How can human resources management (HRM) support your company’s strategy? In this post, we look at HRM’s strategic impact and at the means it can leverage.
What makes HRM strategic for business?
In past decades, employers focused on the performance of their machines. Now they recognize that their greatest asset is their staff. This gives the HR function a vital mission: to manage companies’ most valued capital: their men and women.
→ A source of value
Organizations operate and grow thanks to the work of their people. It is therefore essential to optimize the management of this precious resource, ensuring that the right people and skills are in the right places. Effective management of human capital enables a company to create value and increases its chances of achieving its strategic goals.
→ A driver of competitiveness
When your staff’s skills are complementary and well matched to your operational needs, your company can create value and stand out from the competition. Skills management is a powerful instrument for companies that successfully incorporate it in their strategy.
In addition, sound human resources management anticipates the company’s future needs and defines actions to meet them. Properly conducted, HRM is a real factor of differentiation in an increasingly competitive environment.
→ For the benefit of growth
Key HR challenges include:
- Providing career opportunities for employees
- Retaining talent
- Increasing diversity
- Anticipating the effects of the corporate population pyramid.
Indeed, anticipation and talent retention are an integral part of HRM. They are essential to ensure business continuity and to encourage employees’ development: two important drivers of performance and growth.
Adapting HRM to your strategic objectives
There are several ways to align human resources with your corporate objectives, in particular strategic workforce planning (SWP), flexibility and training.
→ Strategic workforce planning
SWP is a forward-looking human resources management system. It ensures that the company’s resources are well matched to its future needs. It also enables businesses to anticipate and adapt HR management to social, economic, technological and regulatory trends.
In practice, SWP enables HR managers and business leaders to predict the impact of these evolutions on their organization and to take the required actions (reorganization of work, recruitment, layoffs, training) to handle them. These actions all have the same purpose: to strengthen the company on the economic, strategic and human levels.
Flexibility also offers the possibility of adapting human resources management to the company’s strategic objectives. It enables you to quickly align employment and the workforce with market fluctuations.
There are three types of flexibility:
- quantitative flexibility, which involves adapting volumes – whether in terms of time worked (internal) or staffing levels (external)
- qualitative flexibility, which involves training and making employees more versatile
- pay flexibility, which is defined as the variation of employee compensation based on the economic context and the company’s financial results (through bonuses, for example).
Training offers employees the opportunity to acquire new skills that are strategic for their organization’s development. Coupled with existing skills in the company, employees’ professional development in new areas or in view of new tasks and strategic activities provides the employer with a qualified workforce better suited to its needs. This gives the company a competitive edge and helps keep employees motivated and ready to meet performance objectives.
Illustration credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/fr/portfolio/lankogal