Building an HR strategy

Newsletter articles

1 Apr 2010

HR Insight Issue 12

Peter Reilly, Director HR and Consultancy

Peter ReillyIES has been working with a couple of organisations (The Housing Ombudsman Service and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) on their HR strategy.

In the case of the Housing Ombudsman Service, we were asked to support the annual business planning process by facilitating the development of the people strand of the five year strategy. This included a review of existing people strategies and policies, discussion with directors and managers, and proposal of alternative approaches from IES’s experience, as well as a prioritisation session with the senior management team. The key to the project’s success was to link the people strategies clearly to the business priorities.

For the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) we helped formulate a new people strategy against a tight deadline. Using inputs from staff focus groups and the organisational vision, values and business strategy, we worked together with the HR team to put together a slide pack for the Executive Committee’s sign-off. The people strategy was structured under six themes (like leadership and reward) that linked together the business drivers and principles with the strategies and actions.

In implementing the People Strategy, DCMS recognises and understands how much time and effort will need to be invested in order to embed the strategy into the DNA of the organisation. Subsequent work, involving IES, has been going on to set up a series of measures to judge whether the people strategy is being effective or not across each of the themes. This distinguishes between input measures and people management and business outcomes. This is a very helpful discipline in that it forces you to think through what you are trying to achieve and to detail the stages by which it is evident whether you are succeeding or not. So, say you train managers in the performance appraisal process, that is a useful input; but you need to see employees more focused on business priorities to observe an outcome that should lead to improved organisational performance.

These sets of metrics are being signed off by business champions so that the leadership is engaged with and endorses the work of the HR team.

Contact Peter Reilly for more information.