Human Resource Strategic Plan is Critical to Managing People

Human resource strategic plan, the result of HR strategic planning, is one of the important written documents that demonstrate the seriousness to manage people well.

HR plan need to show that employees' contribution is critical to organization's performance.

An HR strategic plan and a strategic HR plan are basically the same in meaning and objectives.

It would appear that "HR strategic plan" places emphasis on the quality of components of the plan itself while "strategic HR plan" places the importance of people in ensuring the successful implementation of that plan.

What is Human Resource Strategic Plan?

As stated elsewhere in this website, a strategic plan consists of a series of actions designed to accomplish defined objectives.

An HR plan is described as strategic since such plan is intended to help organizations achieve their business plan.

Preparing this plan is an essential part of the HR function. In strategic human resource management, formulating such a plan is critical to the continued existence of the Human Resource Department and the importance of HR people in helping management and employees accomplish the business objectives of the organization.

A human resource strategic plan is aligned to the organization's strategic business plan.

Strategic HR management is linked to the management of business activities of the organization. It is mainly the people who provide the required leverage to the organization's efforts in accomplishing its overall plan.

It is the linkage that is of prime importance in the relationship between people and the organization's plan.

Components of an HR strategic plan

In "HR Planning: Why It Is Essential for Your Organization’s Success," Stacey Carrol lists six components, namely,

  1. Knowing the company/organization’s business and strategic plan
  2. Doing an external scan
  3. Assessing the internal workforce
  4. Forecasting workforce demand
  5. Forecasting workforce supply, and
  6. Developing HR strategies including programs, policies, practices and activities - such as workforce supply and demand - and linking them to the business strategies

Developing a Human Resource Strategic Plan

Develop a strategic plan that translates business strategies into Human Resource priorities.

It is not the preparation of any HR plan. It is concerned with 'the HR plan' that can effectively help to make 'the business plan' succeed.

Senior management and line managers must participate in order to draw up a comprehensive, meaningful, easy-to-understand, and implementable HR plan.


  • Examine internal and external environments to identify strategic challenges and objectives
  • Prepare comprehensive HR action plans
  • Determine budgets
  • Link HR plans to organization's strategic goals
  • Implement plans with specific time-lines
  • Decide on regularity of reviews to ensure effectiveness of the plans
  • Take timely corrective action where required

Implementing a Human Resource Strategic Plan

The following are essential for the successful implementation of HR strategic plan.

  • Presentation of the human resource strategy in an easily-understood language. Where possible use charts, diagrams and other helpful tools to facilitate better understanding.
  • Explaining details of the plan to employees at every levels
  • Indicating the time frame for implementation
  • Getting every employee to get involved in implementation and to self-regulate according to time-line
  • Implementing procedures for obtaining feedback
  • Reviewing implementation method for effectiveness using HR metrics
  • Putting in place effective ways of taking corrective action
  • Communicating to employees any new decisions, observations, etc as the results of feedback received or new development

Use what is usually referred to as "double loop feedback" in obtaining feedback and in taking corrective action. This provides better quality information.

Human Resource Strategic Plan in Successful Organizations

Many of the successful organizations can confirm that having implemented a Human Resource plan is one of the reasons for their continued success.

It is reasonable for organizations to follow suit.

Having developed the plan your organization can concentrate in performance improvement. It will save time, reduce costs and motivate employees since they clearly know what to do. Knowing exactly what they are expected to do make them more productive.

Wasted Resources and Lost Opportunities

Why must your organization waste its resources in the pursuit of success while ignoring or failing to realize the importance of preparing a human resource strategic plan?

Do not overlook opportunities for improvements. Employees may consider any such oversight as a failure to consider their role as important. This is not conducive to the good employee morale.

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