Definition and Purpose of Strategic Human Resources Management

The definition of the Strategic Human Resources Management is not consistent; it is not the business term that has a stable meaning. It is about the emphasis of the need for the urgent change that will impact the wider organization. They announce the dramatic reshuffling of the management style and new critical business vision, goals, and targets.

They usually require employees and managers to become fully accountable for the achievements; they need to introduce a new corporate culture that will value top performers. Most leaders speak about the strategic management at the moment of the dramatic shift and change in the organization. This is the moment when the Strategic Human Resources Management comes to play its important role.

What is SHRM? The strategic HRM is used during the dramatic changes in the organization. It stimulates the engagement and empowerment of employees and managers. Their responsibilities are enlarged and lifted, and Human Resources has a primary focus to keep the momentum and raise the participation of key employees.

The Strategic Human Resources Management is always proactive; HR has to simplify its processes and procedures. It has to work actively with employees to engage them and keep their focus on the redesign of the business. Primarily, it was intended to be used just occasionally. However, the need for the change of the company is almost constant, and most SHRM approaches have become a part of standard modern HR Management (more on HR Roles and Responsibilities).

The evolution and introduction of the Strategic Human Resources Management were a significant improvement of the work of the organization with the human capital available. The employment of new SHRM approaches enlarged opportunities for employees to demonstrate their skills, competencies, and abilities. The organizations were able to reach better results with less effort and resources. It was not just a simple changes in the accounting from the “cost” line to the “assets” line. It evolved at the moment when the competitiveness of the company became a real issue for the majority of western organizations.

The Definition of Strategic Human Resources Management

SHRM helped to top executives realize that employees can improve performance and productivity if HR is managed strategically. The true strategic HR Management was born when companies introduced programs “to win hearts and minds” of employees. On the other hand, there is no single definition of the strategic HR Management. However, the SHRM methodology and strategic frameworks are well described. Additionally, the Strategic HR Management is always linked to strategic thinking in Human Resources.

The high-performance organization always builds the HR framework which is developed using the basic principles of the strategic management and incorporates the strategic thinking of HR Professionals. The strategic thinking is an elaboration of the business plan, and it decomposes the strategy into actionable HR initiatives and projects (more on HR Strategies).

Definition of Strategic Human Resources Management

The Strategic Human Resources Management is not just a purely technical discipline; there is not just one universal definition. Each organization should use a particular set of different strategic approaches; it should apply the strategic thinking and planning.

In general, SHRM is about aligning and linking all HR processes, procedures and initiatives with the strategic objectives of the organization. It is a task for Human Resources to revisit all processes and procedures; they need to be simplified, streamlined and refurbished. This is the fairest and simplest definition of the Strategic Human Resources Management.

For example, Mr. Storey in 2001 defined SHRM as: “A distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce using an array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques.”

On the other hand, Mr. Kazmi defined SHRM as: “Human resource management (HRM) involves all management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people, or human resources, who work for the organization. HRM is strategy-focused, i.e., by itself, it is strategic in nature. HRM at the strategic level is SHRM.” This is an extra brief definition of the strategic management of the people agenda in the organization.

There are many definitions of the strategic Human Resources Management. The organization should not blindly follow just one methodology; it should create a healthy mix that will fit the needs. The HR Management Team has to pick the components that will support the delivery of strategic business objectives. The processes supporting the change and transition have got the priority number 1. It plays a significant role in strategic planning.

SHRM always covers the topics of the organizational effectiveness and the competitive advantage. It introduces new practices into decision-making processes of the top and line management that take employees, productivity and performance in mind. It is one of the best definitions.

SHRM Purpose and Meaning

The strategic Human Resources Management always builds the philosophical framework around the key people management agenda in the organization. The leader of the organization sets the new vision; the leadership team elaborates strategic goals for the updated company. The HR Leader in a close cooperation with HR CoEs Managers designs the strategic HR framework that gets approved.

HR Managers use the new HR framework and adjust processes and procedures in cooperation with internal clients. This is the most critical moment because they can kill the effort. They can ignore new vision, and they can undermine the will to change the business. In reality, the leadership team and the HR leader set goals and the strategic HR Management designs the detailed framework for HR Professionals and line managers (see more about HR Roles and Responsibilities).

The introduction of SHRM changes the way how the HR Organization works. This is a true meaning of SHRM. It usually requires adjustments of the operating HR Model (more on HR Models); HR Professionals have to adjust their job descriptions (more on HR Jobs and Job Descriptions) to cover new needs and requirements of the organization. It is the introduction of the outside of the box thinking to Human Resources.

SHRM integrates Human Resources into strategic thinking processes of the organization. It is a painful procedure, but it makes the business plan of the company complete. The top management incorporates employees into a plan, and proper actions for employees are designed, developed and executed.

SHRM brings the required alignment of Human Resources Strategy (more on HR Strategies) with the business strategy. It makes Human Resources think about the initiatives and cross-functional projects. HRM has to identify opportunities it brings. HR has to identify risks associated with initiatives, and it has to put proposals on the table. It becomes a member of strategic discussions, and it has an influence on the design of the strategic plan.

The Strategic HR Management takes HR Organization to the next level. It integrates HR into a business, defines new growth conditions and aligns employees in Human Resources with general business requirements.

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