Strategic Human Resource Definition ... and Related Terms

Knowledge of the strategic human resource definition, human resource management, the definition of management, strategy, as well as other related words, provides the tool in the process of preparing a human resource strategic plan.

In turn, this assists in the formulation and implementation of a strategic HR management system.

Knowing the definition of the other HR-related terms can increase understanding.

Definitions Can Lead to Proper and Right Understanding
It is said that understanding is the beginning of wisdom.

You will find definition of additional terminologies related to HRM at "Human Resources Glossary."

From understanding what human resource is, we can then proceed to learn about strategic human resource definition.

Asking the questions "What is strategic human resource definition?" and "What is strategic HR management?" as we proceed, will help us focus what our organization wants to become, where it wants to go, and how to get there.

But even before that, it is necessary to ask the questions "What is human resource?" and "What is human resource management?". The answers will shed some light on strategic human resource definition.

Seek Better Understanding
Reading books and articles written by well-known writers on the various aspects of both human resource and strategic human resource, human resource management, and the strategy successful organizations adopt will assist us in getting a better understanding of the inter-relationship between the terminologies used in human resource management.

In short, a good understanding of the strategic human resource definition, strategic HR management definition, that of management and strategy, and the components, is important and necessary.

It is advisable to seek adequate information from the "masters", the gurus. They provide insights on how strategic human resource is defined, about strategic human resource management, and strategy and to align it to business objectives, among many other things.

Some authors state that implementing a strategic human resource management system is not so easy. But there are many aspects of strategic HR management that are not too hard to understand. Study how these authors define the terms in the situation that they mention.

Once we understand the human resource definition, it becomes easier to understand the strategic human resource definition.

The definition of management also has a bearing on human resource management definition.

From where did Strategic Human Resource Originate?
There is truth in the statement that strategic human resource management is part of human resource management.

Some writers indicate that Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is Human Resource Management (HRM) with "strategy" added. However, there are others who argue that they developed distinct from each other.

We need not dwell on these arguments. All we need to understand is the scope of human resource definition and its application to people management.

Word of Caution on Strategic Human Resource Definition
There is no common strategic human resource definition that fits every situation.

Variation in Definition
The definition of terms changes depending on the circumstances under which they are used.

Writers on Human Resource Management or Strategic Human Resource Management may have given similar definition or variations of it, depending on their personal background, and the context and circumstances under which they were writing.

Your organization may have its own version of strategic human resource definition and those of related words. Where necessary, review the definition in the light of the additional information.

The strategic human resource definition given here, that of strategic HR management and all related words are "working" definitions. Obtain additional information where you think necessary.

Let us now look into how the human resources terms used both in Human Resource Management and Strategic Human Resource Management and words related to them, are defined.

What is Human Resource?
Human resource is the same as workforce or employees. But human resource is more descriptive of the role of employees since they are, indeed, resources with all their skills, competencies and potential.

Human Resource also refers to the people in HR such as the HR Manager, HR professionals and HR support employees.

Understanding the definition of strategic human resource is the starting point in learning about the important role of human resource.

An organization has several different resources at its disposal in order to achieve its mission.

A resource is something that is important and when employed in a particular way, will help to attain certain defined objectives. A resource is an asset.

An increasing number of companies are accepting their people as resources and as their most important asset.

Organizations must effectively manage their resources, including their people.

Definition of "Management"
Management is defined as the act of organizing and planning based on organizational policies with the intention of achieving certain objectives. Examples are the way how people are deployed and the way organizational activities are carried out.

Management also refers to the executive branch of employees in an organization. They are tasked with ensuring the success of the organization.

Management must manage all resources one of which is the human resource.

Often we read or hear that 'to manage is to achieve a certain objective through others.'

"Human Resource Management" Definition
Human resource management is defined as the way employees are recruited, organized, developed, appraised, motivated, and retained.

Through proper planning and effective management of their people, organizations can achieve their goals.

There are still many organizations that get mixed up with human resource management and personnel management.

In the latter, most of the tasks carried out are administrative in nature although related to employee matters.

When we talk about human resource management, we are defining employees as resources that we need to manage effectively to get some form of returns.

Definition of "Strategy"
A strategy is a step-by-step plan of action prepared by an organization and by which it aims to achieve its plan or plans, thus, ensuring its success and survival.

Strategic human resource definition of employees as an asset

Strategic human resource defines employees as a resource, an asset, that provides competitive advantage to an organization, and on whom organizational success is leveraged.

This is the new way adopted by many organizations in the treatment of their employees, making them the prime drivers or one of the prime movers of corporate success.

People, not machines, not systems, not other assets, are in the special position in helping the organization attain its objectives. These other things, however, are also important. But people are needed to make use of them in productive ways.

Some companies are now convinced that their people are the most important asset. And that without them, they cannot achieve much. In this way, they are implementing a strategic human resource management approach.

"Human Resource Strategy" Definition
This is the step-by-step plan of action by which an organization employs, utilizes or manages, develops, and deploys its human resources in order to attain its defined corporate mission and objectives.

A human resource strategy is devised in respect of recruitment, employee deployment, motivation and engagement, and employee retention.

By doing this, an organization puts itself in the position of being able to achieve its mission and objectives through its human resources.

This follows from the way how strategic human resource is strategically defined.

Strategic Human Resource Management
This is the effective way of organizing the workforce by the adoption of a specific strategy, where employees' performance can help to achieve the planned organizational targets, such as increasing revenue or improving the profit margin.

Strategic human resource management is "human resource management" carried out in a strategic way. The human resource activities are linked to the achievement of the organization's overall objectives.

This is the new way of managing human resources as compared to personnel management.

"Strategic Approach" Defined
This refers to a particular predetermined way of doing something or carrying out an activity in order to attain a target or a certain purpose.

A strategic plan is required to do this.

Strategic Approach to HR
This is the new way of managing people ensuing from the strategic human resource definition.

Human resources with all the competencies and potential are required to attain the HR objectives. These objectives are aligned to the organizational objectives by way of a strategic plan.

By achieving the human resource objectives, HR helps to achieve the business plan.

Strategic Plan
A strategic plan is a step-by-step plan of action devised and aligned to the corporate plan in order to attain organizational objectives.

This inter-relation and alignment with the organizational objectives makes it strategic since this makes it more probable that the organization will achieve its objectives.

This is in contrast to a haphazard way of doing things, hoping that nothing unfavorable will happen.

Strategic HR Plan
Strategic human resource plan refers to the strategic plan whereby employees' energy, time, capabilities, competencies and knowledge are incorporated in a step-by-step plan of action so that their contribution can be monitored and measured over time.

By doing this, human resource can become the prime drivers of corporate success. The human resource plan is aligned to the corporate plan.

The primary goal of strategic human resource plan is to improve employee productivity thus helping to generate higher revenue for the organization.

Related Words and Phrases
It is important to understand other words and phrases having a bearing on the strategic human resource definition, and strategic b>HR management.

Strategic Planning
This refers to the act of preparing a plan in an organized and systematic way with the purpose of achieving a defined target.

Personnel Management
This refers to the traditional way of managing the workforce where the responsibilities carried out are mostly administrative in nature.

Some of the administrative responsibilities involved are salary administration, leave administration, medical benefits, and insurance coverage.

It does not put emphasis on aligning human resources to achievement of organizational objectives.

A lot of the work involved is related to records keeping. Thus, less emphasis on the use of strategy.

Human Resource Metrics
Human resource is a capital. HR Performance metrics is used to measure the return on employees' contribution.

This is a measurement of effectiveness of the contribution of human resource in achieving the organizational objectives.

It has been stated that 'the relationship between an effective people strategy and business success is hard to quantify in financial terms'.

But this is not an excuse for not taking steps to adopt and implement strategic plans in human resources management.

HR Scorecard
This is an example of a human resource metrics.

In "HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy, and Performance" by Brian E. Becker, Mark A. Huselid, and Dave Ulrich, it is stated that HR Scorecard 'develops a measurement system that provides valid, reliable indicators of human resources' contribution to the success of strategy implementation, and ultimately to firm performance'.

Human Capital
This terminology is used by some companies to define their human resource, to indicate their importance as compared to other assets.

As a capital, people are utilized to get optimum returns. Risks of not attaining the HR objectives are assessed. Performance is measured.

This way of treating employees is fairly recent, influenced by the theories put forward by management experts in the field of human resource management.

The meaning is similar to that of strategic human resource management. Both treat people as an important asset.

But some believe that the use of the word "capital" connotes manipulation.

Workforce is defined as having the same meaning as employees or workers. It refers to the entire spectrum of your people.

Knowledge Can Facilitate Strategic Planning
The understanding on the extent and scope of the strategic human resource definition, the definition of strategic HR management, and related terms, is a tool you can employ to improve and enhance management of people through strategic human resource planning.

For example, you may need such information in the preparation of your HR Mission Statement.

We know that different people have their own version of strategic human resource definition due to differing work experience and organizational situation.

It is important that we have an adequate "working" knowledge of "strategic human resource" definition and related words and terminologies.

Definition is not an end in itself. Use the knowledge on strategic human resource definition to facilitate preparation of your strategic human resource plan with the aim of aligning HR to your organizational objectives.

And remember that the meanings of words can change or acquire new meanings.


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