Executing a mediocre strategy will get you farther than a perfect strategic plan that is never implemented, or implemented ineffectively.
How often have you seen an executive retreat or conference produce a strategic vision, mission statement or new performance campaign only to have it die with a whimper by the end of the year?
If you get discouraged about the past results of some of these programs, take heart! It is possible to successfully execute a new HR strategy if it contains two components: business relevance (i.e. measurable impact on the financial statements) and adoption by the workforce. You didn’t become a business leader without the capacity to deliver on both.
Workforce/Human Capital Strategy is business relevant when you:
- Know what you have in our current inventory in terms of your Human Capital (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other attributes);
- Person-Job Fit ("JobFit");
- Understand your workforce culture and capacity with regard to cognitive, work-based behavioral and job match;
- Understand your demographic "lay of the land" for succession and workforce planning;
- Know the level and the drivers of your workforce engagement and organizational commitment;
- Identify how you're going to measure success and develop milestones;
- Identify your KPIs and productivity measures for each job position; and
- Ensure that you and other stakeholders (CFO, CEO, COO, etc.) have alignment on expectations, milestones and metrics.
Adoption by Workforce
Ensure that you involve Line Managers in all Human Capital processes: selection, onboarding, development, performance measures and management. They will be more receptive to the execution of HR strategy if the business effect is adequately demonstrated.
To increase the likelihood of a successful execution ensure that you:
- Measure engagement at least annually;
- Select quantitative performance metrics (where possible) for every job position;
- Solicit suggestions for improvement of work culture from the employees;
- Consider coaching/mentorship and/or career pathing to give a sense of what the future may hold for your employees;
- Identify the trainable underperformers and train/coach them to success; and
- Redeploy or terminate the inhibitors to productivity/healthy workplace culture.
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