Human resource strategies are designed to ensure that small businesses have the staff they need to meet customer demand. Considerations that impact human resource strategy include both internal and external environmental changes, such as anticipated turnover, the need for new types of skills and experience, growth or expansion into a new market, changing economic pressure and competitive pressures.
At the highest level, the objectives of a human resource strategy will require businesses to consider two key things: the type of staff needed to manage and run the business to meet stated business objectives, and the pay/benefits and other programs necessary to attract, develop and retain effective staff. These foundational questions form the basis for the development of a human resource strategy.
Aspects of the organization will impact the development of strategies related to human resources. The company’s culture has a critical impact and represents the personality of the organization in terms of its management style and values. This will dictate whether, for instance, the company is one where employees will be expected to “do more with less,” or where they will be overstaffed to fuel a culture of experimentation and innovation. The organization itself and how it is structured is another key dimension that will impact strategy. Finally, the human resources systems, policies and practices will impact the ability of the organization to effectively hire and retain the staff necessary to meet business objectives.
Role of Mission, Vision and Values
When developing objectives for a human resource strategy, the small business must consider its mission, vision and values, whether these are explicitly stated or not. The mission of the organization indicates who the organization serves and why it exists. The vision is an indication of where it hopes to be in the future. The business’s values are the beliefs that guide its actions. Each of these has a direct impact on the type and numbers of employees that will be needed to achieve organizational goals.
A key part of the human resource strategy is a workforce analysis. This analysis will focus on the culture, the organization, the people and the systems that are in place. Small businesses need to consider where they are currently at in terms of each of these elements and where they would like to ideally be. Identifying these gaps will allow the business to focus on specific objectives designed to narrow or close the gaps.
Ultimately, human resource strategies will be guided by evaluation based on specific measurable factors. There are a variety of factors that a small business will consider as it develops, implements and evaluates the effectiveness of its human resource strategy. Commonly, these may include employee turnover, the number of vacant positions, the number of employee grievances, customer complaints and the levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of both employees and customers.