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Strategic Human Resource Management

By Victoria Plettner-Saunders

StrategicHRMThis month I started a new HR course. It’s been super interesting so far and I’ve really enjoyed it. One of the things I’m loving is that it focuses on the importance of what is referred to today as “Strategic Human Resource Management”.

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the idea that more than simply managing hiring and firing processes, holding managers accountable for performance reviews and keeping track of all the HR policies and procedures, today’s HR manager should be an integral part of the organization’s management and planning. Moreover, employee engagement, professional development and other employee-related programs are a necessity for organizational sustainability and success.

The Human Element

This makes complete sense to me as a strategic planner. It is critical for organizations to really examine what all those new goals and objectives will do to impact staffing. But its complicated to think of the human element when so many nonprofit arts organizations piece together the HR practices they do take action on.

To think in terms of the people needed to implement new or bigger programs or the need to provide professional development to support employees’ ability to strengthen their skills relative to the strategic plan’s goals won’t come naturally to many arts managers. Here are a few examples of when SHRM should come up:

  1. A new focus on audience engagement that requires staff with skills and experience that current staff don’t have. Do you train current staff to fill that new need? Hire new staff? Is one solution more cost effective than the other? Are there particular staff members who might be ready for a new challenge?
  2. You are experiencing ongoing problems with staff turnover. Do you just keep hiring new people (a costly and time consuming process that reduces productivity overall) or do you try to understand why staff are leaving and create solutions for retaining good team members? And if you choose the latter, how does that take place within the organization and how do you monitor outcomes?

HR at the Table

Having HR at the table in order to consider organizational change and growth through the lens of human resource management should be the norm, rather than the exception.

Our sector is really good at creating productions, performances and programs for mission achievement. But people are the ONLY way those things will happen.

How does your organization factor the “human element” into its strategic planning or organizational culture?

For more information see Practicing Strategic Human Resources

More insights on: SHRM