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hr strategic plan statement

HR strategy

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  • HR Strategy

Human resource (HR) strategy maximizes the potential of an organization’s human capital so it can achieve its broader business objectives. For some employers, however, transitioning HR from a purely transactional function to a strategic one can be challenging. But considering the competitive advantages enjoyed by talent-driven organizations, it’s an obstacle worth overcoming.

What is an HR strategy?

HR strategy is a roadmap for solving an organization’s biggest challenges with people-centric solutions. This approach requires HR input during policy creation and elevates the importance of recruitment , talent management , compensation, succession planning and corporate culture.

HR Strategy

Why is HR strategy important?

Without strategy behind it, HR remains an administrative function and business growth may be hindered. Consider, for instance, two different companies that would like to expand into new markets.

One of them is strategic and gives HR a seat at the table from the very beginning. It researches locations that would be the most advantageous from an employment standpoint and then develops a long-term plan for networking highly-qualified, passive candidates in the chosen regions.

The other company takes transactional approaches to solving problems. Instead of including HR in its expansion discussions, it delegates a hiring manager to recruit candidates without knowing if the desired talent exists in that market or if the employment rules add a significant number of unexpected obstacles.

As the first example shows, when HR is involved and integrated at many levels of an organization, it can create a powerful advantage.

How to create a human resource strategy

Creating an HR strategy means taking a hard look at an organization’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats – a process also known as a SWOT analysis. Every business is different, but most follow these steps:

  • Understand the business and its objectives Talk to people throughout the organization to gain a full understanding of the business’s past achievements, the products or services that it offers today, and what it hopes to accomplish in the future.
  • Evaluate employee skillsets Review employee performance, resumes, project history and continuing education to assess the collective workforce skill level.
  • Conduct a gap analysis Determine if employees have what they need to maximize their productivity or if investments in additional resources are necessary.
  • Assess talent strategy Regularly auditing compensation, benefits, work environments and employee engagement can help employers compete for new talent and retain valued workforce members.
  • Develop existing employees If any employees appear ready for new challenges or have skills outside their current role, create a development plan that will allow them grow to with the business.
  • Limit turnover Get to the root cause of why people leave an organization and create a comprehensive plan to address the problem and prevent labor shortages.
  • Plan ahead for succession Knowing which employees can easily fill other positions, should they become vacant, helps lessen disruptions when someone abruptly leaves the organization.
  • Rely on analytics Compensation history, turnover rates, employee engagement and other HR metrics can guide strategic decisions.
  • Create a mission and vision statement Mission and vision statements summarize the HR strategy and serve as a litmus test for all policies and decisions thereafter.

What are the benefits of strategic human resources planning?

One of the primary benefits of syncing HR strategy with broader business initiatives is that it helps organizations allocate budgets in ways that will maximize their return on investment (ROI). Employers who take this approach to HR, may also be able to:

  • Reduce turnover
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Enhance productivity
  • Attract superior talent
  • Enact better policies
  • Minimize business disruptions

Best practices for implementing an HR strategy

Everyone has fires to put out, which is why being proactive rather than reactive in the workplace does not always come naturally. The good news, however, is that HR experts have perfected some tried and true methods for implementing strategy effectively. Best practices are to:

  • Involve key stakeholders Strategy requires collaboration. HR professionals should be involved from the beginning and managers and other senior leaders should sign-off on the plan.
  • Know the budget Without funds to support it, HR strategy quickly becomes pie in the sky. Focus on initiatives that realistically fit within the organization’s budget.
  • Remember the basics Do not overlook administrative responsibilities in favor of strategy. A compliance violation will derail any plan, no matter how grand it is.
  • Recognize transactional solutions The quickest answer to a problem may not always be optimal in the long run. Make it a habit of acting strategically in every endeavor.
  • Monitor and adjust the strategy Measure the strategy’s effectiveness over time with key performance indicators (KPIs). If something’s not achieving the desired results, revise it accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

What are strategic hr functions.

Examples of strategic HR functions include compensation planning, recruitment, succession planning and employee development.

What are four human resource strategies?

  • Limit transactional problem solving
  • Be proactive, rather than reactive
  • Provide people-centric solutions to large-scale challenges
  • Connect people who can solve each other’s problems

What are the types of HR strategy?

There are essentially two types of HR strategies – those that are overarching and those that are specific. Overarching strategies apply to the management of an organization’s people as a whole, while specific strategies address subsets of HR, like talent management or recruitment.

How do you develop a strategic HR plan?

A strategic HR plan can be created by thoroughly evaluating an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is known as a SWOT analysis. Once employers know this information, they can create realistic goals that account for what they do well and where they need improvement .

This article offers practical information concerning the subject matter and is provided with the understanding that ADP is not rendering legal or tax advice or other professional services.

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Blog Human Resources

6 Steps to Create a Strategic HR Plan [With Templates]

By Jessie Strongitharm , Aug 25, 2022

hr plan

The backbone of any successful business is the people and processes behind it — that’s why creating a human resources (HR) plan is key. This strategic document drives your business forward by evaluating where your workforce is at, and comparing it to future needs. 

Without an HR plan, organizations can suffer from issues that would have otherwise been avoided. From productivity pitfalls to costly employee turnover, there’s no shortage of risks you can sidestep if you do human resource planning in advance. 

Not sure where to start? No worries. I’ve outlined six steps you can take to create an effective HR plan that ensures your organization is well-staffed and well-served. You’ll also find a variety of  HR templates  that you can customize in just a few clicks — no design expertise required. 

Click to jump ahead:

What is human resource planning.

  • Assess employees’ current skill levels
  • Forecast your labor needs based on available information
  • Revisit your organizational design
  • Outline how you will manage, motivate and retain talent 
  • Align your workforce planning with your budget 
  • Establish KPIs for your human resource planning objectives

Human resource planning is the process of considering the current and future “people needs” of an organization.

This involves evaluating an organization’s workforce structure and protocols to ensure operational goals are met, productivity stays high and future demands for labor and talent can be fulfilled. 

The result of this process is the creation of an HR plan, which typically takes the form of a written document. These documents tend to follow a similar structure to most  strategic business plans  and are created on an annual basis, by HR managers or company leaders.

Check out the template below for an example. 

hr plan

This eye-catching, one-page  HR Strategic Plan Template  offers a concise summary of your human resource planning efforts, so you can easily share info with colleagues. 

Just swap out the text and visual assets for those of your choosing in  Venngage’s editor , and you’re off to the races. 

Return to Table of Contents

Start creating a strategic HR plan in 6 steps

Ready to create a strategic plan for the human resources that power your business? Here are six steps to help you succeed at the human resource planning process.

  • Assess current employees’ skill levels

The first step to creating a future-forward HR plan is to assess employees’ current skill sets, and compare them to your operational needs moving forward. This will help you identify gaps and inform any hiring of new employees.

Employees’ skill levels can be assessed by reviewing their work history, hard and soft skills and professional growth over time. 

Using a matrix is a great way to understand where the skill gaps in your current workforce exist. Below is an example that describes the skills needed for different marketing roles. 

hr plan

Don’t need it for marketing specifically? No worries — you can fully customize this template by swapping in your own text to examine any human resource gaps. 

Another way to assess skills is by giving employees a questionnaire they can fill out. This  Employee Competency Assessment Template  does just that.

hr plan

Based on the information collected, you’ll get a sense of what positions best suit each individual, and whether any upskilling or hiring is required. 

Next in your strategic strategic HR management plan, you’ll want to consider the future. This involves accounting for any upcoming changes to your workforce, so operations can continue without error.

When forecasting labor needs, the following should be considered: 

  • Planned promotions
  • Upcoming retirements 
  • Layoffs 
  • Personnel transfers 
  • Extended leaves of absence (i.e. maternity/paternity leave) 

Beyond those, it’s a good idea to assess the impact of external conditions on your labor needs during your human resource planning. For example, new technological developments may decrease the amount of employees you require to operate your business. 

Organizational design is the process of structuring the way a business operates so it can best achieve its goals. This is hugely important when it comes to your human resource planning process! 

With a clear understanding of your organization’s strategic objectives in mind, reviewing your organizational design allows you to understand the staffing requirements you’ll need to succeed at them. This means taking into account your  organizational structure  and chains of command, as well as how work gets done and the way information flows.

 From there, you’ll be able to see which departments need more team members so it can accomplish the organization’s objectives. 

An easy way to get started is by using an organizational flow chart. 

hr plan

With its color coding and layout, even a new manager can quickly look at this chart to identify the people responsible for leading teams and making decisions. 

And if there are any changes, it’s easy to to reflect them in the chart itself. All you need to do is customize the text and visual assets in  Venngage’s Chart Maker  as desired. 

Not quite your style? There’s plenty of other  organizational chart templates  to choose from. 

hr plan

Here’s an organizational chart that’s perfect for small businesses that have limited employees. One quick look, and you’re good to go. 

The bottom line is, no matter how big or small your business may be, you should always revisit your organizational design to optimize your workforce management and business operations. 

Related:  Types of Organizational Structure [+ Visualization Tips]

In this day and age, it’s a known fact that companies must provide more than just a paycheque to attract and retain talent, and encourage growth. 

It’s true —  studies have shown  employees are more engaged in their work when they feel it is meaningful, fulfilling and slightly challenging. So your human resource plan should consider how to inspire such feelings, and what actions you can take to motivate employees to stay. (Hint: a strong HR training and development program is key.)  

The  talent management infographic template  below is a great way to begin. 

hr plan

Using this  process chart , you can detail the steps you’ll take to retain the talent you have. Reference it as needed in your human resource planning.

 Another great way to keep staff motivated and geared towards their professional growth is by coming up with  ideas for employee development . Facilitating a company culture that champions continuous learning guarantees your team will feel supported and challenged in all the right ways.

The two employee development plan templates below will help you do just that. 

hr plan

Though both templates are geared towards healthcare organizations, it’s easy to customize their content in Venngage to promote the continuous learning and development of employees in any industry.

 As a result, your employees will be able to reach their full potential, while simultaneously supporting the long-term goals of your organization. 

Related:  6 Employee Development Ideas for Efficient Training

 Let’s face it, human resources ain’t cheap.

 Meaning, if you struggle at organizing and monitoring your HR budget, you’re bound to overspend on your initiatives —and no financially savvy business wants that. 

That’s why I recommend including financial information in your HR planning process, so you can reference your budget and expenses as needed. This ensures you’ll be able to stay within range as you work towards achieving your strategic goals for human capital . 

Plus, you don’t need to use one that contains walls of text and wack-loads numbers. Check out the clean and cheery option below — it’s as easy to fill out as it is to understand. 

hr plan

And if you’re looking to compare a forecasted budget to previous annual spending when strategizing your HR budget, the  Budget Comparison Infographic Template  below will help. 

hr plan

The bar graph is a great  data visualization  of annual expenses, organized by category. Just add (or import) any values to Venngage’s editor, swap out the text, and you’re ready to compare with ease. 

Related:  10+ Expense Report Templates You Can Edit Easily

Measurable results are important when it comes to your HR planning processes, because they indicate whether your strategy is working or not. 

Keeping those metrics in mind, your company can make adjustments and improve upon any future plans — AKA strategize for future success in business. That’s why your human resource plan should include info re: the specific key performance indicators (KPI) you’ll be measuring. 

KPIs are established to help determine if HR strategies and plans are working. Much like those used for evaluating the performance of  marketing  or  sales plan , KPIs for human resources are measurable results that indicate an organization’s success at achieving predetermined goals.

These may take the form of headcounts, turnover rates, demographic information, time to hire and employee satisfaction scores. 

Here’s one employee satisfaction survey you can use to understand your workforce better. 

hr plan

When you’re ready to organize those HR KPIs in a document, the  recruiting template  below is perfect for keeping tabs at a glance. 

hr plan

Related:  10+ Customizable HR Report Templates & Examples

How do I make an HR plan? 

After you’ve collected the data you need, you’ll want to convey this info in an engaging, professional manner for easy referencing and sharing amongst colleagues. Given this, using Venngage is the best route to go. 

Here are the simple steps to help you bring an actionable HR plan to life: 

  • Outline the information you would like to include in your strategic hr plan
  • Pick the human resource planning templates that best suits your needs 
  • Customize the templates’ text and visual assets so they speak to your organization 
  • Apply your company’s brand guidelines with a few clicks using Venngage’s automated branding feature,  My Brand Kit
  • Download and share as desired

Note: sharing is available free-of-charge. However, the option to download your creations and access features like  My Brand Kit and Team Collaboration  are available with a  Business plan . 

FAQ about HR plans

How long should an hr plan be .

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the length of an HR plan. That being said, if you’re going to share it with colleagues, you probably don’t want to create a 20+ page document. One to five pages should suffice. 

Try to be as concise as possible when relaying the facts, and use  data visualizations  wherever possible to save room.

Do I need an HR contingency plan?

In the same way creating an HR plan is a proactive move that helps your organization account for future needs, it’s a good idea to devise an HR contingency plan. This ensures there’s a back-up plan in place should your initiatives not go as expected. 

For example, if you’ve identified that you need five new hires to keep up with consumer demand, but the talent pool is lacking, a contingency plan could house suggestions for restructuring your workforce to mitigate this. 

In other words, it’s best-practice to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. 

Is an HR plan different from an employee development plan?

Yes. While an HR plan is a strategic document describing how an organization addresses its personnel-related needs at a high-level, an  employee development plan  outlines the processes needed to help an individual achieve their professional goals.

 Even though the human resource planning process may involve outlining some employee development tactics, it is not unique to each employee as in the case of an employee development plan.

Make your HR planning processes effortless 

You don’t need a crystal ball to feel confident about your people moving forward. With a solid HR plan and strategy in place, you’ll prime your workforce — and all business endeavors — to succeed in even the most competitive of markets. 

Just remember this: human resources planning, and creating strategic business plans in general, doesn’t have to be exhausting. 

With Venngage’s huge selection of  professionally-designed templates  and easy-to-use editor, all it takes is a few minutes to produce a polished document perfect for all your needs.  Sign up for free today ! 

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Practicing Strategic Human Resources

Overview Background Benefits of HR Strategic Planning Developing a Strategic HR Plan

Assess the Current Situation

Envision the Future

Develop Strategic HR Objectives

Monitor and Evaluate

Additional Resources

This article provides a definition, background, information, resources and suggested reading on how to begin the process of strategic human resources. Topics include the following:

  • Benefits to HR to engage in strategic planning.
  • Developing a strategic HR plan.
  • Assessing the organization's current environment.
  • Creating statements of vision, mission and values.
  • Implementing, monitoring and evaluating the HR strategic plan.

Strategic human resource management involves a future-oriented process of developing and implementing HR programs that address and solve business problems and directly contribute to major long-term business objectives.

HR management was once largely an administrative function focused on day-to-day responsibilities such as employee recruiting and selection and managing employee benefits. Changing labor market conditions and new business thinking call for HR business strategies that include recruiting and retaining the right people, as well as providing ethical and cultural leadership.

Strategic planning presents great challenges and opportunities for HR professionals. Nearly all HR leaders in the largest global companies are involved in strategic decision-making and participate on the organization's strategy team, and a majority of HR professionals report that strategic planning is part of their function. In contrast, HR professionals in many medium and small organizations are not often involved in organizational or functional strategic planning. Consequently, to achieve long-term strategic HR objectives and to be a key player in the organization's strategic planning process, some HR departments may need to convince senior management of the value and contribution HR can provide.

Benefits of HR Strategic Planning

The closer the alignment between HR and an organization's overall business strategy, the better the company's ability to anticipate and respond to customer needs and to maintain competitive advantage. Rigorous research, planning and development involving workforce culture, behaviors and competencies promote the successful execution of business strategy.

Particular benefits of HR strategic planning include the following:

  • Avoiding costly and disruptive surprises that interfere with achieving goals.
  • Addressing key issues in a timely manner to avoid crises.
  • Promoting employee productivity and overall organizational success.
  • Providing a sense of direction to positively affect how work gets done.
  • Keeping employees focused on organizational goals.
  • Providing a strategic focus to guide training and development initiatives.
  • Giving leaders tools to help focus and implement their strategic initiatives.

Developing a Strategic HR Plan

HR's role includes developing a plan of HR initiatives to achieve and promote the behaviors, culture and competencies needed to achieve organizational goals.

Results-oriented goals broadly include the following:

  • Correctly assessing staffing and skills needs and keeping training up-to-date.
  • Developing and maintaining competitive pay and benefits.
  • Managing performance and designing a rewards system that keeps employees motivated.
  • Knowing what competitors are doing to recruit and retain talent.
  • Providing training, including ethics, which reinforces corporate values.

The strategic planning process begins with four critical questions:

  • Where are we now? (Assess the current situation.)
  • Where do we want to be? (Envision and articulate a desired future.)
  • How do we get there? (Formulate and implement a strategy and strategic objectives.)
  • How will we know if we are on track toward our intended destination? (Establish a mechanism to evaluate progress.)

See  HR as Strategic Planning Facilitator .

The following sections examine each step in greater detail.

Being a strategic business partner means carrying out HR activities with the long-range goals of the organization in mind. To do this, HR professionals must do the following:

  • Understand how the various organizational components interact and recognize the long-term implications of HR decisions. The impact of HR decisions must be thoroughly researched and analyzed before changes are implemented.
  • Have a firm grounding in business basics, including finance, marketing, sales, operations and IT. These skills help with budgeting and with maintaining a workforce with the correct mix of skills.
  • Develop and exercise analytic skills directed at "the why" as well as "the what." This may mean spending more time on so-called translational work (such as coaching business leaders, planning and implementing HR practices that effectively execute strategy, and helping teams manage change) than on transactional work (such as recruitment, training, human resource information systems and other traditional HR functions).
  • Conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of their organizations. The SWOT approach offers a clearer picture of customers, markets and competitors.

What are the basics of environmental scanning as part of the strategic planning process?

What is SWOT analysis, and how does it apply to an HR department?

How to Make Strategic Choices in Uncertain Conditions

Aligning the HR function to the organization's business strategy

For HR departments, intradepartmental strategic planning can be a good way to start the functional alignment process. However, regardless of whether strategic planning begins in the HR department or in another department, or is managed on an organization wide scale, the actions of the HR department will be integral to the success of the strategic plan. Thus, HR professionals must take care to align the HR function with every aspect of the strategic plan, even if the strategic plan does not explicitly address HR issues. Recent SHRM research reveals that HR professionals foresee significant workplace challenges, including rising health care costs, the retirement of large numbers of Baby Boomers and the increased demand for work/life balance. Retention programs, work/life programs, succession planning, and health, safety and security programs are among the HR efforts that are viewed as key workplace challenges through which HR can strategically contribute to organizations. See  Aligning Workforce Strategies with Business Objectives.

The HR alignment process is often driven by workforce composition issues. Although every organization's particular strategic plan is unique, the demographics and other characteristics of the available workforce have a major effect on the way businesses are staffed. In turn, the way organizations are staffed has a significant impact on the execution of the organization's strategy.  

HR professionals should monitor and respond accordingly to factors that may affect workforce composition, including the following:

  • Age. The age of the existing employees, the age of the available workforce, and the patterns of retirement for older workers and for the entrance of younger workers can significantly affect workforce availability.  
  • Current economic conditions. Unemployment rates, natural disasters and political changes can also have an impact the availability of workers.  
  • Globalization. One aspect of globalization that will affect almost all organizations is the increasing diversity of the workforce. Another aspect of globalization is the economic incentive to outsource labor and production activities to wherever such costs are lower. A third, and related, aspect is immigration, both legal and illegal, in the United States and abroad.

Conducting a SWOT analysis

Understanding of the current situation can be enhanced by conducting a SWOT analysis. This analysis includes an internal assessment of the organization's capabilities and limitations as well as an external environmental scan to review its customers, markets and competitors, and to forecast to external opportunities and threats.

What is a S.W.O.T. analysis, and how does it apply to an HR department?

Cultivate Critical Evaluation with a PESTLE Analysis

How To Build On Your Organization's Strengths

Major areas to consider during an external scan include economic, demographic, political, social and technological trends. An analysis of customers, markets and competitors is used to determine how the market is changing, to predict who the future customers will be and to analyze competitors in the marketplace. See Strategic Planning: What are the basics of environmental scanning? and Report: HR Lags in Using Data to Make Decisions .

When conducting a customer/market/competitor analysis, HR professionals should answer the following questions:

  • What business are we in?
  • What is going on in the world in which we do business?
  • What business should we be in?
  • What are our resources?
  • What are our core competencies?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • How will we compete?

When the HR strategic planning team has fully evaluated the current situation, it should consider what the ideal future would look like from an organizational perspective.

The question "Where do we want to be?" can be answered and clearly articulated by creating statements of vision, mission and values. A vision statement provides a description of what an organization wants to become or hopes to accomplish in the future. An effective vision statement paints a mental picture of the organization's preferred future that is inspirational, aspirational, compelling and concise. See  Human Resources Mission Statement Examples .

A values statement describes what the organization believes in and how it will behave. This statement can serve as the organization's moral compass and should be used to guide decision-making and assess actions taken. See  Mission: What Is the Difference Between a Company's Mission, Vision and Values Statements?

Setting strategic objectives is an important part of the strategic planning process. Therefore, these objectives must be aligned with the organization's mission, vision and overall strategy. Strategic objectives will vary from organization to organization.

To identify whether strategic objectives have a solid foundation for success, HR should consider the following questions:

  • Have the benefits of obtaining the defined objectives been outlined and communicated?
  • Are the strategic objectives relevant to the organization's position in the external market? For example, do they consider competitor positions, organizational size and financial strength?
  • Do the strategic objectives recognize the organization's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do employees throughout the company understand how these objectives affect them and how they contribute independently and collectively to the defined objectives?
  • Are the strategic objectives realistic and feasible? Unrealistic objectives typically result in disappointment for all involved.
  • Have timelines for benchmarking progress and targets for completed objectives been set?
  • Will the organization realistically be able to identify the success or lack of success in the accomplishment of strategic objectives in some quantitative fashion?
  • Can the strategic objectives be linked back to the organization's overall strategy?

As an example, ABC Company may identify in its strategic planning analysis a need to improve the talent acquisition process. The strategic objective to address this issue is to design selection criteria to ensure best-fit hiring while reducing the time-to-fill positions.

Once a key initiative is identified, the organization should do the following:

  • Continuously ensure that the objective and action plan are aligned with the organizational and HR strategy.
  • Identify the primary actions required to achieve the objective.
  • Set milestones for each action, and plan for contingencies.
  • Identify the required resources, including budget and staff.
  • Establish success measures.
  • Communicate key messages.

Ultimately, a strategic objective is only as good as the overall strategic plan.

At this step of the strategic planning process, the focus is on specifying short-term answers to the question "How do we get there?" Specific, concrete short-term objectives that can be completed within six months to a year should be established to answer this question.

Although many organizations engage in strategic planning, very few of them believe they are highly successful at strategy execution. According to a survey by the American Management Association and the Human Resources Institute, only 3 percent of executives polled said their organizations were very successful at executing corporate strategy, whereas 62 percent stated their organizations were moderately successful. However, the companies that reported relatively high success in strategy execution were more likely to realize favorable revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer satisfaction.

Though every organization has its own strategy execution challenges, this study found that mastering the following areas is essential to successfully implementing strategic plans:

  • Clarity of communication.
  • Alignment of practices.
  • Leadership.
  • An adaptive organizational infrastructure.
  • Resource management.

The single greatest barrier to executing strategy is the lack of adequate resources, the study found.

The final step should be establishing a mechanism to monitor and evaluate progress toward the achievement of strategic objectives. Most organizations conduct annual or quarterly strategic reviews for this purpose. These reviews do the following:

  • Determine whether the organization is on track to achieve key objectives.
  • Provide the opportunity to identify and adapt to significant internal or external changes that affect the strategic plan.
  • Update annual action priorities.

Some organizations may find that systems or tools such as balanced scorecards, benchmarking and dashboards are helpful for keeping focus and monitoring results.

How can the balanced scorecard be applied to human resources?

How do I determine which HR metrics to measure and report?

9 Tips for Using HR Metrics Strategically

Artificial Intelligence Can Free HR Professionals to Focus on Strategy

Wilkinson, Michael (2011) The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy Atlanta, GA: Leadership Strategies Publishing.

Stroble, K. R., Kurtessis, J. N., Cohen, D. J., & Alexander, A. (2015). Defining HR Success: 9 critical competencies for HR professionals. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management.

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HR STRATEGY - EMPLOYEE JOURNEY & CULTURE

The big picture on employee journey & culture, hr strategy - culture.

Culture is not some fuzzy, intangible organizational concept. Culture is grounded in an organization's values, reflected by the norms, behaviors, and language of team members, nurtured by the environment team members work in, and reinforced by the organization's compensation and benefits. If you want to improve an organization's culture, then improve the values, norms, language, environment, compensation, and benefits.

Furthermore, an organization's culture should be reflected, celebrated, and reinforced throughout the employee journey. If you get the culture and employee journey right, you set the foundation for happy, fulfilled, and productive team members.

Org Strategy Framework

Does your company have a value statement ? Can all the team members recite it from memory? Is it reflected in the norms, behavior, language, environment, benefits, and compensation? If it isn't then the values are probably doing more harm than good to the culture.

Culture can make or break a company, so get the four building blocks of culture right. Any culture strategy starts with the leadership asking some tough questions about values, norms & language, the environment, benefits, and compensation.

Culture Strategy on One Page

Read about the role and competencies of a Strategic Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

How Does Google (#1 Place to Work) Do Culture

Google takes culture seriously. They have a People Analytics team to measure the impact of different cultural and employee journey practices.  They may have a few too many values (below), but they are insightful, and catchy and serve as a strong foundation for Google's culture.

Google has five stated norms of psychological safety, dependability, structure & clarity, the meaning of work, and impact of work. Their norms reinforce their values.

Google spends significant resources and research on creating productive and collaborative environments. Google needs top talent, and its benefits and compensation ensure that it can attract and retain that top talent.

The main point about Google is the purposefulness of the leadership in crafting and nurturing Google's culture.

1. VALUES - THE FOUNDATION OF THE ORG

As Roy Disney, the older brother of Walt Disney said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” 

What are the values that will help team members, individually and collectively, achieve the mission of the organization?

Frankly, most company value statements are generic, forgettable, and not utilized as the cultural foundation. If this is your company, start over, and spend some serious time brainstorming and engaging team members on what the soul and core values of the company are.

Once you figure out the core values, make them pithy, and rememberable, and then celebrate them, internally market them, weave them into the organizational language, refer to them, utilize them in decision-making, and embed them within the various strategies across the business model . Below is the values idea map, which may give you some ideas on potential values.

An Example of a Cool Value Statement

For a software company, we worked with the management team and employees to create core values that were authentic and important to team members. 

Embedding Values into the employee journey

2. norms - our behavior defines us.

Norms are the widely accepted individual and interpersonal behaviors in an organization, which should reflect the values. While values are the foundation of a culture, norms are the embodiment and manifestation of them within the culture.

A new employee views and feels a culture through the norms of how team members treat themselves and each other. The adage "lead by example" is crucial to the norms of an organization. People learn through mimicry, and leaders need to live the values and reinforce the norms of an organization.

Norms permeate through all interactions, including conversations, meetings, emails, communications , Slack, events, projects , and personal and external interactions.

Amazon's Meeting Norms

Early on in Amazon's history, Jeff Bezos instilled very thoughtful norms around meetings. Valuing problem solving and productivity, Jeff enacted five norms for meetings. The details are in the graphic.

Imagine being a new Amazon employee attending your first meeting. You would probably be a bit shocked, but also appreciative of the purposefulness of the norms and ritual.

The point is, norms are where culture and reality collide. The more purposeful an organization is at defining and reinforcing the norms, the stronger the culture will become.

3. ENVIRONMENT - THE BIG, OVERLOOKED CULTURAL ENABLER

We often overlook the environment as a strategic driver of culture, values, and organizational performance. As a society, we spend so much time, attention, and money on the interior design of our homes. It is the complete opposite for workspaces, where millions spend 40+ hours a week.

Small strategic investments in workspaces can pay large dividends. Think about simple ideas, like putting up posters of the organizational values , employees living those values, recent successes, customer logos, and other messages you want to reinforce. You can name conference rooms after clients or the core values. Or, you can make meaningful investments to transform workspaces to be collaborative, supportive, and engaging spaces of productivity, like Google does (examples below).

The takeaway is to be purposeful in workspace design and decor. Understand what values or cultural elements you want the environment to support, and then build them into the environment.

4. COMPENSATION & BENEFITS - REWARD BEHAVIORS

The employee journey.

Much like the customer journey is a core component of corporate strategy, the employee journey is a core component of HR strategy. At a high level, the employee journey includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, development, evaluation, and advancement. Companies with strong employee journeys help elevate and realize the potential of their team members and utilize the employee journey to reinforce their culture.

To develop a strong employee journey strategy engage team members in diagnosing issues, coming up with goals, ideas initiatives, and executing the initiatives. An employee journey strategy comes down to answering four fundamental questions, which are below.

An Employee Journey Strategy

Employee journey strategy ideas, google's employee journey.

Google is the #1 place to work, in large part because of their focus on improving their employee journey. Check out some of their employee journey strategy examples. 

CREATING A KILLER CULTURE AND EMPLOYEE JOURNEY STRATEGY

The output of a culture and employee strategy are goals and initiatives. The challenge comes in figuring out the optimal goals and initiatives that will help elevate and realize the potential of team members. Below are the four steps to a successful employee journey and cultural transformation .

Engage team members throughout the process, especially in diagnosing and ideating. The more team member engagement, the more buy-in and the higher chance of transformational success.

HR Diagnostic Survey

Final thoughts on culture & employee journey strategy.

Given the importance of elevating and realizing the potential of the individuals and teams that drive the development and execution of a company's strategies, embarking on developing a strong employee journey strategy is a no-brainer. In every company, there is a lot of upside in strengthening the culture and employee journey. Just be sure to engage the entire organization in generating, prioritizing , and implementing cultural and employee journey initiatives.

If you want to talk about your HR & Org strategy with an experienced strategy coach, set up some time with Joe Newsum , a Mckinsey Alum, and the author of this content and website.

DOWNLOAD THE HR & Org strategy presentation template

Download the 185-page HR & Org Strategy PowerPoint Presentation . The fully editable and professionally designed deck will give you a jump start on your HR & Org Strategy.

DOWNLOAD THE CULTURE & EMPLOYEE JOURNEY STRATEGY TEMPLATES

To get you started on developing a killer culture and employee journey strategy, download the free PowerPoint, which includes: 1. Mission & Values Template 2. Culture Strategy Worksheet 3. Employee Journey Ideation Worksheet 4. Employee Journey One-Page Strategy 5. Employee Journey & Culture Strategy Overview Download

Check out The Employee Strategy Survey

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THE LEADERSHIP MATURITY MODEL

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8 Actionable Long-term HR Strategy Plan Examples

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail when it comes to managing your people. here are five essential reasons why you need to think strategically about human resources..

In any organisation, large or small, three fundamental systems of record form the business backbone; accounting and finance, customer relationship management and HR and employee management.

Many businesses now take a strategic approach to managing these key areas by using cloud technologies to run their accounting and finance processes in real-time, as well as manage their customer relationships.

However, many businesses continue to persist with a more reactive approach to HR. That’s why it’s time to start building your own human resources strategic plan (otherwise known as an HR strategy). Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail when it comes to managing your people.

What is a Human Resources Strategy plan?

An HR department in every business is responsible for finding and training employees. Besides that, they also help with conflict resolution, employee benefits, employee retention and development. A human resource strategy plan is taking those responsibilities and making sure they meet the goals, mission and future needs of the company.

What are the benefits of creating HR strategies?

We all know that the role of human resources and people management is changing . By implementing strategic human resources management, you’ll have a crystal clear vision of your goals and how to achieve them.

Read on to find out the benefits of having an HR strategy in place.

1. Forecasting talent requirements

Being able to develop realistic forecasts of your people’s needs now and in the future is essential if you’re going to win the war on talent. On a day-to-day level, being able to optimise shift allocation will help you achieve efficiencies and reduce your wage bill.

Also, if you know how many staff you require to achieve the future strategic goals of the business and what jobs need to be filled, you can get an early start on finding the right talent.

2. Non-compliance costs

Everything from payroll to onboarding, performance management and employee data management comes with a huge amount of compliance and paperwork. Using spreadsheets and manual processes is not only time-consuming, but they are also prone to human error. And this means business risk.

By using strategic planning, you can identify any possible compliance gaps and keep your business in line with employment legislation.

3. Happy employees are more productive

Beyond hiring the right candidate, a good HR strategy plays an important role in promoting employee engagement and satisfaction. These areas are crucial to developing a happy, productive workforce who become great ambassadors for your business.

With an HR strategic plan, you can formulate what is required of you to take care of your employees’ needs. It also keeps a check on morale, measures productivity and your employees’ sense of commitment.

4. Retention

Employee engagement goes hand in hand with retention. Once you’ve built a team of great people, you need to keep hold of them. So a big part of the overall business strategy needs to be focused on what you can do to retain employees. This includes ways to build your employees careers through formal recognition programs and career development pathways.

5. Continuous improvement

Everyone knows that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Without a strategic HR plan, how can you possibly understand what’s working and what’s not?

Through HR strategies, you can formally evaluate specific and measurable factors such as; employee turnover, the number of vacant positions, employee grievances, as well as satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels.

If you periodically gather and report data on what’s working, you’re much more likely to make consistent and accurate decisions.

Read more: All you need to know about HR management

Intro to HR Management

8 things to implement for a successful HR strategy

Taking a proactive approach to managing your people will put your business on the front foot— ready to identify and solve HR issues. By developing an HR strategic plan, you can reflect on the successes and failures of previous quarters. Doing so will help you effectively plan for attracting and retaining the right talent, which is key to your business achieving success.

Here are some HR strategy examples you can implement to gain a competitive advantage through your HR department.

1. Conduct regular HR audits

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to conduct a review of your HR processes and compliance. While these should continually be reviewed, it’s important to assess them at the start of each calendar year.

Human resources audits are an effective way to perform a gap analysis and review your current people management processes and obligations. By conducting an audit, you will be able to update any legalities and also see where improvements can be made, which can be included in your new HR strategy.

Common areas to complete an HR audit include:

  • Record keeping
  • Remuneration
  • Performance reviews
  • Policies and procedures
  • Health and Safety

Read more: The future of HR automation

2. Set goals aligning with your business strategy

If you’re looking for information on how to introduce a goal-setting framework so you (and your entire team) can plan your goals effectively, we suggest giving thought to OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) .

While OKRs are not as well known as their popular counterpart, key performance indicators (KPI), OKRs are a great tool to complement your company’s HR strategy.

They’re a transparent way to keep your team accountable and motivated whilst ensuring that your goals are 100% aligned at an individual, team and company level. If you’re looking for an all-in-one HR software that includes a visual OKR feature, get in touch with us today .

We can walk you through how Employment Hero can help simplify and align your company goals, so you continue to create a team of engaged, high performers.

3. Design the employee experience

When it comes to business, your employees are everything. They keep the wheels turning and are the heart and soul of everything you do. But have you ever thought about the experience they have as an employee?

From acquisition to onboarding, training and recognition, there are so many pieces to the employee experience puzzle that can set your workplace above the rest. When designing the employee experience, it’s crucial you map out every stage of the employee lifecycle and visualise your ideal scenario.

This allows you to create the perfect recipe for your employee experience.

Read more: How to empower employees with employee self service

An example of a designed employee experience

1. Attraction : Work with marketing to have a strong employer branding presence across social. Using social media and employee advocacy to recruit top talent to your business is a great way to keep your candidate funnel full.

2. Recruitment : Having a set interview process that ensures you hire the right person. This may include candidates having to complete a task or assignment.

3. Onboarding : Ensuring that the onboarding process includes information about their specific role and the wider organisation. It might also see you start new employees in a cohort instead of scattered days so they can complete induction together. Beyond the more technical parts of onboarding, consider ‘surprise and delight’ elements such as branded company merch and organising a special lunch with the hiring manager.

4. Development : Encouraging your employees to access online training and attend industry events that will improve their skills. Setting up an annual self-learning fund for each employee could be a good way to do this.

5. Retention : Creating professional development plans for your employees and rewarding them for great work. Using a goal-setting framework like OKRs and a well-thought-out career plan can make all the difference.

6. Separation : Create a way to support your employees through the exit process. This could be by a formal exit interview so you can improve and learn from experiences.

HR Strategy plan - Employee experience lifecycle

4. Improve your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

If you’re not sure what an EVP is , it’s the balance of rewards, benefits and culture that the company can offer in return for amazing employee performance. In saying this, it’s important to remember that your employee value proposition extends beyond perks and benefits.

Why should you care about improving your EVP?

It’s an important piece of attracting top talent to your business. If you present well to a potential star candidate, they’re going to want to work for you. This in return, helps the human resources department recruit candidates a whole lot easier.

You might also even find that your time to fill roles decreases significantly. According to a study by People Scout , “when organisations live up to their marketed EVP, new employees arrive with a higher level of commitment at 38%, compared to organisations that don’t live up to their marketed EVP, which are at just 9%”.

When you get your EVP right and have star talent in your business, you can expect greater business growth as they’ll be more engaged in their role.

Read more: Emerging HR trends in the job market

5. Implement HR systems

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of time you spend on manual admin tasks and get strategic in your day-to-day, an HRIS can help you. By implementing an HR tech system like Employment Hero, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on admin tasks by up to 80%.

Just imagine no longer having to manually onboard an employee or keep employee files in dusty old filing cabinets! It’s also a great piece of tech to add to your long-term HR strategy!

HR planning using a laptop to access Employment Hero interface

6. Provide professional development plans for employees

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Learning Report , a massive 93% of employees said they would stay at a job longer if the company invested in their learning and development. This is a sign that the majority of employees place this as a top factor when determining whether or not to jump ship. But the benefits aren’t just for the employee.

Creating a professional development plan for your employees is a two-way street and a vital piece of your long-term HR strategy. When you have acquired top talent and develop their skills even further, you’ll have star employees that will be just as invested in your company as much as you’re invested in them!

You’ll also save money in the long run, as you won’t face the hidden costs of recruitment associated with employee turnover.

Saving costs, developing your team and giving your employees what they want? It sounds like a great strategic HR move to us!

Group of coworkers celebrating wins

7. Improve employee advocacy

Your employees are your best cheerleaders, so it makes sense to use them to leverage your brand. Whether it’s by incorporating employee advocacy into your HR strategy or getting your teams’ LinkedIn profiles up to speed (hello branded cover images and profile pictures!), there are many ways you can leverage your employees’ professional networks.

Social media is one of the most cost-effective places to reach new and potential customers, so we say this is something you might want to get on board with, and pronto! While employee advocacy strategies are a fairly new concept, they’re beginning to gain momentum.

With this being said, those who take advantage of employee advocacy will be the ones reaping the rewards!

What are the benefits of employee advocacy?

  • Improves the company’s social media reach
  • Attracts new business and potential clients
  • Improves company culture and office buzz
  • Improves retention rates

Employee advocacy example - LinkedIn post from Julia

8. Gen Z talent acquisition and retention strategy

Gen Z is beginning to enter the workforce, so it’s important you have a long-term HR strategy in place to attract them. Born between 1995 and 2015, Gen Z’ers are different from previous generations that have entered the job market.

Why is it important to have an acquisition strategy for Gen Z?

While Millennials have been in the spotlight for many years, we’re beginning to investigate the traits of Gen Z. With Gen Z entering by the masses, it’s important you know how to hire and retain them.

Gen Z has grown up around digital technology and are naturally tech-savvy compared to their older counterparts. This alone changes how you should recruit Gen Z.

According to our recent Gen Z at work report , Gen Z characteristics are:

  • Risk adverse
  • Independent
  • Competitive
  • Open minded

As Gen Z are naturally tech-savvy and connected on social media, we would suggest advertising job ads with social media first approach. We could even see Tik Tok become the ‘it’ place to recruit top talent from Gen Z!

The wrap-up

This is the perfect time of year to start looking into long-term HR strategy. From implementing an HR automation system like Employment Hero, to getting prepared for the influx of Gen Z candidates you’ll be recruiting for in the future, now’s the time to get planning.

If you need help demonstrating the value of implementing HR software as part of your HR strategy, read our blog on building a business case for HR software here.

To learn more about you can improve HR strategy and achieve your HR goals, get in touch and one of our small business HR experts to show you how today!

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Strategic human resource management: The ultimate guide

Brynne Conroy

Alana Rudder

Alana Rudder

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Published 7:34 a.m. UTC Dec. 13, 2023

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Strategic human resource (HR) management treats human capital — or employees — as another financial asset of the company. Just like you’d consider real estate or raw materials as an asset to be optimized, strategic HR does the same for the company’s labor force. The more effective your strategic human resources plan is, the stronger the company will be both financially and culturally. 

Considering a strategic approach to HR management is increasingly important in our changing world. Creating a strategic human resource management plan can ensure you have a pipeline to qualified employees as time goes on, ensuring the sustainability of the business.

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What is strategic human resource management?

A good way to think of human resources is on an input/output paradigm. Traditional human resources weigh inputs more heavily. You’re focused on following compliance standards, regulations and processes. You’re managing benefits packages, running payroll , hiring new talent and managing day-to-day employee relations .

“Strategic HR focuses on supporting organizational goals,” said Anette Harris, owner and senior director of human resources at Harris Financial Coaching. “It plays a crucial role in analyzing employee life-cycle trends that can help an organization achieve its objectives.”

In other words, you’re much more focused on output. You’re looking at metrics like employee engagement and profit per employee. You still have to consider employment law, but you’re also aligning the company’s missions and objectives with what’s happening in the HR office and the company’s long-term goals. 

Benefits of strategic human resource management

There are a number of benefits to implementing strategic human resource management. They include: 

  • More quantifiable data. You can’t measure the impact of strategic HR unless you actually implement it. Once you start implementing it, you can gather the data that will help you measure the tangible benefits of the company’s strategies in terms of real dollars. As more time goes on and more data is gathered, you’ll gain even deeper insights.
  • Better the company’s finances. “Any financial measure that you can think of is greatly impacted to the positive when there’s a strong employee experience in place,” said Jim Link, chief human resource officer at SHRM. That means implementing strategic HR can help your company’s bottom line. 
  • Less turnover. If you have good strategic HR, your employees are likely to be happier. Happier employees are more likely to stick with you, saving you the costs of having to hire and train new employees. 
  • Prepare for future skill gaps. If you’re approaching HR strategically, you’ll be able to project future skill gaps that may pop up in the labor market. When you anticipate these shortages, you can draft policies that create a clear pipeline to get skilled applicants trained for the work you’ll need done.

Creating an effective HR strategy

Align hr and company goals.

The first step in creating an effective HR strategy is aligning HR’s goals with the larger company’s goals. If management and HR don’t interact a lot currently, it’s the strategic human resource manager’s job to bridge that gap. You’ll need your HR skills to mediate the two departments at first, but you’ll also need to break out your math skills. 

“The first thing you should do is learn the numbers of the business,” said Link. “But that doesn’t mean you just learn the numbers. You also learn the mission, values, goals and guiding principles of the organization.” 

Having this data will help you identify the most important metrics to measure as you create the best employee experience possible within the company’s budget. 

Define and assess company culture

It takes time to build company culture. Before you can start on the journey, you need to understand where company culture currently stands. The four key cultures you should assess are:

  • Collaboration

Link conveys these four cultures as individual legs on a four-legged stool. When one leg is longer or shorter than the others, everything is thrown off balance. The goal, then, is to grow each culture symbiotically with the other. As you build your stool, you’ll also want to consider cultures employees are likely to value in the future.

“When we look at the world and what employees are really seeking from their employer moving forward, they’re seeking a culture of care,” said Link.

Track important HR metrics

When you’re building out your company’s strategic human resource plan, you’ll want to start measuring metrics like: 

  • Cost per employee.
  • Revenue per employee. 
  • Employee productivity.
  • Employee engagement.
  • Retention rate.
  • Voluntary turnover rate. 

Some of these metrics can be measured by numerical data input, but others will require different approaches. For example, you might use employee surveys to gather data for a final SWOT analysis. This data can then help you present information to management or the board as you attempt to implement new policies.

Identify key areas of improvement

Once you have the data from current performance, hold it up against the company’s mission statement, stated values and – of course – its bottom line. First, evaluate company culture based on the four-legged stool model. If there are any areas where the culture could be performing better, that’s something you’ll want to address. 

Whether or not the culture is on course, you’ll need to also consider the financials before presenting any information across departments. Let’s say your employees are beyond happy and productive, but profit per employee is still low. You’d then use that data to find innovative ways to maintain company culture while also increasing revenue per employee. 

Set a plan to reach HR goals

After you’ve identified areas for improvement, you’ll need to get together a plan to work towards your new goals. That may mean implementing new initiatives within HR, but in most situations, it requires the involvement of other departments — most notably leadership. 

Get leadership buy-in and support

Improving employee experience and performance often requires policies from the top. That means strategic human resource managers need to engage leadership. You may need their stamp of approval to do something like changing the employee benefit package or streamlining processes in a particular department to enable employees to do their work more efficiently. 

If you’ve done your work on the numbers side of things, Link doesn’t see any reason for leadership to stand in opposition: “Companies that make a purposeful strategic investment in their employees have a much greater likelihood of generating short- and long-term success for the business. Full stop.”

Execute, monitor and adjust your plan

Once you’ve created buy-in with the necessary parties, execute your plan. Gather data as you go so you can monitor your progress, making any adjustments as necessary. 

Remember that as you grow one leg of your strategic HR stool, you’ll inherently need to work on the others. Being prepared to make adjustments along the way is a necessary part of the job.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Strategic HR focuses more on outputs than inputs. It measures factors like employee performance, productivity, profit and retention against short and long-term company goals. All of these metrics are key indicators for either the success or failure of a business.

Traditional HR focuses primarily on compliance and regulations, handling day-to-day tasks like employee interactions and payroll . It considers federal, state and local employment law (inputs). Strategic HR focuses on the net financial impact employee policies have on the company (output) over the long-term and if they help the company meet its goals.

If your company isn’t agile, it’s going to be difficult to implement strategic HR — though the key factor is getting leadership buy-in. While it may initially be challenging to get managers or ownership on board with your vision, if you do ample research on current performance and projected profit margins after policy implementation, it gets a lot easier to convince leadership to implement changes.

Let’s say your organization knows it’s going to need employees capable of working with AI in the next five years. With that human resource need in mind, you may implement a training program or develop a relationship with a local college to identify talented graduates. That way, the company’s strategic plan is sustainable in the long run, as it won’t run into as many labor shortages.

Link says two of the best examples of successful strategic human resource management are IBM and Google. 

“IBM was ahead of the curve,” he said. “They focused on the area between human performance and capability vs. business outcomes. Because they’re so insightful about what their employees need, they can very quickly offer a personalized approach to each and every employee through their career coaching system, fostering a culture of learning which creates new business opportunities.”

Google is known for its strategic efforts during the hiring process in particular. On top of unique perks in its benefits package, Google makes group decisions when onboarding new members rather than leaving the decision to a single manager. This fosters a culture of collaboration even within the HR department itself.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Brynne Conroy

Brynne Conroy has over 12 years of experience writing about money, with a particular focus on women's finances and small business lending and credit products. Her debut book was an Amazon #1 New Release across multiple categories, and she has been awarded a PEN America grant for the body of her work in the field. Find her bylines on LendingTree, Her Agenda, GoBankingRates, and Business Insider, and features on MSN Money, Jean Chatzky's HerMoney, and Yahoo Finance.

Alana is the deputy editor for USA Today Blueprint's small business team. She has served as a technology and marketing SME for countless businesses, from startups to leading tech firms — including Adobe and Workfusion. She has zealously shared her expertise with small businesses — including via Forbes Advisor and Fit Small Business — to help them compete for market share. She covers technologies pertaining to payroll and payment processing, online security, customer relationship management, accounting, human resources, marketing, project management, resource planning, customer data management and how small businesses can use process automation, AI and ML to more easily meet their goals. Alana has an MBA from Excelsior University.

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Integrity HR

5 Steps To Developing A Strategic HR Plan

by Amy Letke | Apr 18, 2018 | Blog

Amy Letke

Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or [email protected]

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again – every business needs a strategic plan.

The most successful companies develop and implement an effective strategic plan to help them pursue their organizational goals. But, even the best strategic plan won’t be very effective if the human resources function isn’t in alignment with it.

A Strategic HR Plan is a tool to help businesses align their organizational goals with their HR capabilities , and every business should have one in place to support the growth outlined in their strategic plan.

If you haven’t developed a Strategic HR Plan for your business (or if you’re still not quite sure what it is!), don’t worry!

Below we share our 5 Steps To Developing A Strategic HR Plan to help you effectively support and achieve your organization’s strategic goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about developing a  Strategic HR Plan  or a Strategic Plan for your business, schedule an appointment with one of our HR professionals or give us a call at 877-753-0970 .

What is a Strategic HR Plan?

A Strategic HR Plan helps organizations to align human resources to corporate strategy. It is an essential planning document built upon the corporate mission, vision, values, and goals established in the strategic business plan.

It provides information on how the HR function will support the goals and strategies of the organization, while also ensuring that HR planning and practices are consistent.

The ideal Strategic HR Plan outlines how the gaps between present and future capabilities will be addressed, enabling businesses to effectively pursue their company goals.

Why develop a Strategic HR Plan?

In most organizations, managers have a responsibility to fulfill expectations in the areas of corporate governance, transparency of policies, accountability, and economic efficiency.

For your business to be successful in these areas, you need to have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time to carry out the strategy.

A comprehensive Strategic HR Plan will ensure that you have the capacity to deliver on strategy and the ability to monitor progress towards your organization’s goals. It should also establish:

  • HR practices that are consistent across the organization
  • Training and skill development policies that are linked to strategy
  • Succession planning processes that identify and minimize capability risks

How do you create a Strategic HR Plan?

The process for developing a Strategic HR Plan begins by identifying where your organization is now in the life-cycle of an enterprise: the start-up stage, the growth stage, the mature stage, or the decline stage.

Once you’ve decided where your company is today, formulate a clear picture of your company’s future along with ways to get there. Your Strategic HR Plan will be built upon the foundation of this strategic business plan.

Step 1: Identify Future HR Needs

Using your business’ strategic plan as a guide, identify the future HR needs of the organization. Ask questions like:

  • What is the nature of our work?
  • What type of culture will support productivity?
  • What skills do we need to deliver results?
  • Where are those skills and how are we tapping into them?
  • How large is our organization?
  • What systems and processes do we need?
  • How are we making sure peoples’ skills match our needs?
  • What risks are associated with this future?

Step 2: Consider Present HR Capabilities

Now consider your company’s present HR situation by asking questions like:

  • With the future in mind, what is our current capability?
  • How are we doing against benchmarks?
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are there legislative requirements we need to consider?
  • What are we doing well now, that we need to do more of in the future?
  • Where do the risks lie?
  • What HR issues may prevent us from getting to the future?
  • What current systems will support or hinder our progress?

Step 3: Identify Gaps Between Future Needs & Present Capability

Compare your future HR needs from step 1 with your present HR capabilities from step 2, and identify any significant gaps that appear.

Gaps can develop in a number of areas including policies and procedures, capability, and resource allocation. Start with these questions:

  • Where do significant gaps appear between the present and future?
  • How can these gaps be classified?

Step 4: Formulate Gap Strategies

Next, work to develop strategies that will address the gaps you identified in Step 3. These gap strategies may affect:

  • Job/Work Design
  • Selection/Staffing
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation/Rewards
  • Training/Development
  • Employee Relations
  • Safety and Health
  • Workforce Diversity

Not all gaps will be of the same strategic importance, so you will need to set priorities for addressing them.

For example, imagine you discovered a need to update your HR information system. Investing in a new system would provide you with employee progress data that you deemed essential for your future company goals.

The need for an upgraded HR information system should be prioritized as urgent because it’s necessary to succeed in your long-term strategic plan.

Questions you can ask to help you determine the priority of your needs include:

  • What are the top priorities?
  • Where can we experience rapid progress?
  • How do these strategies work with our budgets?
  • What is the degree of change needed?

Step 5:  Share & Monitor The Plan

Sharing the Strategic HR Plan with your senior leadership and those connected to the HR function of your organization is a crucial component of its success. The more your team understands and supports the plan, the more empowered they will be to help the company achieve its goals.

It’s also important to monitor the progress of the Strategic HR Plan you develop and to communicate successes or modifications to your team.

At the very least, you should review the plan on an annual basis to verify that the goals on which the plan was based are still accurate and to make adjustments as needed.

Developing Your Plan

Developing a comprehensive Strategic HR Plan is an essential investment in helping your company achieve its goals.

A Strategic HR Plan aligns your corporate mission with your business plan, ensuring you have the capacity to deliver on strategy as you pursue your organization’s goals.

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2.1 Strategic Planning

Learning objectives.

  • Explain the differences been HRM and personnel management.
  • Be able to define the steps in HRM strategic planning.

In the past, human resource management (HRM) was called the personnel department. In the past, the personnel department hired people and dealt with the hiring paperwork and processes. It is believed the first human resource department was created in 1901 by the National Cash Register Company (NCR). The company faced a major strike but eventually defeated the union after a lockout. (We address unions in Chapter 12 “Working with Labor Unions” .) After this difficult battle, the company president decided to improve worker relations by organizing a personnel department to handle grievances, discharges, safety concerns, and other employee issues. The department also kept track of new legislation surrounding laws impacting the organization. Many other companies were coming to the same realization that a department was necessary to create employee satisfaction, which resulted in more productivity. In 1913, Henry Ford saw employee turnover at 380 percent and tried to ease the turnover by increasing wages from $2.50 to $5.00, even though $2.50 was fair during this time period (Losey, 2011). Of course, this approach didn’t work for long, and these large companies began to understand they had to do more than hire and fire if they were going to meet customer demand.

More recently, however, the personnel department has divided into human resource management and human resource development, as these functions have evolved over the century. HRM is not only crucial to an organization’s success, but it should be part of the overall company’s strategic plan, because so many businesses today depend on people to earn profits. Strategic planning plays an important role in how productive the organization is.

Table 2.1 Examples of Differences between Personnel Management and HRM

Most people agree that the following duties normally fall under HRM. Each of these aspects has its own part within the overall strategic plan of the organization:

  • Staffing. Staffing includes the development of a strategic plan to determine how many people you might need to hire. Based on the strategic plan, HRM then performs the hiring process to recruit and select the right people for the right jobs. We discuss staffing in greater detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” , Chapter 5 “Selection” , and Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” .
  • Basic workplace policies. Development of policies to help reach the strategic plan’s goals is the job of HRM. After the policies have been developed, communication of these policies on safety, security, scheduling, vacation times, and flextime schedules should be developed by the HR department. Of course, the HR managers work closely with supervisors in organizations to develop these policies. Workplace policies will be addressed throughout the book.
  • Compensation and benefits. In addition to paychecks, 401(k) plans, health benefits, and other perks are usually the responsibility of an HR manager. Compensation and benefits are discussed in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” and Chapter 7 “Retention and Motivation” .
  • Retention. Assessment of employees and strategizing on how to retain the best employees is a task that HR managers oversee, but other managers in the organization will also provide input. Chapter 9 “Successful Employee Communication” , Chapter 10 “Managing Employee Performance” , and Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment” cover different types of retention strategies, from training to assessment.
  • Training and development. Helping new employees develop skills needed for their jobs and helping current employees grow their skills are also tasks for which the HRM department is responsible. Determination of training needs and development and implementation of training programs are important tasks in any organization. Training is discussed in great detail in Chapter 9 “Successful Employee Communication” , including succession planning. Succession planning includes handling the departure of managers and making current employees ready to take on managerial roles when a manager does leave.
  • Regulatory issues and worker safety. Keeping up to date on new regulations relating to employment, health care, and other issues is generally a responsibility that falls on the HRM department. While various laws are discussed throughout the book, unions and safety and health laws in the workplace are covered in Chapter 12 “Working with Labor Unions” and Chapter 13 “Safety and Health at Work” .

In smaller organizations, the manager or owner is likely performing the HRM functions (de Kok & Uhlaner, 2001). They hire people, train them, and determine how much they should be paid. Larger companies ultimately perform the same tasks, but because they have more employees, they can afford to employ specialists, or human resource managers, to handle these areas of the business. As a result, it is highly likely that you, as a manager or entrepreneur, will be performing HRM tasks, hence the value in understanding the strategic components of HRM.

HRM vs. Personnel Management

Human resource strategy is an elaborate and systematic plan of action developed by a human resource department. This definition tells us that an HR strategy includes detailed pathways to implement HRM strategic plans and HR plans. Think of the HRM strategic plan as the major objectives the organization wants to achieve, and the HR plan as the specific activities carried out to achieve the strategic plan. In other words, the strategic plan may include long-term goals, while the HR plan may include short-term objectives that are tied to the overall strategic plan. As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, human resource departments in the past were called personnel departments. This term implies that the department provided “support” for the rest of the organization. Companies now understand that the human side of the business is the most important asset in any business (especially in this global economy), and therefore HR has much more importance than it did twenty years ago. While personnel management mostly involved activities surrounding the hiring process and legal compliance, human resources involves much more, including strategic planning, which is the focus of this chapter. The Ulrich HR model, a common way to look at HRM strategic planning, provides an overall view of the role of HRM in the organization. His model is said to have started the movement that changed the view of HR; no longer merely a functional area, HR became more of a partnership within the organization. While his model has changed over the years, the current model looks at alignment of HR activities with the overall global business strategy to form a strategic partnership (Ulrich & Brockbank, 2005). His newly revised model looks at five main areas of HR:

  • Strategic partner. Partnership with the entire organization to ensure alignment of the HR function with the needs of the organization.
  • Change agent. The skill to anticipate and respond to change within the HR function, but as a company as a whole.
  • Administrative expert and functional expert. The ability to understand and implement policies, procedures, and processes that relate to the HR strategic plan.
  • Human capital developer. Means to develop talent that is projected to be needed in the future.
  • Employee advocate . Works for employees currently within the organization.

According to Ulrich (Ulrich, 2011), implementation of this model must happen with an understanding of the overall company objectives, problems, challenges, and opportunities. For example, the HR professional must understand the dynamic nature of the HRM environment, such as changes in labor markets, company culture and values, customers, shareholders, and the economy. Once this occurs, HR can determine how best to meet the needs of the organization within these five main areas.

To be successful in writing an HRM strategic plan, one must understand the dynamic external environment

To be successful in writing an HRM strategic plan, one must understand the dynamic external environment.

HRM as a Strategic Component of the Business

(click to see video)

David Ulrich discusses the importance of bringing HR to the table in strategic planning.

Keeping the Ulrich model in mind, consider these four aspects when creating a good HRM strategic plan:

  • Make it applicable. Often people spend an inordinate amount of time developing plans, but the plans sit in a file somewhere and are never actually used. A good strategic plan should be the guiding principles for the HRM function. It should be reviewed and changed as aspects of the business change. Involvement of all members in the HR department (if it’s a larger department) and communication among everyone within the department will make the plan better.
  • Be a strategic partner. Alignment of corporate values in the HRM strategic plan should be a major objective of the plan. In addition, the HRM strategic plan should be aligned with the mission and objectives of the organization as a whole. For example, if the mission of the organization is to promote social responsibility, then the HRM strategic plan should address this in the hiring criteria.
  • Involve people. An HRM strategic plan cannot be written alone. The plan should involve everyone in the organization. For example, as the plan develops, the HR manager should meet with various people in departments and find out what skills the best employees have. Then the HR manager can make sure the people recruited and interviewed have similar qualities as the best people already doing the job. In addition, the HR manager will likely want to meet with the financial department and executives who do the budgeting, so they can determine human resource needs and recruit the right number of people at the right times. In addition, once the HR department determines what is needed, communicating a plan can gain positive feedback that ensures the plan is aligned with the business objectives.
  • Understand how technology can be used. Organizations oftentimes do not have the money or the inclination to research software and find budget-friendly options for implementation. People are sometimes nervous about new technology. However, the best organizations are those that embrace technology and find the right technology uses for their businesses. There are thousands of HRM software options that can make the HRM processes faster, easier, and more effective. Good strategic plans address this aspect.

HR managers know the business and therefore know the needs of the business and can develop a plan to meet those needs. They also stay on top of current events, so they know what is happening globally that could affect their strategic plan. If they find out, for example, that an economic downturn is looming, they will adjust their strategic plan. In other words, the strategic plan needs to be a living document, one that changes as the business and the world changes.

A woman using a desktop computer

A good HRM strategic plan acknowledges and addresses the use of software in HRM operations.

Howard Russell – Lefroy House – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Human Resource Recall

Have you ever looked at your organization’s strategic plan? What areas does the plan address?

The Steps to Strategic Plan Creation

As we addressed in Section 2.1.2 “The Steps to Strategic Plan Creation” , HRM strategic plans must have several elements to be successful. There should be a distinction made here: the HRM strategic plan is different from the HR plan. Think of the HRM strategic plan as the major objectives the organization wants to achieve, while the HR plan consists of the detailed plans to ensure the strategic plan is achieved. Oftentimes the strategic plan is viewed as just another report that must be written. Rather than jumping in and writing it without much thought, it is best to give the plan careful consideration.

The goal of Section 2 “Conduct a Strategic Analysis” is to provide you with some basic elements to consider and research before writing any HRM plans.

Conduct a Strategic Analysis

A strategic analysis looks at three aspects of the individual HRM department:

Understanding of the company mission and values. It is impossible to plan for HRM if one does not know the values and missions of the organization. As we have already addressed in this chapter, it is imperative for the HR manager to align department objectives with organizational objectives. It is worthwhile to sit down with company executives, management, and supervisors to make sure you have a good understanding of the company mission and values.

Another important aspect is the understanding of the organizational life cycle. You may have learned about the life cycle in marketing or other business classes, and this applies to HRM, too. An organizational life cycle refers to the introduction, growth, maturity, and decline of the organization, which can vary over time. For example, when the organization first begins, it is in the introduction phase, and a different staffing, compensation, training, and labor/employee relations strategy may be necessary to align HRM with the organization’s goals. This might be opposed to an organization that is struggling to stay in business and is in the decline phase. That same organization, however, can create a new product, for example, which might again put the organization in the growth phase. Table 2.2 “Lifecycle Stages and HRM Strategy” explains some of the strategies that may be different depending on the organizational life cycle.

Understanding of the HRM department mission and values. HRM departments must develop their own departmental mission and values. These guiding principles for the department will change as the company’s overall mission and values change. Often the mission statement is a list of what the department does, which is less of a strategic approach. Brainstorming about HR goals, values, and priorities is a good way to start. The mission statement should express how an organization’s human resources help that organization meet the business goals. A poor mission statement might read as follows: “The human resource department at Techno, Inc. provides resources to hiring managers and develops compensation plans and other services to assist the employees of our company.”

A strategic statement that expresses how human resources help the organization might read as follows: “HR’s responsibility is to ensure that our human resources are more talented and motivated than our competitors’, giving us a competitive advantage. This will be achieved by monitoring our turnover rates, compensation, and company sales data and comparing that data to our competitors” (Kaufman, 2011). When the mission statement is written in this way, it is easier to take a strategic approach with the HR planning process.

  • Understanding of the challenges facing the department. HRM managers cannot deal with change quickly if they are not able to predict changes. As a result, the HRM manager should know what upcoming challenges may be faced to make plans to deal with those challenges better when they come along. This makes the strategic plan and HRM plan much more usable.

Table 2.2 Lifecycle Stages and HRM Strategy

Source: Seattle University Presentation , accessed July 11, 2011, http://fac-staff.seattleu.edu/gprussia/web/mgt383/HR%20Planning1.ppt .

Identify Strategic HR Issues

In this step, the HRM professionals will analyze the challenges addressed in the first step. For example, the department may see that it is not strategically aligned with the company’s mission and values and opt to make changes to its departmental mission and values as a result of this information.

Many organizations and departments will use a strategic planning tool that identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) to determine some of the issues they are facing. Once this analysis is performed for the business, HR can align itself with the needs of the business by understanding the business strategy. See Table 2.3 “Sample HR Department SWOT Analysis for Techno, Inc.” for an example of how a company’s SWOT analysis can be used to develop a SWOT analysis for the HR department.

Once the alignment of the company SWOT is completed, HR can develop its own SWOT analysis to determine the gaps between HR’s strategic plan and the company’s strategic plan. For example, if the HR manager finds that a department’s strength is its numerous training programs, this is something the organization should continue doing. If a weakness is the organization’s lack of consistent compensation throughout all job titles, then the opportunity to review and revise the compensation policies presents itself. In other words, the company’s SWOT analysis provides a basis to address some of the issues in the organization, but it can be whittled down to also address issues within the department.

Table 2.3 Sample HR Department SWOT Analysis for Techno, Inc.

Prioritize Issues and Actions

Based on the data gathered in the last step, the HRM manager should prioritize the goals and then put action plans together to deal with these challenges. For example, if an organization identifies that they lack a comprehensive training program, plans should be developed that address this need. (Training needs are discussed in Chapter 8 “Training and Development” .) An important aspect of this step is the involvement of the management and executives in the organization. Once you have a list of issues you will address, discuss them with the management and executives, as they may see other issues or other priorities differently than you. Remember, to be effective, HRM must work with the organization and assist the organization in meeting goals. This should be considered in every aspect of HRM planning.

Draw Up an HRM Plan

Once the HRM manager has met with executives and management, and priorities have been agreed upon, the plans are ready to be developed. Detailed development of these plans will be discussed in Section 2.2 “Writing the HRM Plan” . Sometimes companies have great strategic plans, but when the development of the details occurs, it can be difficult to align the strategic plan with the more detailed plans. An HRM manager should always refer to the overall strategic plan before developing the HRM strategic plan and HR plans.

Even if a company does not have an HR department, HRM strategic plans and HR plans should still be developed by management. By developing and monitoring these plans, the organization can ensure the right processes are implemented to meet the ever-changing needs of the organization. The strategic plan looks at the organization as a whole, the HRM strategic plan looks at the department as a whole, and the HR plan addresses specific issues in the human resource department.

Key Takeaways

  • Personnel management and HRM are different ways of looking at the job duties of human resources. Twenty years ago, personnel management focused on administrative aspects. HRM today involves a strategic process, which requires working with other departments, managers, and executives to be effective and meet the needs of the organization.
  • In general, HRM focuses on several main areas, which include staffing, policy development, compensation and benefits, retention issues, training and development, and regulatory issues and worker protection.
  • To be effective, the HR manager needs to utilize technology and involve others.
  • As part of strategic planning, HRM should conduct a strategic analysis, identify HR issues, determine and prioritize actions, and then draw up the HRM plan.
  • What is the difference between HR plans and HRM strategic plans? How are they the same? How are they different?
  • Of the areas of focus in HRM, which one do you think is the most important? Rank them and discuss the reasons for your rankings.

de Kok, J. and Lorraine M. Uhlaner, “Organization Context and Human Resource Management in the Small Firm” (Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-038/3, Tinbergen Institute, 2001), accessed August 13, 2011, http://ideas.repec.org/s/dgr/uvatin.html .

Kaufman, G., “How to Fix HR,” Harvard Business Review , September 2006, accessed July 11, 2011, http://hbr.org/2006/09/how-to-fix-hr/ar/1 .

Losey, M., “HR Comes of Age,” HR Magazine , March 15, 1998, accessed July 11, 2011, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_n3_v43/ai_20514399 .

Ulrich, D., “Evaluating the Ulrich Model,” Acerta, 2011, accessed July 11, 2011, http://www.goingforhr.be/extras/web-specials/hr-according-to-dave-ulrich#ppt_2135261 .

Ulrich, D. and Wayne Brockbank, The HR Value Proposition (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2005), 9–14.

Human Resource Management Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

How to Write a Truly Inspiring HR Mission Statement (with Examples)

hr-mission-statement

Developing an inspiring HR mission statement is important for the overall success of your organization. It communicates your values, culture, and business goals, as well as your value proposition as an employer. This can help your team understand how their work contributes to larger goals. It can also be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top talent, vital in the era of the “ new normal ” and increasingly competitive labor markets.

In today’s post, we will discuss what a human resources mission statement is and what you need to consider when you write yours. We will also look at a few HR mission statement examples to help inspire you to write a narrative that supports your organizational goals and unlocks a whole new world of hiring potential.

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What Is an HR Mission Statement?

An HR mission statement is a specific motto, goal, or philosophy followed by a company’s HR department. It articulates what you do for your customers and your goals, values, and ethics as an organization. Put simply, it’s all about what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.

A human resources mission statement is very much focused on the present, not the future . It creates a framework for your goals and established how what you do every day will help you achieve them. It also inspires your HR team to consider whether each task they perform aligns with the goals of the department and the organization as a whole.

The other biggest benefit of an inspiring HR mission statement is that it serves as a frame of reference for the policies and procedures you use to recruit candidates. It sends a clear message about your hiring practices and who you are as a company. This helps you attract candidates who will be a good fit for your organization and whose goals, values, and vision align with your own. This helps reduce turnover and increase retention levels. It also boosts employee motivation and satisfaction levels, helping you create an environment where every individual thrives.

HR Mission Statement Examples

The structure, length, and content of your HR mission statement depend very much on who you are as a company. If you search online, you’ll find a wide variety of HR mission statement samples at both ends of the scale. Some organizations opt for a detailed HR mission statement, others prefer to keep their statement brief and to the point. 

Let’s start by taking a look at a few HR mission statement examples to give you an idea of what works well.

“ At Adobe, we believe that when people feel respected and included they can be more creative, innovative, and successful. While we have more work to do to advance diversity and inclusion, we’re investing to move our company and industry forward .”

The most endearing aspect of this statement is that Adobe recognizes its flaws and allows itself to be vulnerable, which is attractive to both candidates and employees. It also outlines a clear plan for the future.

“ You are valued. Your voice is important. As a global team with a huge range of different backgrounds, ways of thinking, and varied experiences, we want each and every one of you to feel that you belong, are included and can thrive. We care about you and your well-being. Because it’s when you feel at your best that you can do your best .”

This statement is effective because it conveys how much the organization cares about the well-being of its employees. AXA uses a lot of positive, reassuring language that makes the reader feel comfortable and helps them understand how the company intends to continue improving on its policy of inclusion and diversity in the workplace. 

“ To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity ”

This statement is smart and concise. It focuses on a characteristic that everyone can relate to – curiosity. It is also open to interpretation and leaves the reader wondering where the company will go next. This is a powerful tactic for an employer that directly targets innovators and early adopters. 

HR Mission Statement vs. HR Vision Statement

An HR mission statement:

  • Focuses on the present.
  • Is primarily about why your company came into being and what it does. It’s about who you are right now, your place in the market, and what you stand for.

In contrast, an HR vision statement:

  • Focuses on the future.
  • Is primarily about “why” your department does what it does. It’s about where you are going and how you intend to get there. It’s about where you want to be.
  • Is aligned with your company’s strategy for the future and how your department fits into the big picture. 

How to Write a Human Resources Mission Statement

The key to writing an inspiring HR mission statement is not overcomplicating matters. Keep things simple so that your point is clear. Make sure it highlights who you are, what you do, and how you do it.  

You should consider the following four aspects as your guiding strategy when you write your human resources mission statement. 

Define Your Core Values and Culture

Think about what your purpose is as a department and how your values align with your company’s overall mission. What are you good at? How is your department unique? And what is your value proposition as an employer? 

Make sure you address all these questions when you write your HR mission statement. Explain what you do and define your goals and core values as simply as possible. 

Establish How Your Define Success

The next step is establishing how you define success. How do you meet your goals? What are your benchmarks? Which skills should current and future employees possess in order to help you meet those goals? 

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Align Your Mission with Your Company  

The final thing to consider before you write your HR department mission statement is how your team aligns your mission with the overall strategy of the organization. What value does your department provide the company and the wider community? How do you strive to improve quality and productivity? Ultimately, what strategies do you use to continuously improve and reach your goals? 

Share and Regularly Review

Once you’ve created your HR mission statement, you need to make sure everyone sees it. That means communicating it to all your employees, not just your HR department. You can do this by posting the statement on your website and social media pages, as well as including it in your employee handbook . 

You also need to make sure any potential candidates see your HR mission statement. Include it in job advertisements, mention it during interviews, and reiterate it during hiring, onboarding, and training. This will help you attract and retain the right talent to help your business succeed. 

A People-First Solution to Match Your HR Values and Mission

Once you have defined and communicated your HR mission statement to the world, y ou need to make sure you regularly measure and adjust your goals. This will help you stay aligned with your mission as a department and the overall goals of your company.

There are a number of strategies you can use to achieve this. Firstly, you need to make sure you c ollect regular feedback from your HR team and/or people operations department. This helps you ensure that your employees understand your core mission as a department. It also helps you establish if they take this mission into account as they perform their daily duties. After all, your HR mission statement should be clearly communicated with everything you do as a department, both internally and externally. You also need to make sure you are tracking individual and team goals, and that all your staff are engaged and performing to the best of their ability.

Factorial’s all-in-one HR management solution includes a number of features that can help you with this. For instance, our people management software can help you align the needs of employees with the overall mission of the HR department. And our employee database feature can help you track and manage the entire employee journey, from recruitment and applicant tracking right through to offboarding and performance management. Plus, you can use our solution to conduct regular check-ins and gather 360-feedback. 

Sign up now and start improving your HR management with Factorial!

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Home Blog Business HR Strategic Planning 101: A Guide for Developing HR Strategies

HR Strategic Planning 101: A Guide for Developing HR Strategies

Cover for HR Strategic Plan guide

Regardless of size or industry, every organization operates with specific goals and objectives. The job of the human resources (HR) team is to ensure that the workforce contributes effectively to its success. However, the shocking truth is many initiatives fail because there is a disparity between HR strategies and the business.

In a survey by Gartner , 38% of the HR leaders surveyed admitted that their HR strategic planning process is not aligned with the business strategic planning calendar. Such a misalignment can have significant implications and may impede the organization’s overall success.

This underscores the need for HR teams to prioritize a strategic plan that’s in sync with the overall business framework. How do you do that? Let’s discuss it in this article.

Table of Contents

What is an HR Strategic Plan?

Components of an hr strategic plan, steps for creating an hr strategic plan, examples of hr strategic plan slides, how to present an hr strategic plan.

We’ve defined a strategic plan as a document that reflects how a company plans to function and grow over a significant period. Its purpose is to allow all departments to understand the company’s larger strategy and guide their respective efforts so that they can positively impact its success.

Hence, the HR strategic plan is a document that outlines how the human resources function will align with and support the overall strategy, vision, and goals of the organization. Whether the HR strategy involves hiring more staff, promoting talent development, or nurturing a positive work culture, it should be firmly based on the direction the company aims for.

It’s important to emphasize that HR strategic planning is an ongoing process and requires continual reassessment as the organization’s overall strategic plan evolves.

So, where do you start with HR strategic planning? Breaking down the plan’s components is the easiest approach to accomplish this process. Let’s explore the basic elements an HR strategic plan should include.

  • The Vision is the aspirational image of what the HR function aims to achieve in alignment with the organization’s overall goals. It encapsulates the desired future state of HR within the company.
  • The Objectives are the short-term and long-term goals HR sets to achieve. These goals should be directly tied to the broader business strategy.
  • The Actions detail the specific steps, initiatives, and projects HR will undertake to achieve its objectives.
  • The KPIs are the metrics that gauge the effectiveness and impact of HR initiatives. They help monitor performance and guide adjustments if necessary.

1. Pick a Strategic Model to Use

Selecting the right structure for an HR strategic plan is the first step to effectively communicating the plan’s outcomes within your organization. SlideModel has several editable strategic planning templates to help you organize your plan clearly and logically.

The Goals-Based Strategic Planning Model begins by identifying goals/objectives and aligning the strategies and action plan with the organization’s current state. It also outlines the timelines for implementation and key metrics for tracking the progress.

The Cascade Strategy Planning Model involves a top-down approach that starts with defining the organization’s mission, vision, and core values. From there, strategic goals are broken down into actionable objectives for various departments and teams. 

Regardless of your chosen model, covering the essential elements mentioned earlier is imperative to ensure the plan’s effectiveness in driving organizational success.

2. Assess Current HR State

You now have the strategic planning model to work with. The next step is to conduct a gap analysis that evaluates the existing state of your human resources concerning the company’s overarching vision. This analysis compares where your HR function is and where you want it to be and identifies the existing gaps so that you can develop reasonable goals to fill them.

Several gap analysis templates , like the SWOT analysis , can aid you in this process.

SWOT Analysis for an HR Strategic Plan

Start by making a checklist of your requirements to fulfill the vision. Then, look at your organization’s workforce and identify what practices could be improved or what capacity could be acquired to realize the organization’s overarching strategic goal.

For instance, imagine you’re part of Tesla’s HR team, whose vision is to “create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.” As you assess your HR state, the gap analysis might reveal your need for recruiting specialized engineers or more employee training programs on sustainable transportation concepts.

3. Define HR Vision

Building upon the insights gained from the gap analysis, the next step is to craft a clear and aspirational vision for your HR function. This vision should reflect how HR envisions contributing to the organization’s success.

Some may find this step unnecessary, but we don’t recommend skipping it. As we mention in our vision statement article, a vision statement codifies your aspirations, making it easier to communicate them to stakeholders. An HR vision statement is no different.

Continuing our illustrative example, Tesla’s HR vision could be:

“Lead the charge in cultivating a dynamic and innovative workforce that pioneers the electric vehicle revolution.”

This ambitious statement points to areas where the HR team can play a crucial role in bridging the gaps between the workforce and the direction that Tesla is going for.

4. Identify Objectives

We cannot overstate the significance of setting objectives in HR strategic planning. While you have the vision to guide your actions, you need clearer directions to make your journey easier. Objectives transform abstract visions into concrete and actionable goals that you can work on.

SMART Goals

You may identify short-term and long-term objectives. Either way, they should adhere to the SMART criteria :

Specific: Clearly define what the objective aims to achieve.

Measurable: Set quantifiable metrics to gauge success.

Achievable: Ensure the objective is feasible and realistic.

Relevant: The objective should align with HR’s role and the organizational strategy.

Time-Bound: Set a clear timeline for achieving the objective.

Let’s take a look at a well-written objective for Tesla’s HR.

Increase the number of engineers with proficiency in battery management by 20% within the next two years.

This objective aligns with the organization’s broader goal of pioneering the electric vehicle revolution. Battery management is a critical component of electric vehicles. By increasing the number of engineers proficient in battery management, Tesla’s HR ensures a workforce with the skills needed to advance electric vehicle innovation.

5. Develop Action Plans

The action plan breaks down your objectives into achievable pieces, giving stakeholders a clear sight of the steps needed to accomplish them. It lays down the specific activities in the order in which they should be carried out, the resources and support needed, and the completion timeline. The structured nature of action ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the steps needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

Action Plan PowerPoint Diagram

For example, the following could be Tesla’s activities in achieving its objective of increasing the number of engineers proficient in battery management:

  • Assess the current proficiency levels of engineers in battery management skills.
  • Design a comprehensive battery management training.
  • Roll out the battery management training program.
  • Assess the progress of engineers’ proficiency levels.

You may use a one-pager action plan template to present these activities, their dependencies, and their required resources.

6. Establish KPIs

How will you measure success? As you develop your HR strategic goal, you will realize that you need to come up with a consensus of what success looks like. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come in.

Forbes defines KPI as a measurable target indicating a specific performance is at par with the goal. It requires looking into past performance variables (lagging indicators) and the desired future performance (leading indicators) to inform managers that they are on track to meet their objectives and, to a certain degree, their vision.

KPIs vary depending on the organization’s goals, but some common performance indicators for HR include:

  • Employee Productivity
  • Employee Attrition/ Retention Rate
  • Cost per Hire
  • Training and Development Metrics

When it comes to increasing the number of engineers with proficiency in battery management, Tesla’s KPIs may include:

  • Proficiency Assessment Scores
  • Training Completion Rate
  • Number of Certified Engineers

Here are a couple of examples of HR strategic plans presented using various models:

1. Enhancing Employee Engagement

Cascade Strategy Planning Model

This is an example slide of an HR strategic plan of a company that aims to enhance employee engagement. Using the Cascade Strategy Planning Model, they were able to align and direct every facet of their initiatives toward their overarching vision.

2. Developing Leadership Pipeline

The Goal Based Model

This goal-based HR strategic plan example provides an actionable approach to achieving the outlined goals for developing a leadership pipeline within the organization. Incorporating specific timelines into the action plan helps ensure the strategic plan progresses smoothly and stays on track.

Some companies spend a lot of effort developing HR strategies, or strategic plans in general, only to forget to effectively communicate them to the people who will turn the plan into a reality. What’s the point of beautifully crafted strategies when employees know too little or don’t know about them?

Hence, you need a communication plan to ensure that the whole organization understands and embraces your strategies from the ground up. Here are some tips when presenting an HR strategic plan.

1. Use Crystal-clear Language

Using jargon during a presentation may sound smart but may lead to confusion and alienation. To effectively communicate your strategies, prioritize using simple, plain language that resonates with the audience. If jargons are inevitable, provide clear definitions to ensure understanding.

2. Explain the “Why”

Employees may react negatively to changes, especially when they feel the change is an additional burden. Explaining a change’s reasons, motivations, and benefits can alleviate concerns and resistance. For example, if an employee is against HR’s job rotation plan, explaining how it will equip them for future succession might change their mind.

3. Use Visual Aids

HR strategic plans usually involve a lot of projections and metrics that might get lost in translation. Incorporate visual aids like infographics, graphs, and charts to simplify these complex pieces of information.

4. Encourage Two-way Communication

When you don’t receive feedback during a presentation, it typically indicates one of two possibilities: either the audience has a complete grasp of the message, or they don’t get it. There’s only one way to know for sure: to establish a channel for dialogue. Communication in both directions bridges the gap between the intended message and the audience’s understanding.

5. Use Multi-channel Approach

People have different preferences for absorbing information. Some may find in-person presentations more convenient, but others may find it challenging to present complex information. Cognizant of these variations, consider a range of approaches when presenting your HR strategic plan. For example, you may send out a pre-read of your reports so no one gets confused during your meeting.

HR strategic planning is a complex activity that involves multiple processes. It requires a comprehensive and thoughtful approach, from setting clear objectives and identifying key performance indicators to developing actionable plans and ensuring effective communication. The key to effective HR strategies is aligning them with the main company vision and strategic goals.

But remember, HR strategies are not set in stone. As company circumstances change and new challenges and opportunities emerge, the planning team must be agile to accommodate these shifts.

1. HR Plan for an Organization PowerPoint Template

hr strategic plan statement

Present your HR Strategic Plan with a slide deck intended for HR Professionals! This HR Strategic Plan template contains tools to outline the most important aspects of the human resources process and management tasks, like hiring new employees, management structure, career management, performance management, hidden opportunities, and more. Your team can craft a presentation that can be continuously updated according to your plan’s agenda, or it can fit the purpose of multiple plans.

Use This Template

2. GOST Canvas for HR Strategic Plan

hr strategic plan statement

This GOST framework is ideal for processes that require generating goals, laying out strategies, and defining tactics for an actionable plan. For an HR Strategic Plan, we can use this GOST Canvas PowerPoint Template as a prior step to defining the action plan details, while using the findings retrieved from the SWOT analysis and SMART Goal definition stages.

3. Strategic Plan HR Strategy Template for Defining Vision & Mission

hr strategic plan statement

The third step in our HR Strategic Plan guide is to define the HR Vision. Although this can be managed through Vision Statement templates, we believe a tailored template that exposes both Mission and Vision better fits this context.

Use this colorful Strategic Initiative Vision & Mission PowerPoint Template to formulate a path by which your strategic plan can align its efforts to meet the established goals. Strategic and Enabling Pillars are also laid out in an extremely visual format while being connected to the Mission. This way, stakeholders can get a quick glimpse of why certain tactics are being pursued, to which pillar they belong, and how that aligns with the big picture in the Strategic Plan.

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Workday’s Global Payroll Strategy: A Connected HR and Payroll Experience

Our global payroll strategy combines Workday technology with an expansive partner ecosystem to provide customers with the solutions that best support their evolving needs.

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In this article, we discuss:

How we’re strengthening our global payroll strategy by developing deeper integrations with strategic partners and delivering new native payroll offerings to customers worldwide.

Workday’s commitment to providing customers with choices for the payroll solutions that best suit their needs. 

How our global payroll strategy empowers customers with a connected and powerful HR and payroll experience.

In keeping with the transformation of HR, payroll is also evolving. The unparalleled disruption in recent years—changing compliance complexities, increasingly distributed workforces, and a greater need to improve employee experiences—has compelled organizations to rethink how they operate. In fact, according to Sapient Insights Group , more than 50% of global organizations are considering changing their payroll, time and attendance, and analytics applications by the end of 2024. 

But understandably, managing global payroll is complicated. Operating payroll across a global landscape requires flexibility and having a unified and secure place to access the data needed to operate. 

At Workday, we’ve always been committed to providing customers with quality native payroll solutions and an innovative payroll engine, but even more so, we’re committed to paving a path forward, hand-in-hand with our customers and partners. That’s why we’re bolstering our approach to global payroll by expanding our strategic partnerships and making it even easier for customers to manage their payroll in one place. 

Today, we work together with hundreds of partners across the globe to help customers accelerate innovation, deploy new capabilities, and support complementary capabilities. So it’s natural that we’d also take advantage of our partnerships for our global payroll strategy, as it reflects the nature of what businesses need to thrive in the future of work: trusted partners who enable agility to navigate global complexity. 

Together, with the Workday platform, our payroll partners enable our customers to operate across a multifaceted global payroll landscape, helping to streamline operations across countries while also providing specialized assistance for complying with regional regulations. As a result, our global payroll strategy enables our customers to drive growth and transform their payroll into a strategic function fit for the new world of work.

The Global Payroll Platform: The System of Engagement for Customers Worldwide

Strengthened by advances in technology, companies can now expand their reach across the globe more easily. Our approach is designed to reflect the real-world operations of global payroll. Simply put, our global payroll strategy helps organizations using Workday Human Capital Managemen t (HCM) to seamlessly interact with our native Workday Payroll system or connect to third-party providers as needed, all while ensuring a safe, precise, and efficient experience. 

We are evolving our Workday Cloud Connect for Third-Party Payroll (CCTPP) to the Global Payroll Platform (GPP) with a bidirectional flow of data to enable even tighter integration and enhanced employee, administrator, and implementation experiences. GPP enables customers worldwide to process critical components as they run payroll, including workforce data, absence, time tracking, benefits, compensation data, and more—and align with the regulations specific to the locality. This also leverages Workday’s responsible AI-infused data core (all within Workday HCM).

We are continuing to build a global payroll ecosystem that fosters a collaborative culture to drive collective success.

Reshaping the Global Payroll Experience With an Expansive Partner Ecosystem

Customers are at the center of the decisions that we make. As such, we’re committed to creating user experiences that provide customers with options to meet their evolving payroll needs, wherever they are.

Workday Payroll is fully integrated with Workday HCM and Workday Financial Management , and is available in select countries . For payroll needs outside of these regions, Workday makes it easy to integrate to third-party payroll providers around the world using certified, prebuilt integrations.

That’s why a key pillar of our global payroll strategy is extending the power of the Workday platform with strategic payroll partnerships and the current Workday Global Payroll Cloud partner network. Our recent expanded partnerships with ADP and Alight  are indicative of how we’re helping customers accelerate their transformation with an enhanced payroll experience. These partnerships will create deeper visibility into payroll operations in one place to interact with payroll, whether it’s a Workday native payroll solution or partner provided. These partnerships are integral to our mission in building a more streamlined experience for payroll administrators, and a better experience for joint customers overall, and we’ll continue making investments to better serve our customer community.

Designing a Robust Global Payroll Strategy for an Ever-Changing Business World

Our global payroll strategy is designed to meet not only the demands of today, but to also adapt to the challenges of tomorrow.

As your trusted partner, we are committed to continuous innovation that empowers our customers with options that meet their needs. Combining the Workday platform with our expansive—and expanding—partner ecosystem offers customers a powerful and connected HR and payroll experience, now and into the future.

Two Workday leaders share why organizations need to rethink their global payroll strategy and explain what organizations need in order to make the shift.

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Our Human Resources Investment Strategy: Reviewing the Results of the Past Year and Looking Ahead to Even Greater Heights

Satoshi Miyazaki

Director and Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHO)

The importance of investing in our people

As the CEO correctly points out, investing in human resources is critical for further evolving and developing Capcom’s businesses.

With the objective to further increase quality in development and amass technical knowhow, since 2013, we have been hiring more than 100 new graduates each year, while also aggressively carrying out mid-career hiring to acquire personnel who can hit the ground running. As a result, as of the end of June 2023, the company had 3,517 employees on a consolidated basis and 3,196 employees at Capcom alone, of which 2,666 work in the development division. In order to achieve our management goal of increasing operating income by 10% each fiscal year and our medium- to long-term management goal of 100 million units in annual sales, we must continue to develop high-quality games while we secure talented people in development to grow our pipeline.

The game industry has undergone significant changes over the past decade and forecasts suggest that these changes will accelerate even further in the next decade. In order to address these changes, not only Capcom’s development but also the business and administrative divisions need to grow. Moreover, the consistent income and business synergies provided by peripheral businesses, such as Arcade Operations and Amusement Equipments, are also essential, while diversity in the workforce will become ever more important.

Restructuring of our human resources organization

While our business performance grew significantly due to the strategic shift from physically packaged games to digital sales, we also needed to evolve our personnel system in line with the company’s stage of growth, which included reviewing the levels of compensation per employee. Management recognizes human resources investment as an important issue, and as I conveyed in last year’s integrated report, Capcom reorganized its Human Resources Department into four new departments in fiscal 2022 and established the position of CHO to oversee them. Management and these four organizations are working closely together to solve human resources related issues. Furthermore, to facilitate prompt and smooth service, we have newly established a Head of Human Resources Division under the CHO as of April 1, 2023.

Currently, discussions are being held at monthly meetings organized by the CHO to work through issues identified by each of these HR organizations. The issues discussed here are then shared with the Human Resources Committee, chaired by the Chairman of the Board, to determine a course of action and detailed measures.

Results over the previous year

As an outcome achieved during the previous year, following the aforementioned reorganization we made three changes to the remuneration system: namely, (1) an average increase in remuneration for full-time employees of the Company of 30%, (2) the introduction of a bonus system linked to profits, and (3) the introduction of a stock-based compensation system for employees. The introduction of this bonus system and stock-based compensation system will create a virtuous cycle in which performance growth and stock price increases due to employees’ hard work being reflected in their compensation.

In addition, since fiscal 2022, we have been holding regular performance briefings to inform employees of the company’s motivations for introducing the new personnel system while detailing current business performance and future growth potential. In fiscal 2022, management held 20 briefings for employees, with a total of more than 1,400 employees participating. Based on these initiatives, we have also received high satisfaction scores in work engagement on employee surveys.

Trend in remuneration amount of full-time employees

Future challenges Securing and utilizing human resources who will support our future

Capcom hires about 150 new graduates every year and the average age of our workforce is 37.6 years old, which is relatively young, but in order to remain in the game industry and achieve further growth in the future, we will need to create a comfortable working environment where employees are able to thrive in their work—especially younger workers.

For example, for management-track employees, our career plan policy is to gain experience in multiple departments over the medium term, and we allocate personnel so that talent has an opportunity to move around to different departments. Ultimately, we match employees’ careers with the roles required by the company so that they can play the most active role possible.

On the other hand, in order to strengthen human resources in development, we are promoting the diversification of recruitment channels, such as stepping up scouting, rehiring retirees, and accepting interns from prominent overseas universities; we do this while also strengthening development measures by visualizing human resource requirements and designing career ladders, providing training for management candidates to improve their skills, and enhancing off-the-job-training to promote other self-development. Additionally, in order to secure and retain talent and motivate employees, we have revised the aforementioned remuneration system and reviewed the personnel assessment system to improve the objectivity and satisfaction of evaluations.

At present, we are promoting the following improvements as specific measures to create a comfortable work environment to prevent employee turnover and further enhance engagement between the company and employees.

  • 1. Continuous improvement and expansion of work environment and facilities
  • 2. In-house commendation system for recognizing contributions made to the company
  • 3. Expanded harassment training and establishment of hotlines accessible globally
  • 4. Provision of daycare and recreation places for employees
  • 5. Continuous expansion of other benefits systems

将来を支える人材の確保、活用

Promotion of diversity

Based on the belief that ensuring the diversity of human resources will lead to the strengthening of sustainable international competitiveness, we are also focusing on securing and utilizing women and foreign nationals in our workforce. However, the measuring stick for the diversity of human resources should not be the improvement of the composition ratio, but whether these measures make Capcom more resilient.

Since fans of our games are predominately male, the ratio of men during the application stage of recruitment is large currently; however, given this, we are considering new mechanisms to promote female employees internally, especially those who are younger. Currently, we are promoting birth-related leave, childcare leave, and shortened working hours systems to create a comfortable working environment for women, while also establishing a paid menstrual leave system, and conducting in-house training to prevent harassment. We will continue to pursue the development and active promotion of female employees, including increasing the ratio of female managers.

Currently, Capcom has about 200 foreign national employees representing more than 30 countries. To further increase this number, we provide support for relocations from overseas to Japan, introduced a special leave system for employees returning to their home country temporarily, and hold meetings to exchange opinions with management to understand the needs of foreign national employees. From the perspective of utilizing such employees, appointing local staff of overseas subsidiaries to the top management positions of these subsidiaries or creating routes where such talent can play an active role at the head office will also strengthen our corporate structure. Thus, it will be necessary to develop foreign national human resources who have a deep knowledge of our culture.

As we look at our growth over the next decade, it is essential to improve productivity by raising employees standards in order to address various changes in the market. In addition, in order to achieve our medium- to long-term goal of 100 million units in annual sales of game software, we need to work on both improving development efficiency and expanding our organization.

To achieve these goals, it will be more important than ever to utilize mid-career hiring, and it will continue to be necessary to provide appropriate levels of compensation and an attractive workplace environment.

Currently, management is discussing various personnel issues. Last fiscal year, we were able to implement reforms, including making changes to the remuneration system, because investment in human resources is such an important issue for us. We believe that it is people who support the game business, and that human capital is the driving force behind our growth, and thus we will continue to promote our human resources investment strategy further as we move forward.

Trend in diversity related indicators

CAPCOM INTEGRATED REPORT 2023

Pdf (complete version) (pdf: 17.2mb / 103 page), pdf (by section), value creation story (pdf: 7.2mb / 24 page).

  • Value Creation Results
  • History of Value Creation
  • Corporate Philosophy and Vision
  • Value Creation Model
  • Major Intellectual Properties (IP)
  • Effectively Leveraging IP
  • ESG Highlights
  • Financial Highlights
  • Business Segments Highlights
  • Medium- to Long-Term Vision

Medium- to Long-Term Growth Strategy (PDF: 2.9MB / 20 page)

  • CEO Commitment
  • The COO’s discussion of growth strategies
  • Financial Strategy According to the CFO

Latest Creative Report (PDF: 3.4MB / 6 page)

  • The Head of Development Discusses Development Strategy
  • Street Fighter 6 Unveiling a new era of fighting games
  • Our Development Environment

Foundation for Sustainable Growth (ESG) (PDF: 2.5MB / 24 page)

  • ESG Information
  • Capcom and the Environment
  • Society and Capcom
  • Corporate Governance Structure and Initiatives
  • Key commentary on sustainability by our external directors

Financial Analysis and Corporate Data (PDF: 0.4MB / 11 page)

  • An Analysis of the Market and Capcom
  • 11-Year Summary of Consolidated Financial Indicators
  • Segment Information
  • Corporate Data

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Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Releases First-Ever Environmental Justice Strategy for Massachusetts

Media contact for healey-driscoll administration releases first-ever environmental justice strategy for massachusetts, danielle burney, deputy communications director.

BOSTON —   As the Healey-Driscoll Administration works toward positive and proactive solutions to combat climate change, the Executive Office of Energy of Environmental Affairs (EEA) unveiled Massachusetts’ first-ever  Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy  today to ensure an equitable and just transition for all residents. The strategy is a roadmap that will embed environmental justice and equity into the work of EEA and its agencies when planning and implementing programs and policies under its purview. The EJ Strategy includes universal themes across all agencies and offices under EEA, such as meaningful community engagement, analysis of project benefits and burdens, language access plans, staff training, and metrics and tracking. It also includes each agency’s plan to embed environmental justice that is tailored to its mission. 

A critical component of the EJ Strategy was a public process that incorporated comments, input, and feedback from residents across Massachusetts. Recognizing the importance of continued engagement with environmental justice communities, community-based organizations, and municipalities, EEA will revisit and update the EJ Strategy every three years. Starting in December 2024, the EJ Office will also release an annual progress report.

“We are addressing systemic environmental injustice by incorporating practices based on equity and inclusion into our everyday work. This strategy is a significant step in identifying concrete ways to increase public participation and ensure the voices of marginalized communities are at the table,”  said Governor Maura Healey.  “Environmental justice is at the heart of our climate efforts. Our administration is committed to securing clean air and water for every resident and ensuring the benefits of our clean energy transition are distributed in an equitable way.”  

“A just transition requires strong, transparent partnerships with municipalities and environmental justice populations. There are tremendous opportunities in clean energy and innovation, and as a former mayor, I understand the importance of bringing communities to the table,”  said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll.  “Our EJ Strategy is a testament to our commitment in ensuring nobody is left behind as we transition to a clean energy economy.” 

The Environmental Justice Strategy reflects the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s deep understanding that all communities deserve environmental protection regardless of race, national origin, or income bracket. One of Rebecca Tepper’s first acts as EEA Secretary was establishing an Office of Environmental Justice and Equity and  appointing  María Belén Power as the first-ever Undersecretary of Environmental Justice and Equity. Governor Healey’s  first budget  increased EEA’s funding by 27 percent, which included hiring new environmental justice staff. 

“This Strategy puts concept into action. We are working to reverse the environmental burdens that have plagued communities of color and economically marginalized residents for decades and setting Massachusetts on a new path that centers equity in our work,”  said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper.  “People are policy, and a just transition requires intentionality and commitment from all of us. This guidance will help shape our policy decisions and create clean, healthy communities and a large, diverse workforce across Massachusetts.”

“The EJ Strategy allows us to have measurable outcomes and ensure we are achieving our goals and building upon successes year after year,”  said Environmental Justice and Equity Undersecretary María Belén Power.  “I am proud of the EJ Strategy we are releasing today, and to be working with all of our agencies and offices under EEA to ensure environmental justice is imbedded into the fabric of our everyday work.”

Environmental Justice Strategies include:

  • Meaningful Engagement:  EEA and its agencies will cultivate new and strengthen existing relationships with environmental justice communities, including community-led processes designed with and for EJ communities.
  • Project Impacts Analysis:  Agencies   will assess the impacts of its projects using available state mapping and screening tools to identify EJ neighborhoods and evaluate project impacts in these areas.
  • Language Access Plans:  The secretariat will develop and adopt Language Access Plans (LAP) consistent with and under the Executive Office for Administration & Finance (A&F) Bulletin #16 and Executive Order (EO) 615 to  ensure meaningful access to agency services, programs, and activities for people who  have limited English proficiency. EEA and its agencies will evaluate the circumstances and language access needs to determine the tasks needed to provide access to services.
  • Staff Training and Hiring:  EEA and its agencies will implement an environmental justice training program series to educate and inspire EEA agencies to understand and value environmental justice and equity, as well as to ensure they remain priorities.
  • Metrics and Tracking:  EEA and its agencies will work to quantify current baseline and future environmental justice metrics to measure progress, including developing metrics considering new data infrastructures and practices.

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

Sal DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate

“As State Senator to one of the most diverse districts in the Commonwealth, ensuring an equitable and just energy transition is non-negotiable. Communities of color have borne the brunt of air pollution and environmental hazards for decades, and the Governor’s Environmental Justice Strategy is absolutely essential to ending this cycle of mistreatment. I want to commend the Healey-Driscoll Administration for implementing these equitable and inclusive changes across EEA offices to guarantee that environmental justice is at the forefront of our state’s climate policies.”

Dwaign Tyndal, Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE)

“We appreciate the thought and care that Undersecretary Power and staff across state government have put into the first-ever Environmental Justice Strategy. Meaningful engagement with communities, an equitable distribution of state dollars, and language access are critical tactics for the state to utilize as it guides the transition to clean energy and rectifies historical injustices. Environmental justice is a process, and this strategy is a strong step forward.”

Roseann Bongiovanni, Executive Director, GreenRoots

“We applaud the Healey Administration for releasing its Environmental Justice Strategy. It is refreshing to see the State of Massachusetts prioritize low-income communities and communities of color which have been disproportionately burdened by environmental and toxic assaults for decades on end. We look forward to working with the Secretary of Environmental Affairs and her team to realize the goals put forth in the EJ strategy.”

Lesly Melendez, Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence

“The EEA EJ Strategy is a powerful roadmap to improve environmental justice and equity in Massachusetts in many measurable ways. We are excited about its focus on open space improvements, equitable workforce development employment, community engagement, and more. We were hopeful when the Healey-Driscoll Administration elevated environmental justice and equity as a priority, with the EEA EJ Strategy we now see the strategic planning that is occurring to create a consistent structure to effectively and measurably advance environmental justice and equity. It is a strong starting point!”

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

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