The HR Strategic Plan to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Chances are 2020 has meant major changes for your business. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take stock of your business’s changing needs and rethink how HR can contribute to the big picture. The best way to plan for the future? An HR strategic plan.

This document helps you identify your organization’s long-term goals and then charts a path for achieving them. By definition, a good plan will strategically drive intentional decision-making, up employee engagement, and avoid wasted resources.

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to write an HR strategic plan of your own and even give you an  HR strategic plan template to help you get started. Who knows what 2021 may bring— we’ll make sure your HR strategic plan 2021 covers everything.

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Benefits of an HR Strategic Plan

Your HR team is nothing to sneeze at! They’ve done a great job supporting employees at every turn, from recruitment to the exit interview. So, why do you need an HR strategic plan?

A plan can help evaluate current HR policies to see if they are still in keeping with the broader goals of the organization. Understanding where you are will help you understand where you need to go. This information means you can set specific goals to help your business reach new heights. And a good HR plan will set milestones to let you know you’re on the way.

The HR strategic planning process helps build team cohesion. Your HR staff will be primed to act in accordance with company goals even in situations that aren’t clearly outlined in the plan. Strong HR is vital to the success of any business. A strategic plan keeps everything shipshape and makes sure employees are supported, engaged, and productive.

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Template for HR Strategic Plan

You get it; a plan is important. Now, how do you put one together?

There are four steps in our HR strategic plan template which can guide you as you create your own plan. We’ll include some strategic plan examples to show the types of goals to include.

  • Determine Guiding Principles

The first step is to determine your organization’s values or guiding principles. Ask yourself what is important to the business. That is to say, what values does the HR department work to incorporate or reinforce? During this first step, don’t think about the plan. Just concentrate on what makes your organization great, different, or successful.

Values might include diversity, teamwork, respect, communication, integrity, innovation, leadership, transparency, employee well-being or work-life balance. If you feel so moved, you can expand on these values with a sentence or two. Make sure to include the whole HR team in this process! It’s sure to be an interesting conversation-starter.

  • Decide on Focus Areas

Next, use the guiding principles to zero-in on where your organization needs to step up its game. For example, if you listed “diversity” as a guiding principle in the first section, in the second section you may want to list “recruitment” as a key focus area.

It may be time for a little SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Think about where your company shines and where it is falling short of the values you listed in the previous section.

Forecast how HR Requirements may change in the year ahead. If your business is growing, focus on building employee engagement to make sure no one feels lost in the fray. If your business is tightening its belt (2020 has been tough!), concentrate on talent management to help employees make the most of available resources.

Be creative here! This part of the plan is for thinking big. You can adjust always adjust your goals later.

  • Set Concrete Goals

Here is where we get into the nitty-gritty. Guiding principles? Check. Focus areas? Check. You know where you need to go. How will you get there? In this part of the plan, you need to set key objectives. For example, if you listed “diversity” as a core value in section one and “recruitment” as a focus area in section two, now it is time to think about how you can your HR team can build a diverse workforce through recruitment.

Watch – Diversity & Inclusion Webinar.

How do you reach a more diverse pool of applicants? Perhaps HR can launch a social media campaign or adjust company branding to tap into new demographics. Maybe they can promote alternative work plans, such as fellowships, internships, or flexible work schedules. Some of these questions may take time and research to answer. It can be a part of the HR strategic plan to “create a plan.”

Remember that the goals in your HR strategic plan need to be measurable. How else will you know that you’ve succeeded? For inspiration, you can check out successful HR strategies examples. For instance, in 2015, Twitter publicly established “credible and achievable” goals. They wanted to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in tech jobs and leadership goals by about 1%. Think about what numbers make sense for your organization.

  • Spread the Word

Done right, our HR strategic plan template will get you on the fast-track for success and position your organization to thrive in 2021. The secret sauce is getting everyone on board. Inaugurate any policy changes with a team meeting and a presentation to make sure everyone is included.

Considerations When Designing an HR Strategic Plan

Some questions may arise while developing the plan but we are here to help you through them.

Is a strategic plan the same as a business plan; if not, how does it differ?

Business plans are very important for uniting workers toward a common goal when an organization is just getting started. An HR department business plan provides a structure for ideas in order to initially define the business. A strategic plan, however, is used to provide focus, direction, and actionable steps in order to move the organization forward. Use strategic plans in order to unite the major objectives the organization hopes to achieve with the steps it actions it will take to achieve them.

Do Strategic Plans Differ By Industry?

Each organization’s HR strategic plan should be specifically tailored to the goals and needs of that business. That means that no two plans should look alike. That said, different industries will have different priorities when it comes to setting goals.

For example, the finance industry regularly undergoes massive transformations as new technologies (“fintech”) reshape the field. An HR team in this sector will need to be agile, ready to manage organizational development, or re-train employees to meet the demands of an ever-changing industry.

For retail businesses that see a lot of turnover, HR teams may want to focus on the recruitment of quality candidates. Improving training for new employees and offering strong talent management will ensure the knowledgeable and hard-working employees stick around.

How to Implement an HR Strategic Plan

The key to implementing an HR Strategic plan is communication! Make sure your HR staff gets a say in determining values, priorities, and goals for the coming year. Then, regularly check in to see how things are going. Be sure to set milestones for the coming year so that you can track progress.

If you follow our HR strategic plan template, your HR department will be in an ideal position to support your business in 2021, whatever arises. Though your 2021 HR strategic plan won’t cover all the situations which might arise, it will help your department to better understand and internalize compy goals.

Develop your HR Strategic Plan with the help of real-time people analytics data.

Written by: Valerie Slaughter

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