How to Build HR Strategies That Align with Your Business Goals


It’s not difficult to look at the day-to-day workings of a typical HR department and figure out what needs to happen to keep up with the work. However, it’s more difficult, and more crucial, to have strategies for your HR team that will give value to the company and contribute to the company mission. So how do you do it? What steps can you take that will help you build HR strategies that align with the business goals of the entire company?


How to align your HR strategies

Understand your business goals

As obvious as this sounds, this is the most fundamental obstacle to overcome when aligning your HR staff and department to the greater company strategy. One of the biggest reasons that employees don’t feel engaged is that they don’t really know what’s expected of them or how they fit into the larger picture of their company’s strategy. Without fully understanding where the company is trying to go and how you fit into that vision, there’s a good chance you’re spinning your wheels and not fully contributing to that mission.

Start aligning yourself with your company’s business goals by knowing and understanding those goals intimately and fully. Talk to someone in upper management if there is any uncertainty, and have them share the big picture vision for the company’s growth. Then, share this vision with your team to make sure that you’re all rowing in the same direction.


Work your way down

Once you know your company’s business objectives, the next step is to translate these objectives into actionable goals at the department level. As a very simple example, let’s say that your company’s goals for the year are to increase productivity and reduce costs. Once you know what these goals are, you can start to develop smaller, more specific goals for the HR department that will contribute to meeting the larger corporate goals.

To continue with the above example, one way you might be able to increase productivity would be to implement technology that will automate tasks and reduce daily workload. To reduce costs, you might focus on increasing retention and minimizing employee turnover. It’s much easier to create an aligned strategy when you know what the big picture, long term goals are.


Create specific plans of action

As you continue in this process of moving from the broad to the focused, your next step will be to translate your department’s goals into actions that are specific, timely, and measurable. We’ll go back once more to the example above. If your HR department goal is to increase retention, perhaps your specific action plan would involve setting a goal of increasing employee engagement and satisfaction by 15% over the quarter, as measured by an anonymous survey your team could send out to the company. At the end of the quarter, you’ll be able to see if you met your goal or not.

In short, you want a plan that will actualize your goals. When you’re first starting to make these kinds of specific objectives, you may not have enough information to make a realistic goal, so try to make a reasonable guess and use it as a benchmark for setting future goals.


Measure your effectivenessMeasure-your-effectiveness

This step is no less important than any of the others. How will you know if you’ve met your goals if you don’t keep track of the metrics? Measuring your progress along the way will help you determine what’s working and what’s not, and allow you to know if you’re actually meeting your goals. Not only that, you’ll want to be able to prove to stakeholders that your department is contributing to the overall success of the company’s goals. Ensure that you have some way of tracking your performance so you can report your successes to upper management.


Reduce the workload

It’s difficult to focus on the big picture goals of the company when your staff is stuck in the weeds of repetitive daily tasks and manual admin duties. If there’s any way you can simplify the workload of your people, it can go a long way towards empowering them to reach higher and focus on making a tangible difference. Consider investing in a software solution that will consolidate your data and automate some of your administrative tasks. Spending less time in busywork will make your employees happier, more productive, and more engaged.


Goal alignment can happen when you start at the top and work your way down. Break the process down into small pieces, and take it one step at a time. Starting at the top, work your way down to each member of your team in a cascading series of strategies and goals that you can take action on, measure, and report. When you align your team’s goals with the business goals of the company, HR can be a strategic and productive part of your company’s overall mission and vision.


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