As a business evolves, so too should its Human Resources policies, procedures and initiatives. Conducting an HR Strategy Audit ensures your company objectives and HR deliverables are correctly aligned and working for you.
What is an HR Strategy Audit?
A Human Resources Strategy Audit focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s HR systems, programs and processes. Ultimately, it provides an in-depth assessment to determine whether your strategic initiatives within HR align with plans for big-picture growth.
The goal is to answer the question, “Is your HR department maximizing its contribution to the organization?”. It allows the opportunity to acknowledge successes, define areas of improvement, devise a solid action plan, and ensure money is not wasted on ineffective training, procedures, or initiatives.
The main areas investigated during an HR Strategy Audit are the department’s alignment with business goals, training, technology and accountability. It helps to answer questions such as:
Do HR’s strategies help drive the business forward?
Do the priorities of HR align and directly contribute to the priorities of the company?
Are we wasting money on ineffective training?
Are we maximizing the impacts of technology within HR and the entire organization?
How does HR measure its accountability and productivity?
The answers will allow you to focus on specific tasks that will have the greatest impact on your organization’s revenue, productivity, expenses, and quality of service.
Help your Company avoid these mistakes.
A comprehensive audit of your HR strategies can reveal opportunities for improvement and help you create a roadmap to success to avoid these common mistakes:
Hiring a senior HR person too quickly. While we are all for HR being on the senior team, when this is the first position added to an HR department, it may not make financial sense. Most of their time will be spent resolving day-to-day issues, while you are paying for big-picture strategy.
Promoting an administrator without providing the proper training and support. There are several advantages to promoting from within and advancing someone’s career. However, doing so without adequately investing in their growth and development and expecting them to suddenly operate at a heightened level is unfair to them and the business.
Investing in technology without defined processes. Proceeding with technology without reviewing or determining your operations may not gain you the efficiencies that you desire. Taking time to truly understand your needs and identify gaps or bottlenecks in the process will help clarify where technology can truly impact efficiency.
Starting with policies and not connecting them to business priorities. HR policies are not one size fits all. We implement some standard policies as risk mitigation for legal ramifications, but others are there to reinforce behaviours and define the company's culture. Taking time to work top-down will ensure that policies are not implemented ‘just because’.
Why should you regularly audit your HR practices?
Taking the time to do a full review of your current HR practices will help:
keep you competitive in the market to attract and retain top talent;
ensure your people practices are driving business results;
align HR practices and policies with company culture goals;
establish areas where key success measures can be implemented;
prioritize budget and time investments in new program development;
define your HR people structure; and
identify technology needs.
An HR Strategy Audit will expose gaps, strengths and areas of improvement. Responding to the findings, defining required actions and communicating a solid improvement plan will get your Human Resources initiatives on track for success.
When should you conduct an HR Strategy Audit?
Organizations can conduct an HR Strategy Audit independently or they can engage a consultant to lead the process to help ensure objectivity and lend insights into what other organizations are doing to lead the way in people practices. Regardless of who leads it, there are ideal times to conduct it. They are:
Annually as part of the HR Department’s planning process.
When you are ready to add HR to your company.
When you invest in an HR executive.
If your HR department isn’t contributing at a strategic level.
Before any considerable business transformations.
If you're ready to conduct your own HR Strategy Audit but don’t know where to start, contact us for help.