The most common reason HR strategic plans fail is a lack of integration with business strategy. Creating a comprehensive HR strategic plan is essential for securing HR’s position as a strategic partner. Effective strategic planning allows the HR function to demonstrate the influence of its capabilities over the success of business priorities, prioritize resources efficiently amongst HR sub-functions, and make a cogent argument for further investments in the function.
The best HR functions focus strategic planning on four key imperatives:
One, top business priorities must be translated into talent ramifications. HR’s effectiveness as a strategic partner is compromised when the strategic planning process does not surface, explore, and translate business strategy into HR strategy. To create effective and lasting HR strategic plans, you must understand the needs of the business and demonstrate how HR can act as a strategic partner.
Two, initiatives within the HR function must be prioritized based on current capabilities and projected needs. Many HR functions focus investments where there are capability gaps in each sub-function, but these areas are not always essential to business priorities. Focus on assessing your current capabilities against the needs of business priorities, and identify how HR sub-functions can support the prioritized list of HR capabilities through an integrated HR strategy.
Three, strategic plans must be communicated to partners in the business to secure leadership buy-in and investment. For buy-in to occur, create audience-specific communications and business cases that link HR strategic plans and HR investments to the priorities of the business.
Four, plans must be allowed to evolve to reflect ongoing changes in business conditions. HR strategic plans typically lose all of their decision-making value within 10 months, requiring organizations to revisit their strategic plan at least once during the year. To ensure strategic plans hold their value over time, create a framework for monitoring the continued business relevance of strategic plans and adapting those plans when business conditions do change.
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This article is courtesy of CEB