In the past few weeks, there has been debate in the company about the role of the human resources department in the formulation of the strategic plans of the company. This report seeks to justify that the human resources of the company are key to the long term achievement of profitability and growth objectives of the organization.
The major objective of the human resources department is to ensure the effective management of the people in the organization to meet the set organizational goals. However, this role is more often than not influenced by strategic decisions that have already been made and the human resources department merely fills in the human resources needs that are required in already formulated strategic plans. There is need to actively involve the human resources department in strategic planning to ensure that the goals that are set do not fail due to poor human resource planning. Actively involving the human resources department in formulation of the company’s strategic plan will enable the department voice any constraints in the organizations capability to provide the appropriate people needed to meet the organizational goals (Rowden 1999). It will also enable the department plan on ways and means of ensuring that the organization has the necessary human capital required to meet the company’s strategic plans. Thus, future failures in meeting the organization’s strategic goals will be avoided by involving the human resources department in the strategic planning process.
The strategic goals of the organization may cover a period of many years in the future. It is very important to engage the human resources department in such strategic planning so that it can carry an audit of what will be needed in the future in terms of human capital so as to effectively meet these goals (Boyett et al 2001). With such information, the department can embark on training and development programs to ensure that the company has in its employ people with the right skills and experience to meet the organization’s long term objectives. Involving the human resources department in strategic planning also enables the department to furnish the company with the appropriate human capital faster and effectively and thus makes the achievement of the company’s strategic goals faster.
Strategic plans encompass critical changes in the organization’s business processes and systems over time. The human resources department usually has an overall organizational view of how these changes may affect the operations of the company in general (Whelan-Berry, Gordon & Hinings 2003). It is thus important to involve the human resources department in strategic planning to ensure that the process and systems changes that are envisioned in the company’s strategic plans do not have a negative effect on the company’s human resources since this would result in ultimate failure of such plans.
Gaining a competitive advantage over business rivals is one of the major goals of strategic planning. Part of competitive advantage that the company can enjoy is by having better trained and experienced employees than competitors and this will require the input of the human resources department in formulating strategic plans on how the company will gain a competitive edge in terms of human resources available to it (Boyett et al 2001). It is thus important to engage the human resources department in formulating the company’s strategic plans so as to ensure that the company develops and maintains a competitive edge in terms of the human resources available to it.
Strategic planning is carried out in the highest level of the organization. Communication of strategic decisions made high in the organizations chain of command will inevitably take time to reach the lower levels, one of which will be the human resources department. Sometimes, the essence of the decision made may be weathered down through the communication process and the human resources will get the wrong signal other than the one intended by strategic management. It is thus very important that a representative of the human resource function of the organization be part of the strategic planning committee to ensure that decisions made are communicated fast and effectively to the human resources personnel to ensure that strategic goals of the organization are aligned with the operations of the human resource function (Wright & Snell 1998).
Analysis of the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses and potential opportunities and threats form the core process of strategic decision making. It is thus important that a representative of the human resource function of the organization be part of the strategic planning to ensure that identification of the strengths and opportunities from a human resource perspective. This will enable the firm develop strategies which are better informed and which ultimately have an increased probability of success. Weaknesses and threats that the organization faces in terms of attracting and retaining well trained and experienced employees needed to ensure the long term success of the organization are also identified and necessary measures taken to counter them. This further illustrates the need to integrate the human resource function of the organization into the strategic planning process to ensure that the overall long term success of the organization (Van Marrewijk & Timmers 2003).
One of the most successful companies that integrates human resource function in its strategic decision making is Google. One of the founders of the company, Larry Page, is directly responsible for the human resources of the company and always seeks to integrate the human resource function into the decision making of long term goals that affect the performance of the company. Selection, training and development of employees are made into a strategic process and this has ensured Google’s continued success of the company.
Toyota, a large and successful multinational vehicle manufacture also has a system which integrates the human resource function into the strategic decision making process. This system has been largely successful since the company is able to develop the best personnel to suit each of the different markets that the company operates. The long term goals of the company are therefore highly influenced by the human resource function of the company and the results are evident in Toyota’s success in the various markets it operates.
Inclusion of the human resource function of HSS in strategic planning is important and may prove to be critical to the long term success of the company. Considerations should be made on the ways that this integration can be carried out, and as outlined above, the company will have more to gain by adopting a system of strategic planning which is inclusive of the company’s human resource function.
Boyett, J., Boyett, T., Henson, R. & Spirgi-Hebert, H. (2001). HR in the New Economy: Trends and Leading Practices in Human Resources Management. Pleasanton, CA: PeopleSoft
McWilliams, A., Van Fleet, D.D., & Wright, P.M. (2001). Strategic management of human resources for global competitive advantage. Journal of Business Strategies, 18(1), 1.
Rowden, R.W. (1999). Potential roles of the human resource management professional in the strategic planning process. SAM Advanced Management Journal, 64(3), 22-29.
Van Marrewijk, M., & Timmers, J. (2003). Human capital management: New possibilities in people management. Journal of Business Ethics, 44(2), 171-185.
Whelan-Berry, K.S., Gordon, J.R., & Hinings, C.R. (2003). Strengthening organizational change processes. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 39(2), 186-208.
Wright, P.M., & Snell, S.A. (1998). Strategy - HR fit: Does it really matter? Human Resource Planning, 21(4), 56-57.