Strategic Human Resource management requires that organizations recognize their people as their most important asset. The trend is that an increasing number of organizations are beginning to accept that HR is one of their real concerns. The need for more effective Human Resources management is growing in importance.
What follows shows the thoughts of some HR writers on HR management.
Charles R. Greer:
"Some authors define strategic HR as the effective application of the organization's human resources to accomplish the organization's overall strategies."
Others see strategic Human Resource management as being integrated with strategy formulation on how HR management can help accomplish the organization’s business plans. HR long-term goals are needed to improve business performance.
Why Strategic Human Resource Management is Important
Organizations, particularly business entities, must succeed financially if they are to survive. This is the reason why business plans are prepared.
This is one of the ways in understanding the important factors connected with strategic Human Resource management.
Your organization may have a business plan. The only thing left to do is to make it a reality. If not, develop one.
If you have a good plan, there is a high probability that positive results will ensue.
This can result in the following:
Enhancement of your organization's economic performance
Increase in employee and organizational productivity
Increase in your survival rate as a corporate entity
Lower labor turnover
Increase in customer satisfaction
Your HR function does not become redundant due to value-adding quality
In order to ensure that employees can play their respective role in the organization, you need an HR plan of action.
Having a plan is one thing. To make it work, you need to train and develop your people in order that they have the knowledge and skills to do their respective tasks well.
HR Strategic Approach
In strategic Human Resource management, you may want to emphasize "performance improvement and competitive advantage." But this has the potential of leading to industrial conflicts.
You have the option to choose the "soft approach". This approach takes into consideration an employee's superior know-how, commitment, motivation and job satisfaction. Some argue that this approach is manipulative. If you take this option, it does not mean that it is deliberate.
The process adopted by organizations may differ.
HR Manager and HR professionals have the role to assist in implementing a strategic Human Resource management plan.
Formulate your HR mission and objectives to provide the connecting link between all HR activities.
Clearly define and understand the HR "strategic intent."
R. Collins states:
"Improvement in the strategic management of people also requires a commitment to sustained long-term action."
Understand the business carried out by the organization. This includes HR Managers and HR professionals.
Formulate the HR strategic plan, understand what it is intended to achieve, and link it to the overall business objectives.
Implement the plan. This requires a strategic implementation plan to ensure the plan is understood and accepted by everyone in the organization.
Obtain feedback on outcomes. Use these as inputs in future decision making.
Review and amend plan accordingly, communicate and re-implement.
HR Management Strategy
To ensure a high probability of success in the implementation of strategic human resource management, you need to carry out a number of things.
Implement strategic recruitment where the right person is selected to fill the right job and according to organizational needs
Use the right mix of incentives to motivate and engage employees who then can concentrate improving their performance.
Appoint the right HR Head to provide the necessary leadership in making HR as a strategic partner
Draw up an HR mission statement with well defined HR objectives in alignment with the overall organizational objectives
Provide the right set of training and development programs on an on-going basis for every level of employees
Implement performance management system to identify high-performing employees for the purpose of giving rewards befitting their performance, work quality and output
Give recognition and implement a fair rewards system to retain quality employees
The Human Resource Function
Someone, somewhere within your organization must carry out the HR function. If not, your organization cannot fulfill its legal and contractual obligations towards employees.
Who are responsible for the HR function?
Human Resource Managers are appointed for this important purpose. HR professionals are supposed to help them.
Your organization may have appointed an HR Manager or an HR Director or both.
If your organization is very serious about implementing strategies in human resources management, appointing an HR director goes a long way in ensuring that the HR plan is treated as important as the organization's business plan. He or she can provide the necessary leadership on all matters relating to HR. He or she represents HR at the Board level.
You need capable HR professionals to implement strategic Human Resource management.
There was a survey that shows that there are still a lot of organizations that do not place much importance to human resource. Do not allow your organization to remain under this category.
The Better Option
Decentralizing the entire HR function goes against the new development and trends in Human Resources management.
However, you can decentralize certain human resource activities to line managers. When you do this, provide them with all the necessary support.
Make your line managers responsible for all occupational health and safety matters within their own area of operations, the training of their subordinates, recruitment for their respective sections according to needs, and the performance appraisal of their subordinates.
Integration of People Management into Planning and Decision Making Process
It is now accepted that without people, achieving result is practically impossible. To effectively manage people, prepare a long-term plan to integrate organizational goals with HR policies and actions.
Strategies are implemented in identified key HR areas to improve employee motivation and productivity. You need to see whether HR strategies are competitive enough as compared to industry standards. Benchmark them comparing “apples with apples.”
HR Management Strategies and Business Strategy
Determine the HR strategies that fit into the business strategies adopted by your organization.
For example, you implement an effective training and performance improvement plan to improve customer service.
More satisfactory customer service will help in the generation of more revenue.
You can use superior performance to determine the rewards. This, in turn, motivates your employees to perform better. Better performance attracts more customers and helps to retain existing ones. Learning and skills improvement forms a necessary part of improving people management.
The 7S of HRM attempts to simplify the important characteristics of strategic human resource management. Thereafter, conduct a more in-depth examination.