HR Goals and Objectives

Few years ago the answer to the question, what are the general goals and objectives of Human Resources in the organization, was straightforward and simple. The fundamental goal and objective of HR was “right people at the right place at the right time.” That was it. Nothing more was expected to be delivered from HR Professionals. Now, the answer to that question is far more complex.

The general goals and objectives of HR are more focused on the productivity, performance, engagement, innovations and sustainability of the organization. Why have HR Goals and Objectives changed so significantly? Because the HR Purpose changed significantly, and the role of Human Resources is significantly broader than it had been before.

The mission of Human Resources changed significantly (see Human Resources History). HR had started as a social care unit, evolved into the personnel management and finally the advanced HR Management function was born. The HR Goals and Objectives were adjusted by the top management, just because expectations were raised (the top management has risen the bar for HR Professionals). It is a fact Human Resources has to reflect in HR Processes and Procedures.

HR got its chair in the Boardroom. It has been a long journey for Human Resources, and it has its costs. The director in the Boardroom brings power and voice for HR, but it also brings responsibilities and accountability. Again, the increased responsibility and accountability for the people management practices are immediately reflected in HR Goals and Objectives. Having a person in the Boardroom and being able to influence strategic decisions means that HR Professionals have to contribute to the effort aiming to achieve those strategic goals of the organization.

HR Goals and Objectives: How are they linked with HR Strategy, Business Targets, HR Model and HR Strategic Plan
HR Goals and Objectives: How are they linked with HR Strategy, Business Targets, HR Model and HR Strategic Plan

HR was missing for a long time at the table. It was a department that was fulfilling tasks and orders. However, at some point this was not enough. The organization was not able to raise the performance and productivity of employees to the next level. It had to change its approach to employees. The HR Management was a strategic decision made by the progressive top management (in 80s of the last century, see Early HR Management if interested).

Today, Human Resources Management sets the strategic agenda for the people management in the organization. HR does not manage employees, but it designs tools for managers how they should manage, lead and develop their employees as the organization grows the value of employees. It is not the goal of Human Resources; it is the purpose of HR in the company.

Today, the general goals and objectives of Human Resources can be found in several areas:

  • corporate culture;
  • sustainable and profitable business;
  • performance and productivity management;
  • engagement of employees;
  • global management practices.

The general HR G&Os should not be mixed with the HR Roles and Responsibilities. In each area, HR has its role, and it has to play it, but it has to define the strategic goals in each segment, because it has a responsibility to move and lead the team forward. The key goal for Human Resources is to lead the rest organization in creating an open, honest and high performing workplace, which can be achieved just by combining goals from different areas.

Effective and challenging HR Objectives can impact the organization positively. Employees always value the organization which tries to make the workplace equitable, fair and positive. These general goals cannot be achieved within a short time; they require much effort and the full involvement of the change management. Many times, it is about an overall change of the corporate culture. However, HR has to take over the ownership and accountability. The goal of creating a sustainable business is a long journey, and HR can just lead the team forward.

The general HR G&Os are not just about Human Resources; these long term goals are about the overall change of the organization. HR has to find a way how to involve and engage managers and employees. It can reach its long term goals just with employees. It cannot reach them without their engagement and involvement.

The role and goals of Human Resources are driven by the business strategy. It should incorporate the HR Strategy, which defines all strategic initiatives for HR for the following years. The general HR Goals and Objectives cannot live in the conflict with the HR Strategy. If so there is a mistake in the HR system in the company.