Successful human resources management enables a firm to thrive, but for HR management to succeed, the team must have clear objectives. Three distinct types of objectives guide HR management. HR professionals should understand these basic objectives and know how to select them.
Objectives for Employees
An essential component of HR management involves establishing objectives for employees. When selecting objectives for employees, managers should consider what is most important to the business. For instance, if sales are important to the business, increasing employee sales skills is an example of a wise objective. According to "Managing Human Resources Through Strategic Partnerships," the most important HR objectives for employees are training employees with skills to interact effectively with customers, enabling employees to make process improvement advances, and increasing employees' awareness and understanding of customer needs.
Strategic objectives in HR management do not pertain to individual employees, but with employees as a whole. Common strategic HR objectives include reducing employee turnover, increasing employee morale and minimizing employee absenteeism. To achieve these goals, HR managers should introduce specific measures aimed at accomplishing them. For example, to increase employee morale, an HR manager might increase employee benefits, reduce the workload or add financial incentives to employee performance.
Several financial objectives can help measure HR management. Common measures include HR return on investment, the HR expense ratio and the HR revenue ratio. HR return on investment is the profit made by the firm divided by the cost of employee wages and benefits. Calculate the HR expense ratio by simply dividing HR expenses by all operating expenses. The HR revenue ratio is a calculation of total revenue divided by the number of employees. Each organization will have specific HR finance objectives that it will want to achieve; these metrics allow upper management personnel to gauge actual output against these goals.
Managers should choose HR objectives according to the SMART criteria, which is to say that objectives should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely. For example, a firm should not simply have the goal of increasing employee performance; a better objective is to increase employee sales by 35 percent over the next six months. Objectives that fulfill the SMART criteria are easier to monitor and more likely to succeed.