Operational HR Management Vs. Strategic HR Management

Operational HR management and strategic HR management are two sides of the same entity. Operational HR sees to the day-to-day operations essential to meeting the needs of your employees, while strategic HR management concerns itself with predicting outcomes and ensuring that your company has enough of the most qualified human capital to reach its goals. Both facets of human resources are fundamental components that can lead your business to success.


Performing operationally, human resources staff members are top-level administrators. The tasks they accomplish are generally highly visible to your employees because they are focused on the daily work issues attributed to the ongoing needs of your team. These include vital tasks such as recruitment, interviewing and hiring, and risk management. Operational HR management may use and maintain computerized HR information systems, and may also oversee your payroll department.


Strategic HR management requires that HR professionals consider the overall picture of your business’s growth, implementing ways to make a direct contribution to your long-term goals. Strategic HR is integral to the future planning of your business as it relates to employees. In a strategic capacity, HR staff members attempt to project future business needs and work to develop current employees and programs to meet those needs. Looking into the future, HR teams may consider many options to keep your business competitive and growing, including outsourcing certain jobs.

Operational HR Examples

Operational HR includes the management of workers’ compensation issues, health benefits and compensation reviews. It may involve employee counseling and coaching, the creation of employee rewards programs, and developing social programs to engage employees. Attending operational meetings with line managers, as well as devising and implementing training programs, may be part of an operational HR manager’s day. A chief function for operational HR staff members is keeping abreast of employment laws and making certain they are consistently followed.

Strategic HR Examples

Human resources personnel working strategically generally focus on increasing employee productivity and your return on investment, with the intent of moving your company forward. To achieve these ambitions, HR staff members may evaluate the state of the current economy, and review the technical expertise of your current workforce in relation to it. Strategic HR managers may evaluate your employees and make recommendations for workers to participate in specific development programs. HR personnel may also plan strategic restructuring options, or explore ideas for collaboration with a similar business.

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