HR professionals shared challenges in a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report. Maintaining employee engagement, developing leaders, and offering competitive compensation topped their lists. These challenges, among others, influence a company’s human resource goals and objectives.
Most professionals said that executing HR processes with limited resources was a challenge. And HR Professionals expect the challenges to continue. Finding talent and allocating resources would provide challenges for the next decade.
The SHRM said that executives want HR to refresh strategies to align with business goals. Executives ask HR to engage with leadership when developing and implementing HR strategy. Executives hold HR accountable for providing innovative solutions, and demand financial growth.
Assess HR’s Current State
You likely encounter similar obstacles in your organization. Those challenges will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. Develop an HR strategy and create smart human resource goals and objectives.
Before starting the human resource planning process, make an assessment of last year. You need to learn the important lessons from any mistakes. What you discover may result in a need to redefine all of HR’s practices.
One major challenge is that HR professionals sometimes don’t understand the business. HR must know the company’s core principles and values that make the company unique. HR also needs to speak its language to link talent goals to the priorities of the business.
Challenges When Starting the HR Planning Process
Planning can be difficult for shrinking HR departments with their very busy employees. HR gets pulled into daily situations with employees that can’t seem to get along. It often feels like even management can’t work with their own people.
The many departments within an organization all have their own goals and initiatives. It’s difficult to get leadership to accept the importance of human resource objectives. But with time and effort, you can convince leadership of their value.
With little time available for planning, you may be tempted to rely on others’ success. You must be careful when using others’ input to create human resource goals and objectives. Learn about your business and employees before considering others’ best practices.
Beginning Stages of Creating Your HR Plan
Now you understand some challenges encountered when it comes to human resource planning. And it’s time to create your plan. Here are some areas to consider when setting human resource goals and objectives.
Get Input From Employees
You’ve probably heard this already, but remember that HR is all about people. Consider input from your organization’s staff. Listen to the employees when developing HR strategy.
Ask open, honest questions. Even if the answers are difficult to hear, these types of questions are the best way to get the feedback you need.
By listening to your employees, you can create a custom plan for your organization. Your employees are unique. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and your plan needs to work for all of them.
Understand your employees’ needs by using surveys. Surveys can measure culture and employee sentiment effectively. Act on the feedback you receive, and be flexible with your methods as your company grows and changes.
Build Relationships With the Staff
Don’t just solicit feedback, but give back to your employees as well. Have real relationships with them. Help them understand their value and how they fit into the “why” of your company.
Build relationships with key individuals. Obviously, you need a good relationship with your leadership team. But other employees can act as liaisons to HR.
Middle management may have a better idea of culture than your executives. Employees interacting with various departments may know how separate divisions view each other. Even employees in humble positions can provide great insight into the staff’s engagement.
Involve Your Company’s Leadership
Your HR strategy needs to be led and supported by the company’s leadership. Get the business leaders involved and participating in both planning and implementation. Help them to see the value of the people, not just the impact to the business.
Communicate effectively with the team. Have an executive meeting to discuss relationship building both internally and externally. Get input and buy in from everyone on team, and have follow-up meetings to review assigned tasks.
Involving leadership ensures that employees are held accountable. They are then more likely to support human resource goals and objectives. The team needs to appreciate that workforce, operational, and customer success is important. They are just as important as reaching traditional performance metrics.
Set Human Resource Goals and Objectives
You now have the foundation for creating an HR strategic plan. The preparation you’ve made will help you define clear human resource goals and objectives. Let’s get into some of the specific areas where you can make a real impact on the business.
Maintain Adequate Staffing
Adding staff to the organization is a fundamental function of HR. It is important to revisit the organization’s staffing needs regularly. Design an organizational structure and identify areas where there is a need.
Identify what type of employee would be best for the role. Be sure to recruit the right people for the job. Compete to acquire the best talent to meet the company’s goals and objectives. Make sure those are in line with your human resource goals and objectives.
Reviewing the prior year can be a big help when considering staffing needs. Ask these questions: Who was let go and why? Who left and why? Did employees leave to go to competitors?
Many HR professionals agree that it is hard to find talent. So create incentives that help retain your top talent. Offer perks that are competitive and creative.
Hiring and Onboarding Practices
This is another area where you can benefit from considering the prior year. Learn from those who left because clear expectations weren’t set. Did any employees leave because they felt they weren’t trained properly?
Conducting pre-employment background checks can help identify concerns. Set up procedures to make your new hires’ first impressions positive. Take their feedback into consideration from the beginning.
Let job candidates see the work environment. You can use an assessment tool to help figure out if a candidate is a good fit for your organization. Encourage managers to review job descriptions in detail.
Many companies have begun conducting behavioral interviews. Instead of discussing the employee’s abilities, managers try to figure out if an applicant is a good fit. They ask questions about past experiences and reactions to hypothetical situations.
Once hired, pair employees with an engaged, experienced member of the company. Interdepartmental mentorship can be especially effective in many cases.
Many executives expect their HR professionals to help optimize the performance of employees. When evaluating performance, be sure to base all decisions on data and facts. Don’t always defer to a gut feeling. Ask: What went wrong, and why? Not: Who messed up?
There are two key ways to optimize performance, increase revenue and minimize cost. An organization needs to leverage the strengths unique to the business. It should offer products that set it apart and make good use of the talents of employees.
Be careful minimizing the cost per employee. You don’t want to face retention issues. Spend most of your time on optimizing performance. Optimizing performance should be a key part of your human resource goals and objectives.
Promotions, compensation increases, and providing a company vehicle can increase performance. At times, HR must also assist in disciplining workers who have displayed poor performance or conduct.
Education and development is a key area when you can show you value your employees. Don’t give up on talented employees who need development in certain areas. Keep this in mind when setting human resource goals and objectives.
You might have employees that are talented but struggle working directly with customers. You can provide customer service training. Or you might have project managers that are knowledgeable, but struggle managing. Maybe they would benefit from leadership training.
Provide continuous education to employees from year to year. It is a valuable investment in company growth. You can make use of online learning when appropriate.
It is important to find a training company that understands your business. Finding trainers that have worked in the industry can have the most impact. Employees attending the training are more likely to respect the trainers.
Trainers that know your business are also usually easier to work with. They understand your scheduling needs. They’ve developed training that makes practical application your employees’ jobs.
They can design a plan to help your employees progress through your organization. These training companies have an idea of the margins and budget available for training and development. They know the employees, what they’re capable of, and how to optimize your business.
Facilitate Change Management
Limit change to a few initiatives when building human resource goals and objectives. Concentrate on high value, easy-to-implement changes first. Ask: How valuable is this change? How easy is it to implement?
Remember to think about the customer when implementing changes. Ask: Will this change improve the customer experience? Will this change satisfy a need of our customers?
Improve Employee Engagement
Make sure your organization doesn’t forget about employees at the end of the fiscal year. Businesses are then often concentrated on meeting sales, production, or distribution goals. Employee disengagement costs billions each year in lost productivity.
You can schedule engagement events. Have HR one-on-one meetings to discuss employee needs. Continue to make sure your employees feel valued and feel like they can have an impact on the business. Even small changes and initiatives can change the culture for the better.
Power of Persuasion
After establishing your human resource goals and objectives, you’ll need leadership’s support. Once they’re on board, you’ll have to get your employees to support it as well. It’s not enough to write a killer plan. You need to “sell it” too.
What to Avoid
You don’t want to be intimidating. Don’t use any authority granted to coerce others into adopting your plan. It’s also not effective to just keep reminding others of the plan over and over.
Don’t be overly enthusiastic. You want to have some excitement, but others might feel that you’re being fake to get what you want if it’s over the top. Share your human resource goals and objectives with a reasonable level of positivity.
Listen to others’ feedback. Say only what you need to. If you keep talking, you could eventually talk the person out of your plan.
Commit to your human resource goals and objectives once you’ve completed them. If you use ideas or feedback from others, don’t cut them later. If you agree to implement your plan by a certain date or in a certain fashion, stick with it.
Try to get the support of others communicated in writing. People are more likely to stick to their support if it’s in writing. Sending a follow-up email after a discussion will further commit the person.
Show examples of why your ideas will work. This may be a previous success from others, but it doesn’t have to be. It can information from a popular book, trade magazine, or a known authority. It can even your own company’s staff that supported your human resource goals and objectives.
If you struggle with persuasion, check out this training from Making Business Matter. Here you can learn influencing skills that can help you get your ideas across. You’ll learn skills from body language to demonstrating an assertive approach.
Start Working on Your Plan
Having a clear plan of human resource goals and objectives will end in success for your HR strategy. You don’t have to be overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into it. Even though the challenges of your organization continue, you can ask for help.
Your leadership team and your company’s staff can help contribute to your plan. Setting clear goals and learning to persuade others to buy in will ensure its success. Start working on your plan today. Read our blog, or sign up for one of our elite HR and Leadership Courses today!