This Month Only! >> $20 off and a FREE SHRM tote with your membership and code TOTE2018!
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
HR has an important, evolving role to play in long-range strategic planning.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
The long-standing business practice of strategic planning is becoming more difficult because of rapid changes in the work environment and growing complexities in the workforce. And those developments are affecting HR even as its role in strategic planning may expand with the rising importance of human capital issues.
Part of the planning and implementing of strategy is to try to understand the future, particularly the implications of future developments for various aspects of the business. Many companies do this by exploring so-called alternative futures, which may emphasize different aspects of the world, depending on the business.
Energy companies, for example, may use scenario planning based on alternative visions of the future environment, ecosystems, and access to renewable and nonrenewable resources. A high-tech company, on the other hand, may focus on alternative views of computer usage or access, or the potential development of key technologies. A health care provider may focus on demographic changes that could lead to new patient needs.
The use of scenario planning as an aspect of corporate planning is often limited to the business environment and does not emphasize the importance of understanding the future workforce. Here, then, is an obvious way for HR to contribute to long-range strategic planning—leading the thinking on the future of the organization’s workforce.
Moreover, if planning and strategy are two elements in a continuous process affecting how organizations respond to changes in the business environment day after day, HR’s role in strategic planning may become even more important. HR will be central to understanding the future of an asset that is increasingly important to the organization—the intellectual and productive capacity of its workforce. HR will also play a central role in harnessing this capacity to contribute to
both aspects of the strategic planning process.
On the planning side, the complexity of the work environment may mean that far more information will be required to understand and envision potential futures. Employees are likely to possess much of this information, and HR is likely to be actively involved in creating the means of communicating this knowledge effectively up the chain of command.
In addition, implementing strategy will involve creating a broader awareness among employees of the organization’s potential futures, and this will involve creating effective channels of communication from the top down.
Finally, HR will also be responsible for implementing the workplace policies and processes that enable employees to use this information for considering the long-term implications while also responding to today’s challenges.
Jennifer Schramm is manager of the Workplace Trends and Forecasting program at SHRM.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Choose from dozens of free webcasts on the most timely HR topics.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies