IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]

Crafting an Effective HR Strategy: Key Components and Steps

  Reading Time:

What words come to mind when the term “people strategy” is mentioned? It could be about programming and planning your HR processes.

Well, you may not be far from the real definition!

In order to achieve company goals, an HR strategy specifies the practices and measures to be followed and improved for the personnel and workforce. HR processes have a major influence on the life cycle of a company. Consequently, developing an action plan can completely change company goals.

The strategies evolve in parallel with the tasks and responsibilities of the HR department. Therefore, HR must adapt to new, agile methods to optimize goals and programs.

What is an HR strategy

A human resources strategy is a system of human resources practices for a specific job or series of jobs that aims to achieve the best possible performance from employees to achieve the company's ultimate goals.

Simply put, HR strategy is about managing modern tribes/employees in a way that aligns with the company culture. It includes HR input and coordination of actions across HR areas such as recruitment, development, performance, compensation, culture and partnerships.

Theoretically, two types of HR strategies can be distinguished;

  • Overarching strategy: The general management of a company's employees
  • Specific strategy: The management of the sub-areas of the human resources department, e.g. Talent management or recruitment.

Great strategies depend on great action-oriented plans. The HR strategy must be a mix of inspiration, collaboration and people-centric solutions. Depending on the unique challenges, needs and responsibilities of an organization.

Considering the 21st century work scenarios, HR strategies need to incorporate purpose-driven metrics into compensation and benefits policies, payroll, performance management, recruitment, etc. Coordinating the ecosystem and technology is the best way to solve the problems at hand.

According to a McKinsey study, companies perform 1.3 times better when HR enables a positive employee experience. An example of this is Airbnb, which renamed the role of HR director to global head of employee experience. In addition to coaching HR professionals to more effectively manage employee experiences, PayPal focused on HR skills and processes to create a better employee experience.

So agility and HR strategy must go hand in hand to thrive in the driving force of growth and success.

Why is an HR strategy important?

In 1995, Dyer and Reeves defined these practices as "internally consistent." Richardson and Thompson (1999) suggest that a strategy, whether it is a human resources strategy or another type of management strategy, must have two key elements:

1. There must be strategic goals (things that the design is intended to achieve)
2. And there must be an action plan (how the goals will be achieved).

Once the goals and action plan are set, the next step is to implement them.

Similarly, in many small companies, HR practices are crucial to collaboration, customer focus, employee commitment and management competence - and therefore customer satisfaction (Rogg et al., 2001).

Therefore, HR strategy is crucial because it helps with the following.

  • Aligning the workforce with company goals.
  • Attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Increase employee engagement and productivity.
  • Skill development and succession plans.
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion.
  • Cost management and regulatory compliance.
  • Adapting to change and promoting well-being.
  • Shaping the employer brand and reputation.

Components of an HR strategy

Are you looking for a perfect HR strategy? Let's look at some components of the HR strategy that solve the company's challenges with a people-centered approach.

1.Personnel planning and staffing

Personnel planning and staffing is one of the most creative tasks. Cultivating a positive workplace culture that improves the employee experience is critical to a company's success. With the help of workforce planning and staffing, you can protect yourself from uncertainty, close gaps in your workforce and improve business results.

2.Talent acquisition and recruiting strategies

Companies often find it difficult to find the ideal candidates. The right candidates value company culture, perks, incentives, and supportive teams more than a paycheck.

To meet these needs, HR strategies must establish a system that simplifies applicant tracking and improves the hiring process. This ensures that applicants and positions are a better match and creates an environment in which employees feel comfortable, which benefits both the company and its employees.

3.Employee development and training initiatives

Research shows that the need to revise and improve learning programs is key among HR professionals. Many employees still need help improving and increasing their effectiveness, despite billions of dollars being spent on learning and development programs.

Additionally, it should be a continuous and ongoing campaign. Ultimately, the development and growth of your talent is critical to your success, your ability to innovate, and your overall productivity.

Understanding the trends emerging in our learning and development programs will help your organization drive results, increase employee engagement and drive innovation.

4.Performance management and evaluation strategies

Effective performance management is essential in every company. Set clear SMART goals, maintain open communication with regular feedback, and conduct comprehensive assessments including 360-degree feedback.

Investing in skills development, recognizing outstanding performance and supporting struggling employees through structured improvement plans. Continuous feedback through regular face-to-face meetings helps promote a culture of accountability and high performance.

5.Framework for compensation and additional benefits:

Compensation and benefits refer to the benefits a company offers its employees. They are therefore an important part of human resources management.

Compensation and benefits are crucial to company success, employee engagement and fluctuation. In order for companies to attract and retain good employees, a well-defined compensation and benefits policy is crucial.

6.Employee engagement and retention plans

Gallup defines employee engagement as the commitment and enthusiasm of employees at work. In order to measure and manage workplace culture, employee engagement is crucial.

It's about employees' experiences, well-being and contribution that leads to their engagement.

7.Succession planning and leadership development

The data underscores the importance of leadership development and strategic succession planning in companies. Solid leadership increases a company's chance of outperforming its competitors by 1.5x, resulting in 1.8x higher earnings per share.

Effective succession planning reduces the turnover rate by 20-30% and therefore saves a lot of money. Companies can use this data to optimize their HR efforts, resulting in smooth transitions, increased revenue, and long-term success.

How to develop a human resources strategy

To develop a human resources strategy, companies must evaluate the process using a SWOT analysis. And get an overview of the entire structure and system.

For the beginning,

  1. Determine the business area for which the HRS is being created/planned: Determine which department or business area within your company is the target for the human resources strategy (HRS). It is crucial to the effectiveness of the strategy that it is tailored to the specific needs of the department.
  2. Recognize the trends in the business world: Stay updated with current business trends such as: technological breakthroughs, demographic shifts and changes in consumer behavior. Understanding these trends helps align HR practices with changing market and industry needs.
  3. Investigate the gap: Conduct a thorough gap analysis to identify the gaps between the current state of HR in the chosen department and the desired future state. Identify opportunities for improvement in the areas of talent acquisition, employee engagement and skills development.
  4. Identify the key positive and negative organizational capabilities that provide competitive advantage: Understanding these characteristics is the basis for strategic workforce planning. Create and implement key HR procedures to address identified gaps. This could include redesigning recruiting processes, improving employee training programs, or implementing performance management systems.
  5. Establish key HR practices: Well-defined functions are essential for effective HR practices. Additionally, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the department. Recognize the organization's strengths, such as: talented employees or efficient processes, and the weaknesses, such as. outdated technology or lack of employee training.
  6. Focus on the action plan: Create a clear plan that defines the actions, responsibilities and deadlines for implementing the identified HR procedures. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track success. A well-structured plan ensures that everyone involved is clear about their responsibilities and the expected results.
  7. Evaluate the results: Regularly evaluate the results of the implemented HR practices against the KPIs. Keep an eye on employee performance, engagement and overall department efficiency. Obtaining input from employees and stakeholders helps determine the effectiveness of the strategy and make necessary adjustments for continuous improvement.

Implementation and implementation of the HR strategy

HR practices are emphasized as a whole rather than separately. It aims to define human capital values, align HR products and services and create added value.

The HR strategy is therefore determined by different approaches, not just by individual tests, hiring or interview techniques. Below are some implementation and execution strategies that can help improve understanding.

  1. Individual action plans for the HR components: The plans should explicitly define the tasks and measures for various HR activities such as hiring, training and employee engagement. These plans provide a roadmap for the successful implementation of the HR strategy.
  2. Assignment of roles and responsibilities: It is crucial that the people responsible for the HR strategy are held accountable. This is especially true for the assigned roles. This means everyone is aware of their responsibilities, which improves coordination and teamwork.
  3. Creation of performance indicators for HR goals: To evaluate the performance of HR projects, measurable indicators can be used, such as: the employee retention rate or the completion rate of training courses can be determined and determined. These metrics provide concrete information to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach and make informed decisions.
  4. Timelines and goals for implementing the strategy: Setting precise deadlines and benchmarks provides a sense of urgency and direction. This can help track development. It also helps ensure that activities are completed on time and makes necessary revisions if the strategy is not working as expected.

What are the benefits of strategic workforce planning?

An effective strategic plan is essential for your business to thrive in the coming year. One of the key characteristics of successful companies with efficient processes is strategic personnel planning.

In addition, a good human resources strategy must primarily focus on:

  • Reducing turnover
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Increase of productivity
  • Attracting top talent
  • Implement better policies
  • Minimize business disruptions

Best practices for implementing an HR strategy

For HR strategies to be successful and stay ahead of future HR trends, strategic workforce planning is crucial. Targeted talent acquisition, responsible downsizing and effective training align workforce needs with corporate goals.

Based on this, decisions are made regarding leadership development, cost management and outsourcing. With current business trends, data-driven decisions by integrating HR analytics ensure business agility and future-proofing.

  1. Modern planning: Modern workforce planning enables the HR department to align with company goals and ensure that the right talent is available at the right time. In addition, HR should help implement the company's strategy by initiating and leading serious discussions about how the organization should be designed to achieve this.
  2. Data-driven decision making: The former CEO of Sony explained that companies have access to the same technologies and information. The difference between two organizations is the "people" - the human resources. Empowering the workforce is critical to aligning strategies with organizational goals and staying current.

    About 70% of companies give HR analytics a high priority. This is because data-driven decisions make it easier for HR to achieve their goals, gain better insights, and predict trends in the workforce.
  3. Continuous learning: Develop and invest in your employees. Offer your employees continuous learning, development and training measures to further educate them and increase their market relevance. If companies want to grow, they must value their employees and help them learn.
  4. Diversity and Inclusion: Cultivate diverse and inclusive workplaces for greater innovation and creativity. By involving diverse people, companies can better identify the people who can help them achieve their goals, whether in terms of greater innovation, influence or efficiency.
  5. Employee Wellbeing: Employee well-being is the future of work. Therefore, opting for corporate wellness is a must for today’s workforce. Employee health and well-being goes beyond physical health and focuses on building a culture of holistic well-being that includes physical, emotional, financial, social, professional, community and purpose.

    In order for employees to perform well, they must be healthy. And in order for companies to grow, they need happy and healthy employees.
  6. Integration of HR technology: For companies that want to optimize their human resources management, the integration of HR technology has become increasingly important. With the increasing use of cloud-based solutions, artificial intelligence and mobile applications, HR technology has become even more powerful.

    Employee experiences are improved when cloud-based software and advanced tools are deployed in the workplace.
  7. Agile Work Policies: Agile work policies are a more dynamic way to define how, where and when someone works. It reviews existing working practices and deploys new technologies to create a more responsive, productive and efficient workforce, relying on more balanced, motivated and committed employees. This includes remote working, flexible working hours or vacation policies tailored to a modern workforce.

Challenges and solutions in the implementation of HR strategies

HR strategies must simultaneously focus on building skills, motivation and behavior for a successful business strategy.

Carrying out strategic workforce planning can be a huge challenge. Especially when you consider the current challenges, such as: E.g., dispersed workforce, culture, regulatory compliance, staffing needs, or management changes. But it is crucial to use them.

Here are some common challenges and solutions for implementing HR strategy.

1.Overcoming Resistance to Change:

Problem: Employees often resist changes in HR practices because they fear disruption and uncertainty.

Solution: Promote open communication, involve employees in the change process, and provide support and training to ease the transition.

2.Dealing with resource limitations:

Problem: Limited resources, e.g. Other factors, such as budget and personnel, can hinder the implementation of the personnel strategy.

Solution: Invest in technologies to increase efficiency, outsource non-core activities, explore cost-effective solutions and prioritize based on their potential impact.

3.Find your way through compliance with laws and regulations

Problem: Risks and compliance issues arise from complex and growing legal and regulatory requirements.

Solution: Stay abreast of laws and regulations, conduct regular compliance audits, consult with legal experts, and implement strict rules and procedures to ensure compliance.

Examples of HR strategies:

1.Delta Airlines + IBM:

In 1994, in response to two consecutive years of large financial losses, CEO Ron Allen introduced a new approach that became known as "Leadership 7.5." Allen wanted to reduce Delta's cost per available seat mile (CASM) from more than 10 cents to 7.5 cents, which would put the company on par with major rival Southwest Airlines. With the adoption of a new corporate plan came a major overhaul of Delta's human resources strategy.

Delta's recent human resources strategy has included cost-cutting measures, including cutting training budgets, laying off experienced employees and replacing them with temporary workers, reducing flight and gate staffing, and freezing or reducing salaries for various employee groups. These initiatives were aimed at cost efficiency but may have impacted employee morale and service quality.

Similarly, IBM's HR strategy motivates employees through performance-based opportunities, hiring in diverse areas, flexibility, and a values-based environment. Human Resources plays a key role in anticipating capabilities, leading transformation and contributing to IBM's growth.


Under Unilever's current human resources strategy, the company is focusing more on developing diverse leaders and serving global demand. The emphasis is on a uniform personnel strategy for all countries. However, this is only practical for some regions because the culture, social norms and political situation are different everywhere.

Therefore, a soft and hard approach to human resource management is adopted. The soft approach, known as the Harvard Model of HRM, encompasses four aspects of human resources management in the organization. The hard approach to HRM, also known as the Michigan School Model, emphasizes the use of human resources to achieve organizational strategy.

However, changes are required in some areas to achieve greater success and achieve the company's growth goals.


Most companies can't manage people as well as Google (parent company - Alphabet). Google focuses on innovation in every aspect of its business, including human resources.

Human Resources is a strategic partner at Google. A key focus of the program is to recruit and retain the best employees to advance the company's core business. Google is famous and successful primarily because of its innovative and efficient human resources department.

Aside from culture and work environment, HR strategy plays an important role in sustaining the company;

  • Involved employee.
  • Efficient leadership
  • Recognition and incentive system
  • A learning environment
  • Commitment to innovation
  • Inclusive politics


A human resources strategy is more than just a plan; it is a concept that puts people at the center of the company's success. Every facet of people strategy is critical, from workforce planning to talent acquisition to performance management.

Employers can ensure continued growth and innovation by integrating HR technologies, promoting inclusion and prioritizing workforce development. The key to a stable, people-centered corporate future is the human resources strategy, which is more than just a roadmap.

Embrace HR strategy for workforce alignment & innovation. Integrated solutions like IceHrm empower organizations to thrive in dynamic landscapes.

Crafting Effective Employee Warning Letters: Templates & Tips

Learn how to address misconduct in the workplace with our comprehensive guide and warning letter templates for employees....

Work from Home vs Work from Office or Hybrid Model: Which is Better?

Offices shifted to home-office, and the concept of working from home was born. As the situation improved, the hybrid model work from home was developed. Now, we have the option of working from home, office, and catering to the hybrid model....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.