To be successful, firms must closely align their HR strategies and programs (tactics) with environmental opportunities, business strategies, and the organization’s unique characteristics and distinctive competence. When done correctly, strategic HR planning provides many direct and indirect benefits for the company.
Strategic HR planning can help a firm develop a focused set of strategic objectives that capitalizes on its special talents and know-how. Strategic HR planning can help a firm identify the difference between “where we are today” and “where we want to be.”
Combining intended and emergent strategies effectively requires that managers blend the benefits of formal planning (to provide strong guidance and direction in setting priorities) with the untidy realities of dispersed employees who, through their unplanned activities, formulate emergent strategies throughout the firm.
ENCOURAGEMENT OF PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE BEHAVIOR
Being proactive means looking ahead and developing a vision of where the company wants to be and how it can use human resources to get there. In contrast, being reactive means responding to problems as they come up. Companies that are reactive may lose sight of the long-term direction of their business; proactive companies are better prepared for the future.
Strategic HR plans must be flexible enough to accommodate change.
A firm with an inflexible strategic plan may find itself unable to respond to changes quickly because it is so committed to a particular course of action. This may lead the organization to continue devoting resources to an activity of questionable value simply because so much has been invested in it already.
The challenge is to create a strategic vision and develop the plans to achieve it while staying flexible enough to adapt to change.