HR Role in Strategic Planning
The strategic plan is not the operating plan. The operating plan is a forecast for the following few months (from 6 to 18 months). The strategic plan is a vision for the organization for following several years (from 2 to 5 years). The strategic plan sets the priorities for the top management and HR role is a proper strategic planning in the area of HR Management. The HR Professionals have to be part of the strategic planning as employees will execute the strategic mission of the organization. The HR Role is to take the full responsibility for the alignment of employees’ skills and competencies with the strategic plan.
First, HR has to demonstrate that it is the respectful business partner for the strategic planning. HR has to take the full responsibility for connecting people, ideas and tools together. It has to demonstrate that it can lead the development of the HR part of the strategic plan.
Second, HR has to demonstrate that it understands the business of the organization. Becoming the partner in strategic planning requires understanding to basic financial indicators. It requires detailed knowledge about the products and the competitors present on the market. The HR Role is in bringing ideas for innovations and new products development. It does not require deep technical skills; it requires an open mind and being creative.
Third, HR has to prove its understanding to modern HR Management trends. The competitive organization needs state-of-art Human Resources in the house. HR cannot be a passive function in the organization. It has to monitor market for the new trends; it has to develop new approaches, and it has to innovate the traditional approaches. HR cannot follow HR Best Practices; it has to set the Best Practices for the industry. The traditional HR has no value added; such HR function is not invited to the process of the strategic planning. The role of HR is in designing innovative approaches, which help to reach the current imperatives from the strategic plan.
Fourth, HR has to determine the art of connecting the strategic plan with the real business. The strategic plan does not describe details. The strategic plan does describe strategic directions of the organization. HR has to understand to these directions and has to translate them into right initiatives and steps. No one will translate directions for HR, but HR will be evaluated against directions not the initiatives. HR has to get buy-in of the top management for initiatives as they are not clearly described in the strategic plan. The role of HR is the right translation and sticking to the implementation of the plan.
Fifth, HR has to demonstrate it can overcome obstacles. No strategic plan is implemented easily. Many issues arise during the implementation. Many discussions are held. Many decisions are called. HR has to stay on the way, and it has to implement initiatives that are right for the future of the company. The HR role is in building the strategic alliances with other employees and managers to push the solution forward. Many employees are skeptical about the proposed solution for the future. HR has to lead the communication, and it has to act as the change agent. It is much easier if HR is a part of the strategic plan development.
HR is not invited automatically. It has to fight for its place at the table. It can be seen as the weak partner in the beginning. However, by playing the strong HR role the position will start to change quickly. The HR has to be a part of the strategic planning. The HR Role is in bringing right initiatives to make the human capital competitive and innovative.