HR Strategy: Charting the Course of HR's Role in Your Organization



In 2015 the University of Michigan published results of a study that looked at what impact HR competency has on business performance. They did the study repeatedly over the course of about 16 years, and this is what they found:

If HR really wants to impact the business, they have to show a strategic contribution.

Schedule Your 30-Minute Consultation

What is Strategic Human Resource Management?

There are six key areas where HR can contribute to the overall strategic business plan, but rarely does. The rest of the executives in any organization are concerned with these 6 items, and HR needs to be concerned about them too.

Market Trends

Strategic Human Resources planning can only be effective in meeting organizational goals if it can match its strategic plan to the strategic plan of the company. The first piece to that is knowing what market trends the organization is dealing with.

Key Business Metrics

It’s critical to look at the effect HR has on the key organizational goals of the company. Perhaps HR needs to conduct a gap analysis that will determine what organizational development initiatives will impact business strategy?

Financial Analysis

When it comes to financial analysis, one of the most important questions to ask is: how is HR measuring its impact on the company’s financials? I’m not convinced that HR is always looking at the right financial metric when it comes to measuring impact on business financials.

Environmental Changes

What’s happening in your workforce and your industry that might be impacting your ability to attract, retain, and motivate talent and increase human capital? Look at environmental changes in terms of its impact on your organizational goals and business strategy.

Customer Feedback

HR often fails to look outside of their company to see what drives customers to do business with their particular company. But it’s critical knowledge for effective Human Resources planning and affects the way we recruit, retain, and motivate.


HR must understand the business’s true competitors. Where are you better? How can you maintain that advantage? Where are you behind? How can you bridge that gap?

Why Is Strategic Human Resource Planning Important?

71% of CEOs believe their employees are the most important factor in their company’s economic success. The Human Resources planning process is simply the process by which organizations determine how to properly staff to meet business needs and customer demands. Despite the need, nearly a third of HR professionals say their departments need to improve strategic alignment!

Benefits of Strategic HR Management

According to SHRM, the closer the alignment between HR and an organization’s overall business strategy, the better the company’s ability to anticipate and respond to customer needs and maintain a competitive advantage. Research, planning, and development involving workforce culture, behaviors, and competencies promote the successful execution of business strategy.

What Are The Objectives of Strategic HR Management?

Strategic HR management is developing a culture that aligns with company goals. This includes designing systems to help the company attract and retain employees that fit the culture and bring qualifications and experience needed for the future. Concepts like career development and employee development also take center stage when HR is viewed from a strategic perspective.

Schedule Your Consultation With Ed

How Do You Develop A Strategic HR Plan?

Based on the Michigan study, there are a few basic steps HR can take to develop a human resources strategic plan that addresses each of these areas.


1. Decide How Many Plans You Need

Depending on the size of the organization, you may need more than one HR strategic plan.


2. Look At The List of 6 Areas & Prioritize

Which area is the most important one that needs to be attacked right away?

3. Identify Your Competitive Advantage & How to Measure It

 What buttons are you pushing at what point in time and how is that creating an impact?

4. Decide On Your Desired Culture

What kind of culture do you need to work on to support your key business metrics?

5. Create the Tactical Piece of the Plan

How will your compensation, benefits, recognition, and & career opportunities impact each of the six areas?


6. Decide How You Will Implement the Plan

This is the most critical piece of all.  Who will do what and when? How will you know if it is successful?

How Ed Krow Has Helped Other Businesses Create An HR Strategic Plan

My firm has engaged Ed numerous times since 2007 for a varied number of HR related issues. Every interaction with Ed has been excellent! He takes a well thought-out, pragmatic, and logical approach to HR issues based on many years of experience and education.

Bob Bunting

Vice President, Acorn Design & Manufacturing

In the past, we have hired Ed for numerous HR related projects. He has always been timely and thorough with his completion of projects. More recently, though, we have utilized Ed in decision-making to resolve some issues. Ed is very professional and we rely on his expertise and knowledge to make sound decisions.

Kim Gibson

HR/Safety Director, National Novelty Brush Company

Ed is the consummate professional year in and year out. He posesses the very effective combination of deep expertise, project management, client empathy and saying-reporting-documenting what the project and client needs.

John McCambridge

Human Resources Business Partner, North America, Voith Holding, Inc.

Ed’s Clients Include

Strategic HR Tips & Articles

How To Change Your People’s Behavior

How To Change Your People’s Behavior

When we think about how we get people to change their behaviors and follow the vision their leaders set, we see that we use inspiration to motivate them. But to change their behavior, we have to give them the skills they need. We do this through training. ... read the...

Becoming A Leader

Becoming A Leader

When we try to fix things as leaders, sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we have to be strategic visionaries, always thinking big and considering the implications for the whole organization.  That’s true of a leader, but at the same time, we have to be...