In Human Resources, having a well-rounded approach to your organization and employee management is essential to your company’s overall success. By understanding the key priorities of your business and linking your HR and people initiatives to those, you can create real value for your team members as well as for the business. In this blog, we take a look at the five key strategic HR skills that human resources professionals should consider adding to their portfolio.

5 Strategic HR Skills to Master

  1. Business Acumen

As a human resource professional, the entirety of your profession relies on your ability to understand the business, its core competencies (why do customers choose them), and the key goals for the year so that you can link the HR priorities to what matters.  As you do this, you can also relook at your complete HR toolbox in Recruiting, Onboarding, Developing, and Performance Management and Reward systems to ensure they line up to the goals, culture, budget, and results needed for the business.  

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2. HR Priorities

As you learn about the business goals and the internal gaps that the business is facing, you can set up annual HR priorities to ensure business goals can be achieved, as it relates to people and the HR department. Whether the business goals require a new competency based on a new product line or increased volume which means an aligned headcount budget & recruiting plan, HR should have a Priority Plan set up with guideposts to ensure they are delivering on the parts that are needed to meet those important business goals.

Discuss annual HR priorities to ensure your goals can, and will, be achieved.

3. HR Benchmarks

As you focus on the Key Priorities for HR for the year, it is also important to establish metrics to be able to understand how the HR department (even if that is one person!) is performing against the Key Priorities for the department. Results towards projects, output efficiencies, and employee development and retention are just some of the metrics that are important to monitor and manage to ensure effectiveness towards the top HR priorities.

4. Organizational and Time Management

HR professionals manage several priorities, projects and tasks as it relates to meeting business goals, department goals, and people goals. And, so it is key to ensuring that the all the various areas of HR are planned out and handled well, looking at both the short-term goals as well as the long-term effects. There is a lot to juggle in HR and the days can get filled quickly with all of the many things that come your way. Because of this, it is critical that the “Big Rock” priorities get put into your weekly calendar to ensure adequate time is set aside to plan, manage, and execute projects completely and on time. Taking the time to delegate to the subject matter expert, automate, eliminate, or outsource pieces that you do to create a more effective department, will play a big part in your overall success as a growing, strategic HR contributor. Remember, you don’t have to do it all – you just need to oversee and manage the key aspects to ensure your HR goals are delivered well – that is how to measure a successful HR Business Partner!

5. Leadership

Being a leader is a large component of Human Resources. A strong HR person will be able to integrate business goals with people goals to create mutual, beneficial growth for all sides. HR should be the champion and credible activist who can drive initiatives and change within the organization to keep everyone focused and engaged on what matters. And, when obstacles occur, HR should be there to help analyze the situation, understand what needs to be fixed, and provide the tools/resources to make the situation better. Whether that is in researching and changing policies to meet new trends or workforce needs, bringing in new training to enhance skillsets, or initiating team-building events or engagement surveys to motivate, reward, or retain the team, HR is the “Connector” between the business and the people to make things happen!