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Strategic Planning for HR Managers

In strategic organizational planning, no matter the industry or the size of a business, all organizations have three resources: technology, finance and talent. To properly align a strategic human resources (HR) plan — the vision for integrating the talent resource with the organizational vision and strategy — HR leaders must understand their complex and quickly evolving roles.

A Master of Science (M.S.) Human Resource Management online program equips professionals with dual knowledge of business and leadership strategy alongside HR best practices. Graduates have the necessary skills to increase organizational effectiveness and improve company culture.

What Is Strategic Human Resources Planning?

Organizational strategic planning is the process of determining which long-term goals receive an organization’s resources. Talent is every organization’s primary resource, so there is a natural connection between organizational strategic planning and human resources planning, one Chron article notes.

In strategic human resource planning, or HRP, human resources leaders forecast future talent requirements and ensure that the right people are in the right places at the right time. Using and maintaining the most valuable resource a business has (people) is a continuous process of forward-thinking and analysis. This involves assessing organizational capabilities, analyzing labor market trends and planning for growth.

The Roles of HR Leaders in Decision-Making

Human resources leaders assume the organization’s vital responsibility of aligning workforce skills and competencies with the organizational vision. To this end, HR forecasts the necessary knowledge and capabilities the company must acquire and retain in the one-to-five year short-term.

HR departments have several responsibilities:

  • Connect the strategic plan with the business by translating the organization’s direction into steps for hiring, retaining and managing personnel, and do so within the talent budget.
  • Calibrate incentives to retain valuable employees without overspending.
  • Project labor demand and supply, build a flexible talent pipeline and determine how external factors such as local shortages of qualified individuals might impact talent acquisition and retention, per the Chron article.
  • Devise solutions to labor market shortages, including remote work, when necessary.
  • Leverage data for assessing and diagnosing talent risks. According to Gartner research, only 33% of HR leaders rate their organizations as effective in this regard.
  • Bring ideas for operational innovations and new products and services through talent.
  • Close organizational knowledge gaps through internal training and employee development.
  • Build strategic alliances between HR and other company leaders to push the HR agenda forward.
  • Decide which HR management best practices and trends, including new approaches to managing talent, apply best to the company’s strategies.
  • Structure the HR department and assign these roles to competent, well-trained professionals.

HR Executives Collaborate With Strategic Planning Professionals

None of the above roles can be accomplished in an HR silo. Instead, human resources leaders must be partners and collaborators, trusted by the C-suite and departmental managers. These are critical HRM steps that lead to organizational alignment:

  1. Assess organizational goals: Appropriate staffing only works with a complete understanding of company objectives in expected production, sales and marketing, revenues and profits and business expansion.
  2. Invest in and deploy HR technologies: This includes department-specific software to catalog the workforce and evaluate skills, performance levels and compensation.
  3. Outline future workforce needs: Do so by working with individual departmental leaders and accounting for projected retirements, promotions, transfers, turnover and hiring.
  4. Perform a gap analysis: Show employment demand versus expected employment from the previous step.
  5. Develop a plan to address talent gaps: This may include restructuring, training, strategic partnerships and collaborations with other companies and outsourcing specific tasks.

Strategies for Diversifying Markets

HR is a valuable partner to the C-suite when an organization plans to expand into new markets in order to achieve business growth while reducing overall revenue volatility. HR leaders are heavily involved in the due diligence process before making decisions. Here are a few examples:

  • Talent: A company may decide to enter a new market through acquisition. HR must determine if there is an organizational fit with regard to talent and business models. Does the region have the talent the organization needs, or would it take a remote work model, outsourcing or other solutions to make expansion work?
  • Culture: Whether a company plans to enter a new market through acquisition or expansion, HR must lead the way to integrate a new workforce culture with the existing company culture. Each country has its own laws, regulations, societal norms and more. How should current and new employees be trained to work with one another? The expanded company must be successfully integrated, and HR usually bears this responsibility — from determining whether a decision makes sense to finding solutions for successful implementation.
  • Operations and systems: HR oversees huge volumes of data that multiply through expansion. Ensuring data and operational compliance with one country’s laws and industry regulations is challenging enough. Now, the considerations multiply by the number of markets. As a result, HR leaders must research technology solutions that can accommodate market and regional expansion without taking on overwhelming risks.

A Curriculum That Develops Strategic Planners

The University of Illinois Springfield Master of Science Human Resource Management online program trains professionals to provide effective leadership in strategic human resources planning. The curriculum addresses principles, competencies, systems, best practices and technology tools that HR professionals need. The Strategic Human Resource Management course, in particular, focuses on aligning HR management infrastructure with organizational goals.

When talent is managed by HR professionals who are properly aligned with organizational strategic goals, the result is a workforce that moves in leadership’s intended direction.

Learn more about the University of Illinois Springfield’s online Master of Science Human Resource Management program.

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