Every organization is powered by its people. Consequently, effective HR strategies are critical to ensure productivity and maximum success. HR professionals play an important role in terms of coming up with the right strategies to support organizational direction but must have the ability to think beyond tactics to identify the high-level areas of focus that will drive success.
Consider Strategic Vision
Effective HR strategies cannot survive in a vacuum. To be effective, they must be aligned with the organization’s strategic vision. The vision will provide an indication of where the company is heading and the people resources needed to help it get there. HR leaders should review the company’s current vision to determine ways in which HR activities can support that vision. In concert with other organizational leaders, HR staff must consider whether the vision is applicable based on external and internal factors and whether changes in the marketplace may be suggesting a new vision.
As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement, organizations know that they will be faced with an exodus of key staff members. In addition, an aging employee population may represent high staffing costs as well as the need for training and retraining. HR leaders should examine the demographics of the workforce to determine where gaps may exist between current skills and the need for skills and experience that may emerge in the future, in alignment with the organization’s vision and strategies. HR strategy should be focused on filling these gaps through strategic recruitment, retention and training efforts.
Transfer of Knowledge
Ensuring transfer of knowledge between department workers — whether they are departing voluntarily or involuntarily, or due to retirement or other reasons — is necessary to ensure continuity and minimal impact on productivity and effectiveness. A strategy for transferring knowledge is critical. Interestingly, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations found in a survey that about one-third of small business owners have created knowledge transfer plans. These plans are designed to ensure that the knowledge of older workers has been captured and will be retained and transferred to younger workers as baby boomers retire and leave their organizations. While the survey indicated that 11 percent of the 400 business owners responding had established plans in place, and another 17 percent were in the process of developing them, 70 percent had not yet taken steps to address the loss of knowledge from their organizations.