Professionals discuss the possibility of linking business strategy with human resource management (HRM) for a while already. They underline that the success of the organisation often depends on the support provided by HRM, but many companies have not realised this fact yet. Boxall and Purcell (2011) believe that professionals can utilise two types of linking HRM and business strategy. However, both of them are not ideal and have particular advantages and disadvantages. The first one is the best practice.
It is treated as a ‘universalist’ approach, which means that it is likely to bring advantage to all organisations that use it. It ensures much agreement considering particular practices. At the same time, bad practices are recognised by all staff members, which leads to a reduction of misunderstanding. Training and appraisal methods are also well-established, which is very beneficial. However, the best practices are rather diverse, which can cause confusions. Benefits for the company and employees may conflict so that the staff lose their voice. The second approach is the best fit. It states the opposite idea according to which all actions should be linked to context and environment. It means that the performer affects the success of the method used (Armstrong 2006). In this way, the connection between particular business strategy and employee behaviour is ensured. However, it can be aligned with an extreme emphasis on the expense of flexibility and agility and prevent HR strategy from being parochial.
With the help of these approaches, the creation of an HR strategy for a company can be enhanced greatly. For example, HR personnel can make better decisions when focusing on talent management. Sahoo, Das, and Sundaray (2011) emphasise that HRM can promote organisational values through its practices. Focusing on a lifelong commitment to learning, they can add regular training and development activities instead of utilising on episodic ones. Thinking about succession planning, HR leaders also need to focus on personnel and make sure that proper talent will be available when needed.
In this way, it can be stated that the main aim of HRM in the framework of its strategic role is to align with business strategy. However, it is critical to mention that is should also deal with recruitment. Potential employees should be prepared for their new duties. They are expected to generate knowledge that can be used by the company to reach its potential. In addition to that, HRM deals with rewards. HR leaders are expected to recognise those staff members who assist their organisation in reaching their objectives. As a result, they reveal their appreciation through rewards and encourage future development in this manner. Alvesson (2009) also emphasises the necessity to focus on the success of utilised practices so that the most advantageous can be selected. HRM should update their knowledge to base all decisions on valid information.
My personal experience considering the alignment of HRM and business strategy dealt with the value of lifelong learning. Not so long ago, HR leaders started emphasising it more than usual. They encouraged employees to participate in various meetings and conferences, which rarely happened previously. In addition to it, we have a reward system, which allows the best staff members to get some financial benefits or to have additional free time. These concepts are also discussed in the readings, which proves them to be effective and advantageous for both the organisation and personnel.
Alvesson, M 2009 ‘Critical perspectives on strategic HRM’, in J Storey, P Wright & D Ulrich (eds), The Routledge companion to strategic human resource management. Routledge, London, pp.52-68.
Armstrong, M 2006, A handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page, London.
Boxall, P & Purcell, J 2011, Strategy and human resource management, 3rd edn, Palgrave, London.
Sahoo, C, Das, S & Sundaray, B 2011, ‘Strategic human resource management: exploring the key drivers’, Employment Relations Record, vol., 11 no. 2, pp. 18-32.