1. Introduction

An HR strategy will add value to the organization if it:

•articulates more clearly some of the common themes which lie behind the achievement of other plans and strategies, which have not been fully identified before; and

•identifies fundamental underlying issues which must be addressed by any organization or business if its people are to be motivated, committed and operate effectively.

The first of these areas will entail a careful consideration of existing or developing plans and strategies to identify and draw attention to common themes and implications, which have not been made explicit previously.

The second area should be about identifying which of these plans and strategies are so fundamental that there must be clear plans to address them before the organization can achieve on any of its goals.

These goals are likely to include:

•             workforce planning issues

•             succession planning

•             workforce skills plans

•             employment equity plans

•             black economic empowerment initiatives

•             motivation and fair treatment issues

•             pay levels designed to recruit, retain and motivate people

•             the co-ordination of approaches to pay and grading across the organization to create alignment and potential unequal pay claims

•             a grading and remuneration system which is seen as fair and giving proper reward for contributions made

•             wider employment issues which impact on staff recruitment, retention, motivation etc

•             a consistent performance management framework which is designed to meet the needs of all sectors of the organization including its people

•             career development frameworks which look at development within the organization at equipping employees with “employability” so that they can cope with increasingly frequent changes in employer and employment patterns

Finally, some policies and frameworks to ensure that people development issues are addressed systematically : competence frameworks, self-managed learning etc.

Changes in the wider environment, which are likely to have a major impact on the organization are:

•           changes in the overall employment market – demographic or remuneration levels

•           cultural changes which will impact on future employment patterns

•           changes in the employee relations climate

•           changes in the legal framework surrounding employment

•           HR and employment practice being developed in other organizations, such as new flexible work practices.

A strategic human resource planning model

Six specific steps in developing HR Strategy:-

•             Setting the strategic direction

•             Designing the Human Resource Management System

•             Planning the total workforce

•             Generating the required human resources

•             Investing in human resource development and performance

•             Assessing and sustaining organizational competence and performance

A strategic human resource planning model

However as the pace and magnitude of change increases, the approach to strategic planning changes substantially:

•             First, the planning process is more agile; changes in plans are much more frequent and are often driven by events rather than made on a predetermined time schedule.

•             Second, the planning process is more proactive. Successful organizations no longer simply respond to changes in their environment, they proactively shape their environment to maximize their own effectiveness.

•             Third, the planning process is no longer exclusively top-down; input into the process comes from many different organizational levels and segments.

•             This creates more employee ownership of the plan and capitalizes on the fact that often the most valuable business intelligence can come from employees who are at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy.

•             Lastly, the strategic planning process less reactive and more driven by line leadership.

4.1 Setting the strategic direction