Would you like an HR Strategy plan with your Pumpkin Pie?
It’s November! That means turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and budget planning. It’s probably not a coincidence that partaking in all the comforts that the Thanksgiving feast offers comes out at the same time as budget planning – something has to get us through.
As fun as this season is leading us into the holidays, it’s also an extremely important and traditionally a strategic time for organizations. It’s time to reflect on the first three quarters of the year and start planning for next year. Note, if your fiscal year is July to June, replace the turkey and pumpkin pie with fireworks and barbecues.
Your annual strategic plan is your road map for the coming year for both the organization and your employees. It’s also your annual financial plan. Both should include milestones that lead you through the map and a series of initiatives and goals that will lead you to where your organization hopes to be by the end of the year.
Most organizations have this in place when it comes to the money and the budget. You can’t know what you can do if you don’t know what you can spend, right? However, a good number of organizations unfortunately fail to be proactive with their HR/People plans. HR initiatives throughout the year tend to be more responsive to however the rest of the plan plays out, rather than being a strategic initiative all its own that supports the bigger roadmap.
The most successful organizations have an HR annual strategy. This strategy includes reviewing everything from organizational structure, employee dynamics, benefits and compensation, upcoming hiring, and working conditions.
This strategy begins by analyzing and evaluating all the elements related to employee policy, employee benefits, and the employee experience for the coming year.
Where to start? It’s important you understand first where you are. What is the organizational environment in which everyone works? Once you know this, you can create an HR plan of action. If you don’t believe that you already have an accurate reflection of this, an employee survey is a great place to start. Even if you do think you know, a survey is still a great place to start. Employee perception can change before we recognize it, and it’s important to get ahead of the game.
Once you know where you are, you need to determine where you want to be as an organization. You need to be able to envision what the future looks like for the employee experience and be able to define it. This means tangible detailed initiatives beyond “we want to have a great culture.” Do you want to lead the market in compensation? Do you want to create a more flexible work environment relative to schedules and remote work? Do you want to implement a benefits program that meets the needs of more people on your staff? Do your managers need training to be better managers and leaders to alleviate some stress in your environment?
Once you know where you want to be, you need to figure out how to get there. This is what makes up your annual HR strategy plan. What are the strategic objectives you need to place on the big organizational roadmap to get where you want to be by the end of the year? You may then be surprised by how well these initiatives align with the organizational priorities and overall business strategy.
As you are preparing your plan, be sure to consider any challenges you may face. These could include budget constraints or lack of time or other resources. You may not have the talent on staff to do some of the strategic HR things you need to do (we can definitely help you there). You also need to consider the global environment in which you work. Recent research from the Society for Human Research Management shares that HR professionals anticipate significant workplace challenges in the coming year, including rising health care costs, the retirement of a large number of Baby Boomers, and the increased demand for work/life harmony. For every article you read about CEO’s stating that remote work is about to end, there are two articles that state employees won’t go back to the office forty or more hours a week.
One of the most important things the HR annual plan does is ensure that employees are engaged and motivated throughout the year and that HR and managers are not just reacting whenever there is a problem. HR strategy anticipates problems and addresses them before they become a crisis in the organization avoiding the halting of the production or services in which the organization provides.
Developing an annual plan is essential for ensuring that all members of the organization are working towards the same unified vision. Including the HR strategy into this plan is the critical step to bridging the gap between what the organization needs and what the employees need. Since you can’t have one without the other, the HR plan may just be the most critical of them all.
If you don’t have an HR and business strategy plan in place or need some help getting started, let us know. Our team of experienced consultants can help. In fact, an HR Assessment is the perfect place to develop an HR strategy plan – we can help you determine where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.