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HR Strategy For Dummies

Jul 10

If there is one thing I hate in HR, it’s when I hear other HR Pros try and make HR seemingly overly complicated.  Look, we aren’t launching the Space Shuttle, we are only trying to get good people to come and stay at our organizations.  It’s not rocket science, it’s people science, and it’s probably less science and more common sense.  We could call your HR strategy, People Sense! That’s sounds like a bad HR tech company name.

The reality is our organizations actually have fairly low expectations when it comes to HR strategy.  It doesn’t seem that way because we tend to get stuck in doing so much busy work, that anything strategic throws us off our tactical game.  In truth our organizations really just want HR to deliver some very simple things, consistently, without fail.  Here they are:

1. Make sure everyone gets paid on time and correctly. This should be done 99.99% of the time with out fail.

2. Make it easy for us to get answers to simple questions.  I need to see a doctor about a bump. This should be one call, one click. Not a process.

3. Hiring manager needs a new person, a back-fill or an upgrade.  Give me a realistic timeline on how long this will take and what my role in the this process will be.  Don’t think you have to do it all, let’s just be clear what each of us is going to do, and deliver those items.

4. I have no idea how to lead my team, please help me be better now, and get better for the future.

5. We don’t care you don’t have a ‘system’ that can do this, or not do this.  That’s a ‘you’ problem, not a ‘me’ problem.  Figure it out, that’s your department.  I don’t tell you we don’t have the proper system to design parts, that’s not your problem.  It’s my job to make sure we get parts designed.  It’s your job to make sure of the all the people stuff.

6. I’m concerned about how to get work done right now, deadlines.  I need you to be concerned about how we’ll get work done in the future, and keep me in the loop on these issues.

7. Help me get my team better.

We tend to believe that our processes and systems will drive our strategy.  They won’t, there just processes and systems.  Side note: stop asking Enterprise Systems to change to your way of thinking.  You paid a lot of money for a great tool, which was designed under specific methodology and processes, that are way more scientific than you. Follow their work flows, you’ll be so much better off in the long run.  Your processes and systems aren’t that special.

HR strategy for small businesses to the largest corporations and organizations in the world aren’t really all that different.  There are a few things we need to deliver almost perfectly, then we need to help our organizations get better.  We add in so much complexity, that these simple truths get lost by so many HR Pros. It’s about delivering pay and benefits flawlessly, finding and retaining talent that works for us, developing and guiding leaders to run effective teams, helping our employees better versions of themselves, and ensuring we are prepared for what comes next.

Sounds simple, right!?

1 Comment to “HR Strategy For Dummies”

  1. This is fantastic. There are the items that HR needs to do constantly and with very little error; these to me are called non-value added items. Sure these items can be helpful to the organization, but they are not strategic goals which greatly help the organization. HR needs to reduce the amount of time to complete those “need to dos” and they need to concentrate more on being strategic.

    Thomas Stenson
    Jul 10, 2014

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