Careers Succeeding at Work How to Do Human Resources Strategic Planning How to Plan Your Human Resources Department Function Share PINTEREST Email Print Succeeding at Work Human Resources Management Careers Job Search Resources Hiring Best Practices Glossary Employment Law Employee Motivation Employee Management Management & Leadership Employee Benefits By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/20/19 Need basic information about Human Resources strategic planning and management as a function or department within an organization? What are the appropriate goals, organization, and initiatives for a Human Resources department to pursue? Whether your HR function is a department of one or of many, basic Human Resources strategic planning that includes internal organizational needs assessment and external benchmark comparisons is needed. Strategic planning in human resources allows you to assess the needs of your overall organization for what services they most want and need from you. The assessment of your external environment and other HR functions in different organizations opens up the realm of possibilities for what your HR department can hope to achieve. This is how you need to approach and accomplish fundamental Human Resources strategic planning. Develop a Human Resources Department Business Plan altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images As you interact with your organization, it's important that you share the strategic goals of your Human Resources department. Otherwise, how will your organization leaders understand what value your department adds? They're definitely asking and need to see the value that you bring to the organization. Developing a department business plan, with input from your organization, allows you to understand and communicate the HR functions' contributions. It allows you to shape the expectations that your organization holds for what you will contribute and when. This transparency adds value to the goals and role of the HR department. Find out how to develop an HR business plan. What Is the Human Resource Department? ZEPHYR/ The image Bank/ Getty Images Departments are the entities organizations form to organize people, reporting relationships, and work. Departments are organized in a way that best supports the: delivery of the department's services attainment of the department's goals accomplishment of the unit's purpose or mission within the organization achievement of the organization's goals Departments are usually organized by functions such as human resources, marketing, administration, and sales. But, a department can be organized in any way that makes sense for the customer. A department normally has an assigned leader or head with the job title of manager, director, or vice president. The New Roles of the Strategic Human Resources Department Human resources are the people that staff and operate an organization. Learn about the people who work in Human Resources. Specifically, learn about the job description of the HR Director or Manager, the HR Generalist, and the HR Assistant. The role of the people who staff the HR department and provide services to the rest of the organization has significantly changed over the years. Once seen as an administrative role, it has evolved into a strategic role, an employee advocate role, and a role as a change champion. The Human Resources Department as a Profitability Factor What would you do if you had a Human Resources employee who could improve the company’s profit margins, have a positive impact on the cost of goods sold, lower the day’s sales outstanding, and increase the price/earning ratio while liquidating overhead costs to the business—and still deliver flawless traditional HR services? You'd know that you have a competent—even superior—employee who has done effective Human Resources strategic planning. Here's how to create that kind of HR department. Reinventing HR From the Classroom to the Boardroom George Clerk/E+/Getty Images Ken Hammonds’ Fast Company article, “Why We Hate HR,” sent shockwaves through the HR community. Among the scathing reviews of the current state of HR, Hammonds quoted a college professor who stated, “The best and the brightest don’t go into HR.” Employees cite many reasons for why they hate HR. Pretty harsh words, especially when HR practitioners are trying to reinvent HR. You have all heard that HR needs to become more strategic to gain a seat at the proverbial table, and that you need to be more business-oriented. HR as Product: Be the Brand of Choice Copyright Aiden-Franklin / iStockphoto It is time for Human Resources practitioners to rethink their role and that of the HR department, not only for the purposes of contributing to the organization's bottom line, but also for their own survival. HR continues to balance the demands of several different roles: business partner, internal consultant, operational and administrative expert, and both employee and employer advocate. This may sound like business as usual, roles that aren’t likely to create a mad rush of HR people arming themselves for the future. In reality, however, they are new. Although the questions may be the same, the answers most assuredly are not. A New Role for HR: Help Your Brand Support Your Company's Brand Floresco Productions/OJO Images/Getty Images A brand is a promise to customers that a specific degree of value, quality, and service will be received by them. Think of a brand as an agreement between a business and its customers. The promise is usually communicated through advertising. Herein lies the opportunity for Human Resources to get through the fence and into the game, by helping ensure that all of the large and small actions that people take every day, throughout the organization, fall in line with the company's brand strategy. Sample Human Resource Management Job Descriptions Westend61/Getty Images Sample Human Resource management job descriptions give you a basic template for developing job descriptions in your organization. Sample HR job descriptions also give you an idea of what other organizations expect from employees doing the featured job.