HR Managers: Align Your Department And Company Goals With These Eight Tips

Strategic management planning is a vital process for every business, and making sure each department understands how their achievements fit into the bigger picture is equally important. As a key player in the smooth running of the company, the human resources team needs to ensure its own goals are in constant alignment with the company’s goals as a whole.

In order to do this, HR managers should be taking proactive steps to check in on if their team’s policies and processes are paving the way for other departments to succeed as well. But how can managers go about this? Eight Forbes Human Resources Council experts share their suggestions on how HR managers can best align human resources goals with the greater company’s goals.

Forbes Human Resources Council experts share their best advice for aligning department and company-wide goals for unified success.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Be Industry And Business Savvy

Human resources should not exist in isolation to merely manage processes. If HR is not business savvy, then how can we help the organization reach its goals? The answer is that we cannot. As HR leaders, we need to understand our companies and industries and be knowledgeable of business in general—finance in particular. Only then will we be poised and ready to align HR and organizational goals. – Lucy Rivas-Enriquez, Union Rescue Mission – Los Angeles

2. Communicate With All Departments

Taking the time to visit with the leaders of each department will help to ensure they are on the right track to achieving success. Listening to leaders explain their processes and goals will help the HR manager determine if they are aligned with the overall company goals. The HR manager will have an opportunity to ask questions, gather information, make an assessment and provide recommendations. – Debi Bliazis, Champions School of Real Estate

3. Be In Tune With Changes

HR’s goals need to support the achievement of the overall organization’s needs, with measurements of success aligning with the company’s strategic goals. A key part of successfully executing the strategic HR plan is to be in tune with the changing needs of the business. HR must be ready to evaluate, pivot and adjust, if needed, to meet the needs of the business. – Alina Shaffer, LivingHR, Inc.

4. Assess the Staff’s Overall Skills

The HR manager must first assess the skills of the staff to ensure that each department can deliver on their goals. If you discover skill gaps, find training to close them. Also, forecast future staff and training needs, so when you hire new employees they can onboard quickly and start working. Often the buffer between staff and management, HR is uniquely qualified to align all company goals. – Cameron Bishop, SkillPath

5. Host A Work Session With Department Heads

Host a session for department heads where an executive reviews company goals and then outline steps for translating the company goals into departmental goals. Within the session, allow time for department heads to set at least one goal for their teams. Finish by having department heads work in groups of two to three to share their goals and gather input from one another. – Rachel Ernst, Reflektive

6. Consider The Company Mission And Vision

HR managers need to use the organization’s mission and vision as a litmus test when ensuring department goals align with company goals. Does the goal support the achievement of the mission and vision? Can it be articulated as such? HR should help leaders ensure goals are clear, concise and aligned up, down and across levels and departments, creating shared accountability and clear expectations. – Dr. Kelly Lum, Highgate

7. Compare HR And Business Metrics

Establish key HR metrics that are tracked every quarter and reported to stakeholders. Make sure those HR metrics are tightly connected to other business metrics. Show how they are critical leading indicators for the success of your business. Consider metrics like well-being, employee engagement, diversity, and turnover. – Laura Hamill, Limeade

8. Focus On Increasing Retention

One of the primary goals for businesses is to reduce operational costs. HR leaders can help ensure their goals align in this area by focusing on decreasing turnover and increasing retention. Based on the cost of replacing an employee—about 16 percent of annual salary for lower paying jobs and 213 percent for executives—HR can contribute to the company’s bottom line by conducting employee satisfaction surveys. – John Feldmann, Insperity

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