6 Key learnings to improve your HR strategy

Your HR strategy needs to give direction to your organisation, whilst remaining flexible enough to deal with the challenges of the modern workplace. Here are six of our key learnings that can be applied to improve or refine your strategy, keeping you ahead of the curve (and your competitors)…

Human Resources Concept

Learning 1. HR: from supporter to customer-oriented service partner

HR plays an even bigger role in the modern workplace.

Your HR department’s systematic knowledge is becoming increasingly important in realising the vision and strategy of the organisation. HR knows what staff and qualities are needed and which employees or candidates can deliver. HR as a whole is increasingly developing into the role of a customer-oriented service partner.

HR should proactively manage the direction of the organisation by ensuring that the right people are in the right place, at the right time and the right price.

Learning 2. Enthusiasm and loyalty: going beyond generalisations

When the economy picks up, it’s always your best employees who leave first.

This is a well-known but often ignored lesson from earlier crisis periods. Look beyond generalisations on the motives of generations X, Y and Z; not every twenty-something goes for freedom and innovation, not every Baby Boomer is obsessed with status.

Make an effort to identify the unique talents and motivations of your employees. Offer perspectives that connect with their psyche before it’s too late. Young or old, X or Y, your people will commit themselves more to your organisation.

Learning 3. Manage talent, not weakness

Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?

Traditional HR strategies focus on the weaknesses and development areas of employees. More modern approaches emphasise the assessment of competencies in order to align an individual’s behaviour to the ideal job role.

Stop asking: How can I get employees to perform optimally in their existing positions?
Start asking: In which function will this employee perform optimally?

Learning 4. Developing tomorrow’s leaders today

On-going succession planning is the optimal way to retain key talent.

Let management and staff express what they expect from their leaders and then research which people in your organisation can fill available leadership roles. Succession planning has several advantages: you save on recruitment costs, you retain key talent, and you develop effective leaders who know your organisation well.

Succession planning should be an on-going process that forms part of a clearly defined talent management strategy. Objective data on employee skills, knowledge and development potential provides you with the information you need to make key succession decisions with confidence.

Learning 5. Big data comes to HR: The need for a talent dashboard

No talent management and succession planning strategy is complete without objective information about the talent and motives of your old and new employees.

With the rise of ‘big data’ in organisations across the world, HR departments face the challenge of instituting a talent dashboard, defined as a real-time user interface that provides the current status and historical trends related to employee competence, assessment results, development areas and more.

Dashboards offer the ability to systematically measure and monitor what employees are good at and what they have to offer, allowing HR to make strategic decisions that are backed up by a wealth of data.

Learning 6. Put your organisation’s needs first

Take a step back and ask yourself what you really want out of your HR department.

If you decide to utilise new tools and processes, make sure that these fit with your organisation. Individual initiatives or insignificant trends that have nothing to do with your type of organisation offer little chance of success.

Use an integrated approach; opt for consistency in your HR strategy and you will reap the benefits in the long run.