SWOT Analysis (also in Human Resources)
SWOT analysis is the foundation of a successful business. A sentence that many managers agree on. What is a SWOT analysis, what does it do and why should you know more about it? The acronym SWOT is derived from four English words, Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Before we discuss SWOT Analysis in Human Resources, we should take a look at how this simple and powerful tool works. Because we often make mistakes in how we use it and fail to take full advantage of the opportunities it offers. In fact, with this analysis, a structured and controlled approach produces better results.
What is SWOT Analysis?
Under this acronym you can imagine one of the most versatile analytical techniques used to map and evaluate the factors affecting your business. The author of SWOT analysis is Albert Humphrey, who introduced this technique to the world in the 1960s.
It is a very simple analysis that anyone can understand in a few minutes. And this is its main advantage, that almost everyone in the company can participate in its processing. And everyone can quickly understand and comment on it.
It is also very suitable for teamwork. It can help a project team to quickly agree on the areas that need to be focused on. In relatively quick teamwork, everyone will arrive at the same goal.
Common Use of SWOT Analysis
Since SWOT analysis is one of the most widely used analytical techniques, its use in practice is very wide. It was primarily designed for evaluating the whole organisation, but it can be applied to almost anything, i.e. not only to an organisation, but also to its individual areas, specific services or products.
It has the great advantage of simplicity and therefore also allows people to not focus on process and method, but to focus on content and be creative. With a good facilitator, it provides a highly truthful picture of the true state of the organization, because confidentiality is essential. They never talk about who said what in the room. Only the outcome is presented.
Moreover, the method has no limitation on what area in the company it can be applied to. Anyone can do a simple and quick analysis of their responsibilities or participate in a big debate about where the company should be heading in the future. The basic principle, however, is that each participant should have an overview and awareness of the area and should be able to visualize what the world around the organization looks like.
What are the benefits of SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis provides valuable advice not only for the beginning of a business. By using this technique, both internal and external influences will be evaluated and the technique will clearly highlight strengths and weaknesses. By uncovering strengths, you can easily build a short and long-term strategy, and weaknesses can help you improve certain things. Opportunities will show you which direction you can take your business in and threats will give you early warning of potential risks and complications.
Every leadership team should do its own SWOT at least twice a year to capture how the market has shifted and how the company needs to respond. It can even estimate what new product might put the firm in the lead.
Such an analysis is essential for staying competitive, as the firm knows exactly what areas to invest in and where it can expect to stagnate or decline. And such areas to avoid and possibly gradually curtail. Even selling a product at the top is an option if the company expects only to decline in the future.
How to create a SWOT Analysis?
To create a SWOT analysis, all you need is paper, pencil and time. First, divide the sheet of paper into four quadrants.
- The left half - is where you record your strengths, i.e. the factors that have a positive impact on your business. In the quadrant below them are the opportunities.
- The right half - of the paper is for weaknesses. The quadrant below is for writing down threats.
- The upper part - of the paper is for factors of an internal nature that can be influenced.
- The lower part - records the external influences of the macro-environment and micro-environment that are difficult to influence.
What are the basic rules and procedure for creating a great result?
Although the principle of SWOT analysis seems very simple, in order to get a meaningful result you need to follow the basic rules. It is not enough to just somehow fill the 4 quadrants with the first list you can think of. Without the right procedure, you will be left with a filled-in table. In practice, you may come across a variety of different procedures and recommendations on how to conduct a SWOT analysis. Their basic and common features are as follows:
- Focus on the key and important things. A long list with a number of irrelevant things will only distract your attention. It is important to word key factors
- Include only facts and objective factors, not conjecture or speculation. Only things that are somehow measurable or quantifiable give the analysis emphasis.
- Use teamwork and the opinions of others. Colleagues will confirm your importance and objectivity - only those things that multiple people agree on carry weight.
- Break down the factors into 4 SWOT quadrants.
- Evaluate what to do about it. Look for ways to take advantage of your situation or improve it. 6. Use the following rankings between quadrants to do this - this is key to getting the SWOT analysis right, as it will help determine a strategy for implementing further actions.
- How can you use your strengths to take advantage of opportunities in the market? S-O assessment
- How to use opportunities to eliminate or reduce our weaknesses? W-O assessment
- How to use strengths to avert threats? S-T evaluation
- How to reduce threats in relation to our weaknesses? W-T assessment
- Revise the factors, if necessary, if you came up with something different during the assessment than before it
SWOT Analysis as a Team Work
The rule of thumb is that the team works better and gets better results. And SWOT Analysis is always better when it is the result of teamwork. A team always has different perspectives, sees priorities a little differently and also sees different ways to fix or improve things. And why not combine the different perspectives into one result, which is then better than the view of one expert.
But it is important that all voices are really heard. It is important to have a good facilitator who gives everyone a chance to speak. And to get the quiet personalities among us to speak. Because often their one sentence has a major impact on the outcome.
If the team sets good rules for discussion and votes on priorities, then all votes are always included. In addition, even if an item doesn’t pass the vote, it can always be listed on the side in the record and can be revisited at any time.
Voting on individual motions is important so that someone does not push an item from their personal agenda as a company-wide issue, which is not usually the case. Therefore, the facilitator needs to keep a good watch that fairness in the team is maintained.
SWOT Presentation and Influencing and Engaging Leadership Team
The real strength of SWOT analysis is in its great presentation possibilities. All it takes is a single picture to show others what the strengths and weaknesses are. By the fact that it is often the result of a team effort, which eventually gathered the necessary data, it is not easy to disagree with the results. Leadership needs evidence for its decisions, and a good SWOT analysis can deliver it, and in a form that is easy to understand.
The team must invest time in creating a presentation that engages and influences the audience. It is always good to report on what the process was, how the information was verified, and photos from team meetings to show that the team was passionate about their work. Also, the presentation needs to indicate what the expected next steps are, because that is what it is all about. We don’t do SWOT analysis just for fun, we want to make a difference in the organization and we need to describe the real state of affairs.
It is also good to show the priorities in the presentation as the team has identified them in their vote and it is also good to talk about the points of dispute. This is where they often miss a major issue that someone can point out later.
SWOT Analysis in Human Resources
No project in Human Resources should start without a proper team SWOT analysis in the definition phase. Such an activity should not only be done by people from Human Resources, people from other departments in the company should always be invited and included. Only in this way will Human Resources get a true picture of its performance and how it is perceived by internal clients compared to what they see in the market.
It is even advisable to do the analysis first and in a second separate step invite another group of employees to okomet the result of the teamwork. This will ensure that Human Resources has a realistic and consistent picture of the problem it wants to solve.
If the team is creating or adjusting the HR Strategy, this is another area where it pays to reflect as a team and structure the state the team is in. And to have that discussion and also have the opportunity to have some fun, because that kind of teamwork is always a good opportunity to have some fun.
This is a good opportunity for Human Resources to strengthen employee engagement. When everyone is included and has a say, it leads to employees feeling a stronger connection to the team and the company. And what’s more important in Human Resources?
What questions to ask when creating SWOT Analysis?
Not sure how to arrive at what are the strengths or weaknesses of your company, product or service and what are your threats and opportunities? The following questions can help you create a really good and beneficial SWOT analysis. Always look at your weaknesses, strengths, threats and opportunities not only from the perspective of your company, but also from the perspective of your customers and competitors.
- What advantages does your business/project/service bring?
- What competitive advantage do you offer?
- What unique low-cost resources can you leverage as opposed to others?
- What do your customers perceive as your strengths?
- Why do customers return to you regularly?
- What is your uniqueness?
- What should you avoid?
- What can you improve?
- What do your customers perceive as your weaknesses?
- Why are you losing customers?
- What opportunities do you see in your industry?
- Are there favorable market or technology developments for you?
- Is there a favourable change in society, market or lifestyle for you?
- Is there a gap that you could exploit?
- Do you have the opportunity to expand into other countries?
- Are there any major events or developments coming up?
- Is it possible to outsource some of your company’s activities?
- What obstacles does your business face?
- Is there an unfavourable change in legislation or market for you?
- What are your competitors doing that puts you ahead of the game?
- Is your company in an economic recession?
- Are you unable to find quality employees?
- Are you worried about debt?
- Is the price of important raw materials or services rising?
- Could some of your weaknesses significantly jeopardize your project?
- Is demand for your service or product decreasing?
How often to do a SWOT analysis?
Many companies do a SWOT analysis just to check off one of their completed tasks. Properly, however, this analysis should be done to contribute to the strategic change of the company. Since it does not take too much time to complete, it is advisable to do a SWOT analysis of the company and individual products or services as often as a financial statement, about once a quarter. However, always keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is only meaningful if it is followed up.
Don’t think of a SWOT analysis as a long list of things that just come to mind, but focus only on the key factors. Include only facts and objective information in your analysis, avoid assumptions and speculation. Ideally include several of your colleagues in the SWOT analysis and only put on paper information that multiple people agree on. Finally, be sure to evaluate the SWOT analysis and focus on how you can use the information to your advantage.