Workforce & Succession Planning: Strategic Alignment of HR

January 27, 20211:35 pm398 views
Workforce & Succession Planning: Strategic Alignment of HR
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Within organisations, there are visions and goals which are set by the governing body and they define the purpose of the organisation. To achieve intended outcomes of these visions and goals, leaders have to align three key aspects: administrative efficiency, functional excellence, and strategic alignment. 

The administrative efficiency deals with administrative tasks like payroll, office space, role clarity, and so forth. Functional excellence is about the standard process of working around people, maintaining employee performance, communication, and tasks that HR usually handles. How about strategic alignment? In this article, we will discuss further about strategic alignment as the key HR deliverables for a firm to be successful. 

What is HR strategic alignment?  

Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe define strategic alignment as all elements of a business, including market strategy and the way the company itself is organised, are arranged in such a way as to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose. Meanwhile, ‘Father of modern HR’ Dave Ulrich said that strategic alignment is of every organisation strategy on where to play and how to win the battle in the market with competitors.

HR will play an important role in strategic alignment, enabling every organisation strategy through talent, leadership, and organisation. In talent, HR makes sure that the right people are in the right roles with the right skills at the right time. In organisations, HR makes sure their organisation has the right culture and work environment that enables capabilities required to win. In leadership, HR makes sure the current and future leaders think and act to deliver value. Likewise, HR is commonly consulted after decisions have been made in order to help implement any major changes, considering the invaluable perspective HR has on how decisions will impact human resources within an organisation. 

See also: The Key to Management Strategy: Employee Retention

Developing an organisation’s strategy  

Achieving strategic alignment in the absence of an effective strategy would be a tough row to hoe. While the development of a strategy is an exclusive responsibility of leaders, supported by their executives, HR managers need to be aware of how a strategy is developed and devolved in order to be able to best achieve strategic alignment. 

According to Project Management Knowledge Index (MOSAIC), the starting point for strategic development is the creation of an organisation’s purpose expressed in its vision, mission statement, and values. The achievement of any strategies made, however, might be limited by organisations’ access to resources finance, available people process, and technologies within organisations. Even so, the strategic plan should be an integrated master plan for the achievement of strategic objectives within a designated time frame. 

Creating strategic alignment  

Once the organisation’s strategy is developed, alignment is required to ensure the achievement of success. Alignment at the project level requires a clear understanding of the organisation’s strategic intention. MOSAIC defines that purpose, vision, strategy, and objectives define how the strategic intention of an organisation is distilled into precise project objectives; whereas structure, culture, processes, and resources represent how the project will achieve strategic objectives. 

Strategic in the achievement of alignment:  
  • Purpose – what is the reason for a project? 
  • Vision – once complete what will success look like? 
  • Strategy – how will the project achieve this vision? 
  • Objective – what smart objective needs to be achieved to fulfil the strategy? 
Tactical approaches:  
  • Processes – the project management processes that need to be applied to accomplish the work. 
  • Resources – the people and other resources are needed to accomplish the work. 
  • Structure – the organisation of the project’s internal and supply chains required to manage and to accomplish the work. 
  • Culture – what culture do teams involved want to develop within the project team and how will the teamwork create it? 

At this point, the tactical aspects of this stage should be reviewed and measured regularly to ensure the project remains on track to achieve the defined objectives. 

Strategic approach  
  • Programs and practices only after value impact is established
  • Fewer programs – greater impact with value-added ROI
  • Existing programs reviewed/changed/eliminated if needed
  • Measure impact and value to a business
  • Extensive involvement and collaboration shared
  • Human capital investment
  • Knowledgeable about strategies and operational issues 
  • Well versed in basic finance and business concepts 
How to ensure the alignment is a success?  

Strategic alignment can be said successful with effective execution if meets the following factors: 

  • Balanced and comprehensive objectives. Successful and stable portfolios required a balanced cooperative environment in which projects and personnel work together for an organisation’s benefit. Portfolio of projects must balance organisational objectives and available resources based on the strategic plan. 
  • Specific and durable objectives. An efficient organisation focuses resources on durable objectives designed to move an organisation toward its vision. 
  • Hierarchical framework. A well-developed hierarchical framework of objectives and goals translates high-level objectives to the appropriate managers and technical functions. 
  • Measurable objectives. Measurements and metrics offer clean guidelines for balancing project objectives. 
  • Stakeholder agreement. If stakeholders disagree with the objectives of an organisation, conflict will disrupt progress, achieving alignment is critical. 
  • Environmental and organisational assumptions. Assumptions influence project plans, thus write the plans down, confirm and store them. Identify risks that will occur if the assumptions are wrong or change. 

Read also: 5 Actions to Emphasize in Developing Talent Management Strategy