February 7, 2019

HR Goals: Fixing Misalignment with Corporate Priorities

Organizational Effectiveness

We’ve talked about the importance of HR planning in the development of corporate priorities. But what happens when you don’t? How can you tell if your annual goals and your HR department are out of alignment with each other? And, what can you do to fix that?

Here are a few signs your Human Resource strategy isn't aligned with annual goals:

  1. Too many meetings.

  2. Too much back-and-forth email chains.

  3. Finalizing a decision takes too long.

  4. Employees and departments have formed silos.

  5. A lack of engagement and empowerment of front line employees.

These are all symptoms of company where the mission of HR and the goals of the executive level are not complementing each other. It doesn’t have to be this way — and it shouldn’t. According to a study cited in  Forbes, happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. HR objectives often center around keeping employees safe, engaged and happy. If they’re getting two sets of goals to pursue, chances are employees won’t be very happy or engaged. So, what can you do to align corporate goals and HR priorities?


Step 1: Create a Dialogue with HR and Assess the Department

Do you understand what HR is doing and how the department works within your company? If not, that is the first barrier to goal alignment. Whether you have a one-person HR department or a whole team, do some assessing of their processes to develop a deeper understanding between your office and HR. Once you accomplish that, you want to open up a dialogue between the rest of leadership team and HR. There you can define the annual goals to HR and the HR objectives to the leadership team. Make sure everyone understands.


Step 2: Discuss Goal Alignment with HR

Now that you’ve included HR and the department understands the corporate goals, it’s time to figure out their place in it. What departmental goals can be set for HR to help contribute to the annual company goals? Also, how can the company's yearly goals be adjusted taking into account pertinent information from HR?

For example, Human Resources’ work to increase employee retention would contribute to reduce costs. Proper onboarding programs and workforce training will increase productivity. Setting up clear communication practices helps avoid frustration and keep employees engaged. These are just a few tips, but there are certainly many more.


Step 3: Create Specific Goals Related to HR and Annual Goals

Using the information gleaned from the second step, create goals for HR that contribute to your overall annual goals. Make sure to create steps for specific action items. For instance, when it comes to cost reduction goals, HR will try to increase retention. What steps will HR take to do that? The first may be to create an employee survey and distribute it. If decreasing call-offs is an annual goal, then one step for human resources could be offering flu shots for free at work.

These steps aren’t quick fixes. They require time and effort from multiple members of the leadership team. There are also not a lot of specifics listed, because it’s so important that you tailor this whole process to your company, workforce, and HR. But achieving your goals and having a successful year depend on having a team and a company that’s fully in alignment.  


How Aspirant Can Help

Cascading strategic priorities down to individual and team goals can be complicated and tedious, but it is a critical component to year-over-year success. Aspirant's Organizational Effectiveness experts can help develop and socialize a cohesive plan that keeps your company rowing in the same direction. Use the form below to request a casual discussion about how we can help your team overcome your unique challenges.


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Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.

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