HR Strategies: Definition, Examples and Essential Steps

stratégies RH
Morgane Lança
November 14 2023

Have you ever heard of HR strategies? Despite preconceived ideas, the human resources department has an essential strategic role in every organization.
HR strategies are designed to optimize a company’s productivity by improving employee wellbeing and performance.They should play a central part in your organizational decisions.

What is an HR strategy?

An HR strategy defines a company’s medium to long-term vision for its employees and business goals. It includes analyzing strategic data related to human resources management to make relevant strategic decisions for the company and its business challenges.

There are global strategies, which concern all human resources management practices, and more targeted strategic HR plans, which focus on a specific aspect of an employee’s life cycle, such as recruitment or onboarding.

HR strategies touch on the entire employee experience and focus on building action plans to improve employee engagement, productivity, retention and well-being at work. They also aim to optimize recruitment processes and day-to-day team management practices to create a productive and positive work environment.

6 steps to creating a successful HR strategy

To find out where to focus your HR strategy and ensure its effectiveness within the company, you should follow these essential steps.

1. Evaluate your current resources and business performance

The first step is to analyze your current internal resources, i.e. the budget and time to be allocated to creating and implementing the HR strategy, the number of employees available to be involved, and the skills and capabilities of the human resources department.

If you need help, you can call external HR strategy experts to ensure you quickly create an effective plan.

2. Determine your strategic goals

Knowing which aspects of human resources management your strategic plan will focus on is essential. It’s best to choose critical points that will make all the difference in business growth. For example, you can prioritize:

  • Optimizing your recruitment process to reduce hiring costs;
  • Improving employee engagement to avoid voluntary departures, improve your retention rates and team productivity;
  • Structuring your employer brand to promote your company to potential candidates and align all your employees with a strong corporate culture and mission.

You will probably have to optimize several HR processes while implementing your strategy. The key is to keep your main objectives in mind and give yourself the means to achieve them. You should also give yourself quantified targets: for example, if you want to reduce your turnover rates, aim for a percentage to be reached within a given period.

3. Create a detailed HR report

If you want to set precise directions and deadlines in your HR strategy, you need to create a detailed report that lists and analyzes all your human resources management processes:

  • Recruitment and onboarding processes;
  • Company benefits, leave and overtime policies;
  • Skills development and training opportunities offered to employees;
  • Your organization’s overall compensation policy and salary structure;
  • Work-life balance and EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) policies;
  • etc.

In addition to helping you build a clear HR policy that you can communicate to your employees, this information is crucial in determining the content and method of implementation of your strategy.

4. Define the structure of your HR strategy

Now that you have an idea of the “what” and “why” of your HR strategy, it’s time to define the “how“.

You should create a plan detailing the stages of your HR strategy, the players involved (departments and managers), their main tasks (implementing the strategy within their teams, communicating effectively on projects), and the timescales within which you want to achieve your objectives.

It’s also essential to have clear targets in mind, such as SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) objectives for each strand of your strategy, but also to have a means of analyzing your results, such as HR dashboards, an audit, or sending out surveys throughout the organization.

5. Communicate the strategy with your teams

HR strategies must involve your entire workforce. Your employees need to know about upcoming changes and areas for improvement. Furthermore, they will appreciate your transparency and willingness to optimize your HR processes.
Of course, the stakeholders in the strategy in place must also be informed: you can send a global document by email to the whole organization and communicate in greater detail with the leading players afterwards.

6. Continuously adjust and optimize your strategy

Once you’ve implemented your HR strategy, measuring its impact through performance indicators, surveys, and detailed reports on the processes implemented is essential. 

If your strategy doesn’t meet your expectations, optimize it by involving all the key players and surveying your employees. In any case, the experience and feedback of your employees are invaluable assets in continuously improving your strategies!

Examples of HR strategies

Here are a few examples of HR strategies that can pay off for your company: 

 

  • Improving retention rates and employee engagement to save $175,000 in just one year: By implementing an HRIS, an SMB was able to analyze all its HR processes and identify areas for improvement. The company then created a strategy based on its performance indicators and HR report. It then reduced turnover and absenteeism rates and improved retention while benefiting from productivity gains and cost savings.
  • Focusing on employee development plans to fill vacancies: Employee development can help compensate for labor shortages. A company struggling to recruit new hires can focus on career advancement and internal mobility strategies based on vertical movement (promotions of deserving employees to more qualified and often difficult-to-fill positions) or horizontal movement (transferring your employees from one department to another, changing their responsibilities and roles with their agreement, which can improve their engagement). 
  • Creating an employee ambassador program: If your goal is to make your employer brand shine, you can create an employee ambassador strategy. This plan involves properly training your employees in employer branding concepts, particularly your company’s specific employer brand. They will then be responsible for promoting your company values on social networks as well as internally. Who can promote your company culture better than your employees?

Data and tools to create relevant HR strategies

HR strategies, while essential, require a great deal of time and resources. HR management software solutions provide the data and Key Performance Indicators features to guide decision-making and ensure effective employee management. 

By automatically calculating key factors such as your company’s retention rate and turnover rate and their evolution over time, you gain critical insights for creating a relevant HR strategy and a vision of the impact of your HR practices on your workforce.

What’s more, you can access this centralized information directly on your dashboard for efficient, streamlined, strategic daily HR management!

Choose the best HR software to guide your strategic planning:

Get HR KPIs and reports with Folks RH!

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