• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Human resource strategy (2)

HR strategy

Another weekend rolls up and many are happy just because it is the weekend and they can take a break. Those who are like this are not the business owners but mostly those who don’t really have any real responsibilities. Their days end at the end of each work day and each weekend.

Many such people are just sitting back and letting life happen to them without even being a part of the decisions of their lives. I however know for sure that no such people are reading this so I will not address them for long.

Continuing on Human resource strategy. A good example of a Human Resource strategy that worked was a company that had to downsize because of prevailing circumstances in the environment where it operated, very much like this pandemic era. The company had to lay off a third of its employees.

They had always had the strategy to hire only A players. This was an opportunity. By letting go of the B-players, the remaining employees were happier and more productive. This also had consequences for people who once were invaluable but had become redundant as the company grew. They realised that if they wanted only “A” players on their team, they had to be willing to let go of people whose skills no longer fit, no matter how valuable their contributions had once been.

Working with only A players also impacted on flexibility. They decided to use a system in which employees could take as much time off as they felt was appropriate – in dialogue with their boss. This may not work in Nigeria, but then on the other hand it may.

I discovered a 10-step approach framework that defined strategy and delivered value. The first phase is about defining human capital value. This happens in two steps: Understand the business strategy, this is understanding the market forces and identify how they impact HR strategy and priorities. Define HR strategy by creating a roadmap about how HR aligns its strategy and how it helps to build a competitive advantage for the organization.

Then all HR products and services need to be aligned. The HR customers need to be segmented because they are not all equal. You need to segment your different (internal) customer groups and identify the most crucial ones because they require different policies and approaches.

The company must then prioritize HR investments. We all know that HR budgets and other resources are usually limited especially at a time such as this. You need to prioritize the investments that benefit your key customers and that provide the best return on investment. A good technique to prioritizing these investments is calculating an ROI through all HR costing.

Designing of HR services come next. In this phase, you will go through all the HR focus areas and analyse and identify all the processes that should be streamlined or re-engineered; recruitment to disengagement.

Finally, HR practices need to deliver value. This is the right side of the standard causal model for HRM. Ensure the right HR service delivery model. Assess the current HR service delivery model and assess how effectively it helps to meet the organization’s goals. Also analyse the key HR enablers such as HR systems, processes, and infrastructure. Optimizing these will help in delivering HR services that add value to the organizational strategy.

The right HR capabilities must then be established. By identifying the current skills and competencies and the ones required to deliver HR strategy, a skill gap can be identified and filled. Continuous improvement being key, you must continuously improve HR operational excellence, that is, optimizing what HR does. This is by assessing the efficiency of all HR processes.

Build an HR brand by establishing the HR department in the wider organization and obtaining feedback on how HR is and should be performing.

Finally, you have to measure the impact of the HR products and services. What is not measured cannot be managed. In the end, we want HR processes to be effective. Measuring the impact of our products and services on the relevant business outcomes through analytics helps to adapt and improve what we do in HR.

I hope this has given you an inclination on where you should start when you want to define and implement an HR strategy. Creating an HR strategy takes time. Just as executing on the strategy takes time. But when your strategy is well-defined, it can create a tremendous benefit by aligning HR’s activities with the goals of the organization.