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Make Your Strategy Work


I’m an HR practitioner consumed by the day to day, how can I be strategic in my role?


To answer this question, let’s begin by clarifying strategic human resources. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), strategic human resource involves a future-oriented process of developing and implementing HR programs that address and solve business problems and directly contribute to major long-term business objectives. At first pass, this definition seems like it involves a lofty and time-consuming process because we assume that a well mapped out plan is required. While a “Strategic HR plan” is a great goal to set and strive toward, it is NOT necessary to focus on the big picture every day.

As illustrated by the wheel to the right, the Company Strategy and HR Strategy are surrounded by activities HR practitioners address daily.  If your “To Do” list includes items such as: developing a training plan for an individual manager, deciding about a worker’s compensation case and screening five candidates for the hot open role – approach it a little differently. Rather than taking each of these tasks (or any other set of tasks) independently, focus instead on how your actions and decisions will impact the success of the organization overall.

Ask yourself some reflective questions like:

  • Are the outcomes going to increase the likelihood of success for Human Resources?
  • Do they add to or detract from the success of the organization?
  • Do the outcomes align with the overall company strategy?

By asking yourself these questions before acting, you are placing a lens of HR strategy that will produce better outcomes and make you a strategic partner.

You can be strategic in all areas of Human Resources every day by taking a brief pause and evaluating alternatives and potential solutions before executing the work.  If you really want to be challenged, here are a few additional ideas on the applying strategy daily:

  • Whenever possible, use data. It is the language of leaders and you are one too! (Hint: It is always possible to use data.)
  • Assess the organizations readiness for change
  • Understand the business metrics
  • Determine the organizational risks

HR strategy isn’t always about planning for the future. Sometimes it means responding to current issues and making sure they fit with the mission, vision, or goals of the company. That can be difficult to do if you are uncertain of your strategy. If you don’t have your HR and/or Corporate strategies defined, or need help tying those to your mission and vision, we can help. Visit our HR Strategy page to learn more about how Strategic HR can help you meet your goals.