How to Align HR With Business Strategies


The integration of decisions regarding the human resources of an organization into overall business strategies is essential to the strategic management process. Business strategies are most commonly generated at the executive level as abstract concepts that can only be brought to fruition by managers and workers at the operational level. This requires that all business units, including HR, are on board with supporting the mission of the organization. According to the United States Office of Personnel Management, human resource activities directly contribute to the accomplishment of organizational goals, and thus should support the overall strategy of the organization.

Set HR goals that contribute directly to organizational goals. For example, if the organization sets a goal to become a leader within its industry, HR leaders may determine that there is a need to develop leadership skills among employees in order to help the organization meet that goal. This can be accomplished through the use of SMART goals. These are goals that are specific and measurable. They must be reasonably attainable and relevant to the organization’s overall mission. Finally, human resource goals must be tied to a specific time line designed to meet any relevant time lines set within the constructs of the overall business strategy.

Analyze the workforce to determine where there are HR-related obstacles to the success of business strategies. This may be accomplished through the use of specific management tools, such as gap analysis. This basically determines whether and how close the organization conforms to the requirements set forth by business leaders. It can be used to analyze such aspects as corporate culture and is essential to determining the specific human resource strategies required to accommodate business strategies. The specific strategies necessary will be determined by the results of the gap analysis.

Develop strategic human resource management programs. For example, if business leaders have set a goal to boost productivity, the human resource department should implement programs designed to increase productivity. This might include the implementation of an overall performance management program designed to train and develop employees to give them the necessary skills to meet productivity goals.

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