken seriously and there is no HR strategic mind-set or voice.

2. The HR strategy

It is essential to produce a clearly defined HR strategy and tactical plan showing how HR will add value to the business and how it will begin the transition to exceptional service delivery. Once defined, this strategy should then be shared with business leaders and all key stakeholders in order to gain their support, to illustrate what various patrons and process owners can expect, and to clarify their role in implementing the strategy.

3. Understanding roles

One of the biggest issues facing modern HR teams is that they can still be pulled in many different directions. Many HR generalists find it hard to push back on the day-today issues that come up regularly. Therefore having clearly defined HR roles (which are fully communicated to all stakeholders) is crucial to ensure that these lines are not blurred.

As well as this, should be the process of empowering managers to deal with low-level people management issues themselves. This allows HR professionals to focus their work on implementing the HR strategy and further developing the business.

4. Get the processes right

High levels of routine administration can mean a HR department struggles to achieve any strategic objectives. It is therefore incredibly important to evaluate current administrative processes against this context.

Ask yourselves – Do the processes add value to the business? Can they be reduced, or combined? Can technology help save time and money? Can they be done better and more efficiently outside of the organisation? If outsourcing is appropriate, what role does HR want to play in that process? By eliminating as much repetition and routine as possible, and by streamlining processes, more focus can be put into delivery of key projects and goals.

5. Recognize it’s a mind-set

Their customers (managers and staff) may need time and support to learn about the new ways of working. By regularly communicating the goals and roles of HR there will be more buy-in and less resistance to any change.

HR professionals themselves may need some time to embrace this revolutionary way of thinking about HR service delivery. Once these new strategies are in place, however, HR will be better equipped to cut costs and elevate the level of service to its internal customers.

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