We live in a world where disruption isn’t a differentiator for companies – it’s the norm. In such a world, transactional HR alone cannot deliver to the business needs of a company. Taking a strategic approach to HR has emerged as the only viable response to a consistently disrupted business environment.
Strategic HR is about extending HR beyond mere administration, and recognising the critical role of employees and other human resources in shaping a business’ vision. Becoming a company that adopts HR strategy means being future-facing and creating goals that best utilise a company’s strengths to achieve HR goals, followed by company goals.
Strategic HR: It’s a work in progress
Strategic HR is founded on clear goals, which require clear organisational vision to adopt.
The best way to outline the necessary goals and the resources needed to achieve them, it is best to work retroactively. This makes it easier to identify what you need to be building, who you need to be bringing in and what skills and abilities as well as capabilities and behaviours you need to take the company to the next level.
However, even after identifying necessary resources, achieving any vision requires careful analysis of behaviours, skills and knowledge inside the business, and to measure how closely they align with, or fall short of, company goals.
Developing a strategic mindset as an HR professional
To be successful in adopting a strategic approach to HR, HR professionals must learn to think strategically as well. The most strategic HR professionals will be able to recognise what the business is trying to achieve and understand how to ask the right questions to achieve these goals.
Though it may sometimes seem like some people are more innately prone to strategic thinking, developing a strategic mindset is much easier than you’d think. My advice for those looking to improve their strategic thinking would be:
- Learn as much as you can from inside the business, as well as outside
- Capitalise on your network and take advice from other HR professionals
- Deliberately seek out feedback on your initiatives
- Work in an agile way, constantly reiterating your work as you continue to receive feedback
- Purposefully practice and identify company goals, and consider whether each action you take drives towards those goals
Moving your company towards strategic HR
Shifting your company from transactional to strategic in this disruptive world requires not only a growth mindset, but also a future mindset. Even for strategic HR professionals, consistently adapting HR strategy to suit shifting company needs is a challenge, particularly as strategic HR involves moving multiple parts of a business working in tandem.
Being future-minded requires cooperation, and a constant willingness for people and teams to challenge each other to stay on top of new and competing forces in the industry. This is where HR technology such as ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll comes into play. ELMO covers the entire employee lifecycle, “from hire to retire”, including recruitment and onboarding, learning & development, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more. This technology, combined with data, allows for healthy tensions, questions and curiosities about what’s happening in your business, and how employees fit into business needs.
Technological solutions such as ELMO can help map HR’s goals to organisational goals, identifying gaps in recruitment, performance, succession, and other key areas of people management. If you have rich data, using HR technology helps you make informed decisions yourself – as well as provide information in real time to business leaders so they can make informed decisions.
If you’re interested in learning more about how ELMO can help develop strategic HR initiatives, check out our latest updates.
This article was written by Monica Watt, Chief Human Resources Officer and ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll.