How do I develop my HR skills

How to align your HR goals with your company goals in 5 steps

What is the most important skill of a recruiter? Some would say recruiting sufficiently qualified employees. Others would say to do all of the administrative work. In fact, it is the ability to align HR goals with corporate goals. But why is this so important and what steps are necessary to achieve this? This article will walk you through the reasons and give you a five-point plan to align your HR strategy with business goals.

HR professionals are strategic partners of the management

Topics such as employer branding, recruiting and employee loyalty are cornerstones of HR work. But what success do they really bring if they are not in line with business goals !? An example: As a HR manager, you have made it your goal to build an employer brand. You can do that with strong employer branding. Wonderful! But your company goal is "strong growth". At the same time, six existing employees left the company because their focus was on employer branding measures instead of employee retention. Even though you were able to achieve your goal in HR, you haven't made the contribution to corporate goals that you could have made.

The example shows that HR managers should definitely include internally defined goals in their strategy. Because only when the employee structure and the attitude of the employees are right can the company goals be achieved. As a strategic partner of the management, HR bridges the gap between the expectations and needs of the management and employee satisfaction. This five-point plan explains how you can do this in just a few steps and thereby ensure future-oriented people management.

Step 1: Define what success means in your company

In the first step, HR has to know and above all understand the overarching corporate goals. Because the HR strategy is derived from the corporate strategy. In which direction is the company moving in the coming year? If HR cannot answer this question, it will be difficult to adapt your own goals and use them to support the company's success. So take the initiative yourself and ask your management team the following questions, for example:

  • What are the most important success factors and key figures for your company?
  • How can HR help achieve this?
  • How can HR support the management team?

Based on the answers, you should be able to derive specific goals for HR - for example:

  • increase productivity
  • reduce costs
  • Promote social responsibility in the company

This in turn can be used to derive key figures, which, in the best case scenario, you can discuss with management. You will be perceived as a business partner and included in further strategic or entrepreneurial decisions.

Step 2: Adapt your HR goals

After you have determined the success in your company and the goals for HR, the next step is the concretization of the HR goals. To do this, create a table in which you compare your HR goals with the corporate goals:

Company goal: increase productivity
HR goal 1:Make onboarding processes more efficient: How long does it take for new colleagues to be “on board”? What information might you be missing at the beginning in order to speed up the process? How should this information be conveyed?
HR goal 2: Save time by automating administrative tasks using HR software.

Company goal: reduce costs
HR goal 1:Strengthen employee loyalty and thereby reduce the fluctuation rate. The termination of an employee can cost the company up to 150% of their annual salary.
HR goal 2: Save costs with suppliers or providers.

Company goal: Promote social responsibility in the company
HR goal 1:Switch to environmentally friendly paper, coffee, etc.
HR goal 2: Initiate working groups that provide voluntary support for one day in daycare centers and animal shelters or the like.

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Step 3: Establish concrete measures to achieve your goals

“To bind employees to the company” - a nice goal, but it doesn't say anything about the way there. So work out specific measures in the next step. On the one hand, you use them to define your HR strategy. On the other hand, they give you a basis for measuring success. You derive the measures from your HR goals:

HR goal: Make the onboarding process more efficient
Associated measures:
Go digital! Make sure that all administrative tasks, e.g. B. the entire document management, are already done before the first day of the new colleagues.

Together with the manager, set up an onboarding agenda for new colleagues and communicate this to the new employees. So newcomers immediately know what to expect in the first few weeks and which milestones, e.g. B. team meetings and check-ins to approach them.

HR goal: Increase employee loyalty
Associated measure: Organize employee satisfaction surveys. Include the following questions:

  • Do your employees have the equipment they need for their daily work?
  • Are you satisfied with your salary?
  • In which aspects can the company improve?
  • How do your employees rate the following aspects on a scale from one to five: communication, transparency, strategy, cooperative work, respect, culture, etc.
  • Do you feel challenged by your work?

Derive measures for employee retention from the answers: If many colleagues say that they lack the necessary equipment for their work, this has an impact on their productivity. They cannot perform to their full potential, which in turn has a negative impact on the company's goals.

Here you will find an exemplary set of questions that you can edit and use for survey tools.

Step 4: Get the entire management team on board

HR is the strategic partner of the management. Conversely, such a partnership also means that management should support you in implementing your plan. It starts with the budget approval and ends with support from other departments.

After your HR strategy is in place, you should share your plan with the management team. All parties should understand and be confident about the measures. Are your HR goals and actions really in line with business goals? Only when everyone involved can answer this question with a clear “yes” will you get the support you need during implementation.

Step 5: measure your success

Success has to be measured. The best measure is of no use if you cannot derive any knowledge from it. If you want to convince your senior management that you are contributing to the company's goals, you should provide data. This seems like an obvious tip at first glance. However, only about 25% of HR professionals use data when it comes to evaluating success in HR.

At second glance this is understandable. After all, how can soft goals such as satisfaction or loyalty be expressed in numbers? To do this, work with correlations (if in one department the employees are very satisfied and the fluctuations and absences are low, in another exactly the opposite, then you can establish a connection) and make comparisons. Create a measured value for each measure and compare the results after specific time intervals.

Measure:Employee surveys
Measured value: Carry out these surveys at specific time intervals, e.g. B. per quarter and compare the results. If they are better than last time, it is a sign that employee satisfaction is increasing.

Measure: Digitize onboarding processes
Measured value: Compare the time you spend on administrative onboarding before and after introducing HR software. If you spend less time onboarding, this is an indicator of your increased productivity.

Balancing HR goals and business goals doesn't have to be tough

Break down the goal setting process into individual steps, set clear goals and measure them. The five-point plan shows that HR goals can be easily reconciled with business goals. But why do so few HR managers still rely on this?

According to an Aberdeen study, the answer is clear: the HR administrative tasks don't allow them. Formalities take too much time - strategic steps such as the interaction of HR goals and business goals fall by the wayside. It doesn't have to be! For example, HR software is an efficient solution that you can use to automate many everyday and repetitive processes. This gives you time to take part in strategic decisions.

Marina Buller

Marina is Content Marketing Manager at Personio and has dedicated herself entirely to HR and recruiting topics. After completing her master's degree in Lund, Sweden, she gathered HR insights while working at XING. She lets this experience flow into her texts - always following Personio's motto “simplify personnel work”.