hr business plan and priorities

Deborah Wilkes

Read more about Deborah Wilkes

  • November 17, 2023

How to ensure your 2024 HR priorities are business-led

  • By Deborah Wilkes


This is the season to plan ahead for 2024 and HR experts are sharing their top predictions. It can be a bit like the latest fashions, however – you might admire them but you can’t imagine wearing them. 

You need something far more practical that is fit for purpose – your organisation’s purpose. Coming to business leaders with the latest HR trends will go down like a lead balloon.

Let’s explore how HR can work its way through to an HR strategy that’s embraced by business leaders.

hr business plan and priorities

To create a business-led HR strategy, HR has to turn its traditional approach upside down

There’s a tendency for HR to build its strategy by identifying workstreams, e.g. OD, TM, TA, etc., and to then work out how to align these. This has value but shouldn’t be the start point. This approach is likely to lead you into old and well-worn grooves.

To develop a business-led HR strategy HR must put their favourite HR topics to one side and open up their minds to take a completely fresh perspective.

What keeps your business leaders awake at night? Ask them.

This is a great question as it gets straight to what’s at the front of leaders’ minds, and then you can be sure you’re tackling what really matters to them. Their top pressure is likely to be hitting their numbers – e.g. getting deals over the line, keeping customers happy or meeting operational targets. 

Your next question? ‘Tell me more about that.’ Keep asking for more information, and you’ll find the people links you’re looking for.

Don’t rush to the solution – build the relationship

At this point you’ll want to offer your HR solution and describe how it will help. Hold that thought, because right now you have the opportunity to open the door wider. 

Engaging your stakeholder in talking about their part of the organisation and their goals and needs is a key factor in winning buy-in when you’re ready to go back to them with your suggestions. 

We have our own language in HR and, as a global HR leader said, ‘business leaders get so turned off by HR jargon they won’t even bother to find out what it means.’

Examine people priorities through a business lens

HR has to use the perspective of the business and also use business language. How well do you understand your organisation and what drives success? It’s vital that HR understands the business well enough to identify the levers for improved results. 

For example, it’s obvious to people in HR that retention is good for business. But we have to quantify that – to what extent and in what way? How exactly does retention relate to their key concerns? HR must express that in business leaders’ language – and that means financial. 

Let’s build an example using retention. Research by SHRM , Josh Bersin and others calculates that the loss of a technical, professional or managerial employee costs the business between one and a half and two years’ salary. This includes the costs of recruitment, onboarding, training, the hassle factor and the wait for the person to get to full productivity. 

Use that to calculate the total business cost of regrettable leavers, and you get to a big number that gets business leaders’ attention. Then show how that money could be proactively invested in, e.g. career paths or a talent pipeline, to reduce the risk of losing key talent.

The success of your HR strategy is achieved by getting business leaders on board

The key to successful achievement of HR priorities is winning – and retaining – buy-in. This is why HR has to start from business priorities. 

Misalignment can creep in between what HR sees as priorities and what business leaders worry about. As the year progresses your HR priorities can become empty projects that the business neglects. 

HR has to start by asking, listening to and acting upon what the business needs. 

To ensure that this follows through into full implementation, HR leaders need to plan ahead to proactively manage how their HR strategy planning process will play out.

hr business plan and priorities

Start with the end in mind

Let’s envisage a powerful and rewarding outcome for your strategic planning process. Imagine you’re presenting your HR strategy to senior leaders: 

‘We asked you about your priorities for the business. We listened. You said … (e.g. increase revenue, reduce costs). ‘Since then we’ve continued to clarify between us all the factors that drive the delivery of those results. We agreed the priority people areas’ (e.g. retention, skills). ‘Here is the data that illuminates cause and effect. As a result, these are the priorities we’ve identified together.’  

Here’s the subtext: you’ve signed up for this and I will be holding you to account for the budget and your active support. Schedule in regular review meetings to ensure that this happens despite changing business priorities.

Make clear links between HR’s activities and business results

This is where we come to the subject of measures and milestones. Building these into your regular reviews can be a key tool for continuous reinforcement of, and re-engagement with your HR priorities. 

Collaborate with business leaders to create a framework of measures that link cause and effect. You will be able to prove that people costs go down when retention goes up, and therefore profitability also goes up. Use engagement data too as a ‘leading’ measure to illustrate cause and effect.

Decide what you can do, and what you can’t 

There are many demands on HR and you can’t do everything. How do you choose what you will commit to doing with your resources? This, too, should be driven by business goals. 

It’s a question of prioritising – what will give you the ‘best bang for your buck?’ A quick win is a great idea as it establishes credibility quickly, and builds trust in you for the longer-term projects. 

hr business plan and priorities

Once you’re clear about what you WILL do, it’s likely that you’ll have to drop some things off your list. Negotiating this presents another opportunity to build the relationship with your key stakeholders – you can discuss and agree where the value is, and where it isn’t.

Track and celebrate your achievements in HR

HR people tend to be modest but don’t hide your light under a bushel – let it shine. It’s in everyone’s interests for HR to have the reputation as effective drivers of business success. Take every opportunity to share and promote your ‘Business+HR’ strategy and mark your achievements – and your impact on business success.

Writing an HR strategy isn’t difficult. Achieving it is the hard part.

You can produce an elegant HR strategy, but it’s worthless if it isn’t embraced and lived by your key stakeholders. That’s why it’s vital to engage them from the start and keep them involved at every stage. 

Join our workshop ‘How to build a business-led HR strategy ’ on Thursday 18th January 2024 .

Interested in this topic? Read How to design an effective skills strategy

  • Tags: Employee engagement , Leadership , Organisational design & development

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5 Top Priorities for HR Leaders in 2022


The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of challenges in the workplace. Companies around the world have had to adapt to remote and hybrid work models, drastic organizational changes, and unprecedented uncertainty. As a result of this, the top priorities for HR leaders have shifted to adapt to the new world of work . And many of these priorities are here to stay. 

According to a report by Gardner, developing critical skills and competencies is the top priority for HR managers in 2022. Other HR goals include improving the employee experience and developing a connected workplace culture, regardless of location.

In this post, we will take a look at the 5 top priorities for HR leaders in 2022 to help you understand what you should be focusing on in the coming year.

Table of Contents

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Goal Setting and Priority Setting for HR Leaders

HR goal setting is a critical function of the human resources department. Without the effective implementation of HR goals, companies can become fragmented and lose their focus and sense of culture, hindering productivity and the achievement of overall strategic goals. This then has a knock-on effect on employee satisfaction and engagement, resulting in reduced retention and increased turnover. 

Generally speaking, the top priorities for HR leaders tend to be:

  • Developing and implementing HR strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall business strategy
  • Serving as a link between management and the general workforce
  • Nurturing a corporate culture that boosts morale and encourages employee engagement
  • Identifying training needs and developing critical skills to promote the development of qualified and motivated employees
  • Promoting a sense of team spirit, teamwork and collaboration.

As an HR manager, you need to create specific and measurable KPIs that take into account these objectives to help your company grow and develop into a happy and productive workforce, regardless of the changing landscape. 

There are a number of HR trends to watch out for in 2022, many of which have resulted from a need to adapt to the new normal of work. As an HR manager, you can get a wealth of knowledge from traditional HR management books , but nothing can prepare you for the changing reality of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It’s all about keeping your finger on the pulse and adapting to evolving business trends and changing workplace cultures.

With this in mind, we have compiled the 5 top priorities for HR leaders in 2022 to help you stay ahead of the game. 

Employee Experience and Wellness   

The challenges that both employers and employees have faced during the pandemic have highlighted the importance of employee health and wellness. They have also emphasized the value of cultivating a positive employee experience in order to retain talent and build a workplace culture where employees can thrive. 

With the increasing popularity of remote and hybrid work models, more focus has been placed on finding a healthy work-life balance. Employers have also noticed the direct effect of stress and anxiety on productivity levels. If employees are healthy, happy and motivated, they are far more likely to be productive members of your team. 

Going forward in 2022, one of your HR goals should be to focus on a more holistic view of employee wellbeing.

What do your employees need to be healthy and safe?

If your employees work from home, make sure they have the right tools, support, and resources to perform to the best of their abilities. Make sure your managers are aware of the dangers of stress and burnout. And, most importantly, track employee hours and PTO to make sure your workforce is taking the downtime it needs to rest and recharge.   

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI & B) will continue to be a top trend for HR leaders in 2022. The aim here is to make sure all your employees feel a sense of belonging and value within your organization . The best way to achieve this goal is by focusing on creating a working environment that benefits all employees, regardless of gender, ethnic background, socioeconomic background, and mental and physical ability.

It’s important here to go beyond the rhetoric and walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. You need to create measurable KPIs for tracking diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace. And for this, you need reliable data. Run reports to measure retention rates of historically marginalized groups . Look at your recruitment, promotion, and development metrics to see if you can detect any potential bias in your processes.

You also need to talk to your employees to see how they perceive your level of DE&I . And once you’ve done all that, offer training to raise awareness of the value of an inclusive workforce.

Remote / Hybrid Workplace Culture

Of all the top priorities for HR leaders this coming year, this may be one of the biggest challenges. With many companies continuing to offer temporary or permanent remote or hybrid working models, creating an environment where all workers feel connected and a part of the team can be difficult.

How do you create a sense of unity and belonging if your employees are all working from different locations? How do you make people feel connected to the organizational culture if there are no in-person events, team-building exercises, or conversations in the break room?

The key is adapting your vision of workplace culture. Find different ways to help your team connect so that everyone feels united, wherever they are working from.

Encourage engagement and support personal development and freedom; reinforce a sense of shared purpose and remind each employee that what they do is important for the success of the company as a whole; create as many online communication channels as possible and hold regular online meetings and events. And most importantly, make sure all employees know that you are present and accessible whenever they need support. 

Change Management

Another top goal for HR leaders this year is improving change management. 

It’s important for HR managers to be aware of the effect of organizational shifts on employees . For one thing, it has led to a degree of stress, fatigue, and burnout. It’s therefore important for you as a leader to do what you can to support your staff as they adapt to a new way of working.  

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Developing Critical Skills

The final goal that HR leaders will be prioritizing in 2022 is the development of critical skills . Organizational shifts have led to growing gaps in the workforce. This makes it more important than ever for employees to receive training in a variety of areas. The more skills they have, the better equipped they will be to bridge any skill gaps. HR leaders need to adopt a dynamic approach to reskilling talent. This will help companies keep up with the new normal and improve operational excellence.

Accomplish Your 2022 HR Goals with Our Software Solution

Once you have established your HR annual plan and you have determined your top priorities for HR leaders, you need the right tools to help you get where you need to be. 

But what are the right tools?

One of the most effective resources to help you reach your goals is human resources management technology . The right HR technology can enhance your business functions, improve productivity and make all your HR processes run more smoothly. I t provides all your leaders, managers, and administrators with access to the data they need. Plus, using a software solution to help your goal setting for HR managers improves the employee experience. It also facilitates an atmosphere of transparency, trust, and regular communication. These are all vital components of the business model of the future.

So, which solution works best?

Factorial’s ‘all-in-one’ centralized HR software platform includes a vast array of features that pushes your company to the next level and can help you meet your goals in HR for 2022. For one thing, our applications include time-off management, applicant tracking systems, performance management, reporting and analytics, and document management. Plus, by streamlining and automating many of your HR processes, you can spend more time on strategic planning to help you meet your objectives for the year.

And it doesn’t end there. We’ve also prepared a comprehensive 2022 People Manager Kit to help you digitalize your HR processes. This free toolkit contains a ll the resources you need to address all your top HR issues in 2022 , including HR webinars, surveys, and eBooks. Everything you need to help you reach your goals this year!

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Your HR Strategic Plan: Why You Need One and How to Create It

Aug 26, 2023 by The HR Team

An effective HR strategic plan is a necessity for organizations that want to thrive in today’s competitive environment.

Over the years, human resources (HR) has emerged as a critical strategic function, going far beyond traditional administrative tasks. Today’s HR department is the source for learning and development, talent acquisition, employee experience, organizational development, ethical conduct, and much more. As such, aligning human resources goals with business objectives has become critical for long-term business success in a competitive and ever-changing landscape.

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In this article, we’ll explore the reasons your company needs an HR strategic plan , along with seven steps for creating an effective one.

A comprehensive, well-constructed hr plan offers robust benefits like these:.

  • Business goals get a boost A strategic human resources plan aligns your human capital management efforts with your overall business objectives. It ensures that HR initiatives contribute directly to organizational growth, profitability, and sustainability. By integrating HR strategies with business strategies, it creates a powerful synergy that propels your company forward.
  • Improved talent acquisition and retention In a talent-driven market, attracting and retaining top-tier employees is a paramount concern. An HR strategic plan outlines how to attract, hire, onboard, and retain the right people for your organization. It includes strategies for employer branding, recruitment, training, and development that help you build a strong, engaged workforce.
  • Greater agility and nimbleness The business world is characterized by constant change, such as technological advancements, market fluctuations, and evolving customer preferences. An HR strategic plan equips your organization to adapt to these changes by fostering a culture of flexibility and innovation. It outlines how HR professionals will facilitate skill development, retraining, and reskilling efforts to keep your workforce informed and agile.
  • A more engaged, productive workforce When team members are more involved and engaged with their work, their commitment, morale, and productivity are enhanced. An HR strategic plan includes initiatives that support employee engagement, such as performance management systems, feedback mechanisms, and wellness programs. These efforts contribute to a positive company culture and a more enjoyable work environment, which drives overall organizational success.
  • Compliance and risk management are bolstered By integrating risk management and compliance considerations into HR strategies, businesses can proactively identify, mitigate, and address potential risks and ensure adherence to legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements. From contract management to data privacy and beyond, an HR strategic plan outlines how your company will adhere to labor laws and industry standards, reducing legal liabilities and reputational risks.

Creating Your HR Strategic Plan: Seven Steps for Success

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment Begin by evaluating your company’s current HR practices, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Gather data on employee demographics, performance metrics, turnover rates, and employee satisfaction. This assessment serves as the foundation for your strategic plan.  
  • Define the objectives Based on your assessment, set clear and measurable HR objectives that align with your company’s goals. Whether it’s increasing employee retention rates, improving leadership development, or enhancing diversity and inclusion, ensure that your objectives are specific, achievable, and relevant.
  • Develop strategies and initiatives For each objective, outline the strategies and initiatives you will undertake to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to enhance employee training and development, your initiatives might include creating a comprehensive training curriculum, investing in e-learning platforms, and implementing mentorship programs.
  • Allocate resources Determine the budget, staffing, and technology requirements for each initiative. Adequate resource allocation is essential to ensure the successful execution of your HR strategic plan.
  • Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Define KPIs that will help you measure the effectiveness of your initiatives. These metrics might include employee turnover rates, employee satisfaction scores, or how long it takes to fill open positions, for example.
  • Implement and monitor Execute the HR initiatives according to your plan and closely monitor their progress. Regularly review your KPIs, gather feedback from employees and stakeholders, and make necessary adjustments to keep your plan on track.
  • Review and fine-tune regularly The business landscape is ever-changing, so your HR strategic plan should not remain static. Conduct regular reviews of your plan’s effectiveness and modify it as needed to align with new business priorities and industry trends.

Throughout the development and execution of your plan, open communication across the entire organization is a necessity. Transparent communication builds buy-in from employees and leaders, fostering a positive, collaborative approach to achieving HR and business objectives.

Think of your HR strategic plan as a compass that guides your organization toward a prosperous future. By following the steps above, you can create an impactful plan that sets the stage for sustained growth and success.

The HR Team partners with organizations to develop smart HR strategic plans that drive positive outcomes. Contact us today to learn how we can help you craft a comprehensive strategic plan that responds to your unique needs.

  About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. H eadquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit .

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Home » Employer Resources » HR Resources » HR Strategic Plan

What is an HR Strategic Plan?: A Comprehensive Guide

Human resources is a key player in transforming a business. With increased focus on digital transformation, inclusion and diversity, data-driven decision-making, and prioritization of employee well-being, organizations are looking to redefine their HR strategies. They seek human resources professionals who can draft a comprehensive strategic plan to guide organizational change. In this blog, we will discuss how to create an HR strategic plan, what to include, best practices, and examples for you to master this aspect of human resource management.

Table of Contents

HR Strategic Plan: Definition & Importance

A human resources strategic plan is a written document that contains details about the HR strategy for the stakeholders to understand and execute. This plan provides information, such as HR goals, initiatives, and priorities, and aligns them with the business objectives. Further, it specifies the resources and actions required to carry out and measure the progress of the strategies developed. The HR heads prepare the strategic plan in collaboration with organizational leadership that serves as a guide for all the HR activities in the organization. 

The reasons behind the importance of a strategic plan are given below:

  • Helps in setting goals and tracking related progress. 
  • Ensures the human resources department focuses on the predetermined priorities.
  • Facilitates appropriate resource allocation. 
  • Keeps all the stakeholders informed about the human resource strategy. 
  • Enhances productivity and engagement of HR professionals by providing a clear roadmap to work. 
  • Creates accountability for the HR strategy. 

If you are an aspiring HR professional looking to build a career in human resources, enroll in an HR course with placement to develop skills and kick-start your professional journey. 

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Steps to Develop an HR Strategic Plan

The strategic human resource management process is a comprehensive procedure. It evaluates an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to devise a strategy. This strategy ensures operational goals and future demands for labor and talent are met. Let us discuss the steps to develop this document:

1. Understand the Business: Goals and Objectives

You require a thorough understanding of the past and present working of your organization to draft a strategic plan. Communicate with the key stakeholders and engage in discussions about the organization’s achievements, products and services, and goals. This will help you determine the business needs and identify the ways to fulfill them. 

2. Assess Current Capabilities: HR and Employees

The next step in strategic HR management and planning is to assess the current capabilities of the human resources department and the existing employees. Begin by evaluating the state of the HR with the SWOT analysis, i.e., understanding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can perform an HR audit to examine the readiness of your HR department and review the policies and processes. This helps to check if they are functioning well or if any aspects need to be improved. 

Assessment of the employee’s current skill sets is essential to check if they meet the operational needs. You can review employee performance, project history, continuing education, professional growth, and resumes to evaluate the collective workforce skill level. The information collected will provide you with an idea of the roles best suited for each individual and if there is a need for upskilling or hiring. 

3. Forecast Labor Needs: Gap Analysis

One of the goals of strategic human resource management is to cater to forthcoming changes in a workforce to ensure smooth and continuous operations. You need to conduct a gap analysis to determine if your employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to maximize their productivity. 

Take into account both external and internal factors while forecasting the labor needs of the organization. Here are essential factors to consider: 

Internal Factors:

  • Personnel transfers
  • Planned promotions
  • Upcoming retirements
  • Extended leaves of absence such as maternity or paternity leave

External Factors:  

  • Technological development
  • Global financial environment
  • Legal and regulatory environment
  • Demographic shifts
  • Environmental factors 
  • Labor market conditions

4. Outline Your Plan: Strategies to Manage, Motivate, and Retain Talent

Once you have done a gap analysis and forecasted your labor needs, move to the next step of the HR strategic planning process. In this step, you will outline your plan to meet the labor requirements of the organization, be it retaining or recruiting employees. 

Since employees require much more than rewarding compensation to remain engaged and productive in their work, it is essential to devise strategies to provide them with meaningful and fulfilling opportunities. 

Some of the strategies to manage, motivate, and retain employees include:

  • Regularly auditing compensation, benefits, work environment, and employee engagement. 
  • Identifying employees with skills outside their current roles seeking new challenges, and providing them with a development plan to grow within the organization.
  • Creating a company culture that supports continuous learning. 
  • Providing online training opportunities to upskill employees for new roles.
  • Evaluating and adapting compensation and benefits packages to be more competitive.

Refer to your HR strategy and list the major objectives. Your HR strategic plan should have a brief description of initiatives and programs you will implement to achieve each HR objective.

5. Decide on a Budget

Considering finances in your human resource planning process is crucial because it ensures you can reference your budget and expenses as needed. The costs incurred on fulfilling the workforce requirements include hiring, training, payroll, etc. Deciding on a budget is essential to ensure you do not spend more than you intend to and efficiently achieve the strategic goals for human resources management. 

To achieve this, you can use budget forecasting reports, data visualization tools, and financial software to keep track of your annual expenses.

6. Specify KPIs for HRM Objectives

Specifying key performance indicators (KPIs) is necessary to monitor the performance of strategic HRM objectives. These are measurable results that showcase an organization’s success in achieving predetermined goals. KPIs are mentioned in the strategic plan so that the company can make adjustments and improve future strategies. Some of the performance indicators you can specify are turnover rates, time to hire, employee satisfaction scores, and headcounts. 

7. Create a Vision and Mission Statement: Summarize HR strategy

While the human resources strategic plan includes an outline of the HR strategy, you need to add a summary as well. Mission and vision statements are written to fulfill this purpose. These briefly describe the human resources strategy and act as an indicative test for future policies. 

8. Prepare a Document: Layout and Design

Remember that the aim of preparing the human resources strategic document is to allow various stakeholders to clearly understand the information. Therefore, this document has to be accessible and engaging. Here are some points to follow while preparing the HR strategic document:

  • Select an appealing layout template best suited to your needs. Keep into account the information you will add and if there’s a design style that the documents of your company follow. 
  • Customize the template so that it speaks to your audience. Use simple and concise language instead of jargon. 
  • Use company-specific acronyms, words, or phrases that are common among the employees of your organization. 
  • Include visual elements such as graphs, charts, and infographics to display projections, statistics, metrics, and more effectively. 

9. Develop a Communication Plan

The next step is to inform and communicate your HR strategy at all levels of the organization. For this, you need to develop a communication plan. It will include strategies and tactics to convince and motivate everyone in the organization to become familiar with the plan and make efforts towards implementing it. Here are some ways to share the strategic plan:

  • For HR Teams: The HR teams of the organization should be well-versed in the plan. Communicate to them how the plan will roll out and their day-to-day responsibilities in implementing the strategy. 
  • For Leadership Team: Since the leadership team includes a few individuals, you can prepare a presentation to walk them through the strategic plan. Further, explain how the plan aligns with the organization’s overall business strategy.
  • For Employees: It is essential that the employees understand the purpose and benefits of your strategic plan. You can use common communication channels like meetings, newsletters, emails, and social media posts to help employees grasp the HR strategy and plan.

If the plan prompts shifts in practices and policies that affect employees, communicate the changes well in advance. Explain how the changes are vital and will benefit the company and teams. Further, provide information about the support you will offer them during the transition.

10. Map Out Action Plans

Use the HR strategic plan to create specific action plans. You can divide each objective into achievable tasks to accomplish them promptly. Then, assign these tasks to relevant teams and fix a schedule. Determine timelines, deadlines, and milestones to keep the HR professionals motivated and focused on the strategic plan. These action plans can act as points of reference for accountability, measuring progress, and avoiding delays. 

What to Include in an HR Strategic Plan?

The strategic plan of human resources is a roadmap for implementing initiatives that support the HR goals. Here are vital components that make the HR plan effective:

  • Organizational Values and Goals: The official organizational values and goals should be mentioned in the strategic plan.
  • HR Objectives and Key Results: These help in quantifying the success of the strategic plan. Therefore, it is essential to specify the plan’s objectives and HR metrics to measure progress. 
  • HR Mission and Vision Statements: These statements are integral to the HR strategic plan. The vision statement mentions the purpose and ultimate goal of HR, while the mission statement provides the path to achieve the goal.
  • List of Core HR Initiatives: Summarize the initiative of HR that will help in achieving the strategic human resource management objectives . These initiatives can be related to any aspect of HR, like recruitment, company culture, employee performance management, and compensation. 
  • Priority Aspects: The strategic plan includes the tasks in the priority aspects or areas that the HR professionals will focus on when working towards the objectives. A description of how these efforts will enhance assistance from HR and support business goals is also provided. 
  • Risks and Management: You should include the potential risks or challenges that may arise while executing the strategic plan. Additionally, discuss how the organization can handle these challenges and minimize the risks. 
  • Resources: Specify how the resources (budgetary, human capital, and technology) required to implement the HR initiatives will be allocated to ensure cost efficiency. 
  • HR Operating Model and Required Skills: There are various operating models, such as agile, business partner, and functional to describe how the HR department is structured and provides its assistance. Specify which of these models is used in your organization. Additionally, mention the skills and expertise required for this operating model to function effectively. 

HR Strategy Implementation: Best Practices

For the successful execution of the HR strategy specified in your plan, you can implement the following best practices:  

  • Pay Attention to the Budget: Human resource strategy needs a sufficient budget to be enacted proficiently. Therefore, concentrate on initiatives where cost considerations align with the organization’s budget. 
  • Ensure Collaboration: HR strategy implementation requires collaboration between HR professionals and other key stakeholders. Make sure that managers and senior leaders of the organization are well-informed about the strategy. 
  • Prefer Strategic Solutions: To implement the HR strategy effectively, analyze the root cause of challenges and plan accordingly. While you can adopt short-term or transactional solutions for immediate issues, they are not viable in the long run. Therefore, prefer strategic solutions that focus on addressing the underlying issues and consider the long-term implications of decisions. 
  • Monitor and Optimize Strategy: Implementing an HR strategy requires measuring its effectiveness over time with KPIs. If the desired results are not achieved, optimize the strategy accordingly. 
  • Maintain a Balance: Effective administration acts as the foundation for strategic initiatives. There are several administrative responsibilities of HR , including day-to-day operations (record keeping), ensuring compliance (with laws, regulations, and internal policies), and managing risks (data security, confidentiality). Without proper administrative processes, strategic plans may be undermined by operational inefficiencies or compliance issues. Therefore, strike a balance between strategic thinking and administrative responsibilities. 

Examples of an HR Strategic Plan

Let’s dive into the HR strategic plan examples of some of the popular organizations to understand how they transformed with the help of strategic human resources activities. 

The strategic plan of Google emphasizes a data-driven approach with people analytics to rework its HR policies and transform the workforce into a more efficient one. It prioritizes transparency, communication, and employee well-being through initiatives like open access to company information, feedback options, fitness centers, and other programs. 

This is one of the strategic human resource management examples where the organization encourages innovation and risk-taking by creating a culture of psychological safety. With proper implementation of the strategic plan, Google achieves high employee satisfaction, job seeker interest, retention rates, and effectiveness at the managerial level. 

Nissan is a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer. It is known for combining Japanese manufacturing methods with British productivity principles, a concept that is called ‘kaizen’. This is the term for Nissan’s core philosophy showcased in its strategic plan that emphasizes continuous improvement in job performance. 

Teams comprising top talent dedicated to skill development are hired based on the ‘kaizen’ philosophy. The organization provides several learning opportunities to its employees, even in remote work environments through e-learning content. Further, Nissan’s HR practices include providing leaders complete autonomy in recruiting their teams and transparent salary structures. The concept of self-designed careers and autonomy highlight the unique HR strategy examples in the industry. 

Every organization needs an HR strategic plan for efficient and effective implementation of the human resources strategy. You can navigate the steps provided and work on customizations according to your business. Ensure that the strategic plan document is kept safe to be referred to later to analyze the performance of the strategies developed. Also, explore HR best practices to transform your organization and expand your knowledge. 

  • ← Previous

hr business plan and priorities

Shobha Saini, the Head of Human Resources at Internshala, has maintained a stellar track record in employee relations and talent acquisition. With eight exceptional years of experience, she specializes in strategic planning, policy-making, and performance management. A multi-talented individual, she has played a major role in strategizing HR practices in the organization.

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Preparing HR Priorities for 2024

Preparing HR Priorities for 2024

Charles Goretsky

As the business landscape continues to evolve and shift, Human Resources (HR) leaders find themselves at the forefront of many challenges, necessitating a proactive approach to prepare for what lies ahead in the coming year. As we at Wowledge have written on the power and need for robust HR strategies and plans , the issues organizations currently face can appear overwhelming. As a result, preparing HR priorities for 2024 is an essential element of business planning that is called out as a major priority. 

The current intersection of economic dynamics, labor market fluctuations, and skill shortages continues to shape the contours of the modern workplace. Against the backdrop of a post-pandemic recovery, HR professionals must navigate the demand for certain skills outstripping the available talent pool, requiring innovative recruitment strategies and reskilling initiatives. Concurrently, the evolving nature of workspaces and schedules, influenced by the surge in remote and hybrid models, is prompting HR leaders to reevaluate traditional norms and establish adaptable frameworks prioritizing employee well-being and engagement.

Added pressures are created by the rapid emergence of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). While it promises to reshape how work is conducted in the long run, HR leaders must start grappling now with ethical considerations, privacy concerns, and the imperative to cultivate a workforce capable of collaborating seamlessly with AI counterparts. Additionally, the socio-technical implications of AI adoption on workplace dynamics require that leadership fosters a culture of continuous learning and innovation. 

Beyond technology, HR leaders increasingly recognize their critical role in addressing the escalating challenges posed by climate disasters and the likelihood of impacts on company operations, employee well-being, and the communities in which they conduct business. With the intensification of climate change impacts, companies must fortify their proactive and reactive strategies, incorporating health and safety, sustainable practices, and cultivating an environmentally conscious workforce. The convergence of economic, technological, and environmental trends underscores the landscape that HR leaders must navigate in 2024, demanding a forward-thinking and adaptable approach and preparing HR priorities to meet the evolving needs of the workforce and the broader business ecosystem.

Trends impacting HR strategies


As always, Wowledge continues to beat the drum for HR leaders and professionals to understand and respond to external forces that impact their organization’s ability to meet its goals and objectives. After years of low interest rates and inexpensive money to make investments, central banks have increased rates substantially to keep inflation at bay. Those rates have started to recede, particularly in the U.S., as inflation concerns have ebbed in response to strong employment numbers and (since mid-year 2023) dropping consumer price indexes.  

Economists' predictions are pointing toward modest but continuing improvements in general economic and personal income growth, with a downward trend of interest rates in the second half of 2024.  Goldman Sachs predicts that those central banks will be able to reduce interest rates to respond to any slowing that might occur later in the year.  They are projecting reasonable growth in major developed markets, including the U.S., with the European Union struggling to keep up due to the war in Ukraine leading to food shortages, supply chain disruptions, and high oil prices.  Inflationary pressures are seen as declining, meaning a lower likelihood of global recession events. Agreement comes with cautionary insights from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which reports that while global inflation is forecast to decline steadily, global growth will slow in mature economies.  

It will be important to monitor geopolitical tensions that could create trade and supply chain issues, such as turbulence in the Middle East (e.g., trade routes being threatened by pirates and possible oil price increases). At the same time, that may be tempered by positive signs of a recent thaw in U.S.-China relations.  Even in the U.S., the results of the 2024 elections could create major changes in government oversight and policies related to taxation, business and trade regulations, etc., and have ripple effects on the financial markets.  In the end, such trends can directly affect company investments in technology and infrastructure, employment levels, aggressiveness of market expansion plans, and even access to labor in other regions and countries. Preparing HR priorities to address the impact of these on the business objectives is an essential contribution to business planning efforts.  

Labor markets

Various outlets are predicting continued strength in the U.S. labor market, with more modest gains versus the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Glassdoor projects that  the United States will finish 2023 in a strong position, with hiring to “haltingly improve” in the new year. Others see a more nuanced market, with job postings leveling off, if not declining, driven by a significant slowdown in technology and STEM-related job postings. 

Providing more insights into the predicted nuances, labor participation rates of workers aged 25-54 have risen to 20-year highs, bolstered by robust foreign job seeker interest in US-based opportunities. In fact, labor participation rates are high across the board, coupled with low unemployment rates, which is a story of optimizing the available U.S. labor pool.  That, of course, is countered by the significant impact of Baby Boomer retirement rates, which will continue to bring that overall participation rate down, which brings up the continuing saga of labor shortages.        

Those shortages are largely driven by lower birth rates that continue to be observed globally. As we previously shared in "Unleashing the Power of a Great Candidate Experience" there are only 72 workers for every 100 open jobs in the U.S. But creating even more pressure are the expected tenures of the increasingly dominant Millennial and Gen Z workforces. Recent research  suggests that the average tenure of Millenials (2.75 years) and Gen Z (2.3 years) are dramatically lower than their GenX (5.2 years) or Baby Boomer (8.3 years) peers. As a result, the high levels of job hopping that have been widely reported since the pandemic appear to be a generational issue versus an environmental one. Preparing HR priorities to address these challenges is crucial. 

Exacerbating the issue are inequalities in talent availability across the U.S. caused by socio-political wedges. Shortages in primary care and specialized physicians and nurses in rural areas of the country have been widely reported, but laws and policies related to women’s health, gun ownership/permitting, book bans and teaching/subject restrictions, and gender-based policies appear to drive college-educated professionals out  of the “red” states. For example, a survey of college faculty in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina observed a significant drop in the number of candidates per faculty position, and 67% indicated that they would not recommend their state to their peers.  This points to a significant employment branding challenge for companies in those locations that should be included in preparing HR priorities. Furthermore, college-educated workers are showing a preference for moving to “blue” states. In fact, 90% of the U.S. states that import more college graduates than they lose are blue states (except Texas), while the three states that are losing the most net population (NY, CA, IL) are still gaining the largest net number of college graduates. The pressures on companies to manage the delicate balance of such socio-political differences in workforce and employment centers are enormous and daunting.

General workplace  

Corporate policies and practices are being challenged by employees and candidates alike, so much so that a need for continuous and agile evaluation and redesign is coming to the forefront of preparing HR priorities and planning. The most prevalent of those is the hybrid workplace conundrum, with companies wanting workers back in the office while the preferences of employees and candidates overwhelmingly favor some sort of mixed workplace solution. The good news is that 77% of CHROs say  their companies will offer hybrid work somehow.  

A significant drop-off in d iversity, inclusion, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy, and personnel investments has been noted  since the pandemic - from 33% down to 27% of all surveyed companies. As that trend runs counter to employee and candidate preferences (especially those Millennial and GenZ workers), it might be seen as either a recognition of an overinvestment, a lack of measurable business impact, or a blowback from current socio-political trends and legal challenges/decisions.  

Well-being support expectations from Millennials and Gen Z workers and is a major opportunity for employers as highlighted in  "Connecting Workplace Mental Health Strategies to Business Outcomes."  These workers, who collectively make up the largest segment of the workforce, not only expect companies to provide substantial support mechanisms and programs to meet their needs but also their expectation of managerial sensitivity to their travails. Their comfort level with being open and disclosing their challenges as they arise points to a need for managerial preparation and readiness to address those. In fact, according to the Business Group on Health, 77% of large employers reported an increase in their workforce’s mental health needs this year, and another 16% anticipate one in the future.

Generative AI

The release of ChatGBT, Bard, AlphaCode, Claude, etc, have unleashed a new capability that can generate text, audio, video, computer code, and visual content. Research is finding that this has the potential to have a significant and positive impact on how work is conducted and completed, with a particular impact on knowledge work, especially in education, law, technology, and the arts. While it is still early in adoption, it is estimated that 33% of surveyed individuals say that their organizations now regularly employ generative AI in at least one of their functions. The challenge for HR teams and their companies is creating policies, procedures, and training on the technology and its various use cases that support the rapid demand curve for its adoption. Jobs will be impacted, and understanding how and where this will occur is essential.

Employee up-skilling needs

The changes that organizations are facing with talent shortages, rapid skills obsolescence, technological advances, including the adoption of AI “as co-worker”, and the changes coming in how work is completed are driving a continued need for learning and development tactics and strategies to meet the changes in business requirements giving rise to  "The Skills-based Development Imperative." Worker preferences also must be brought to bear on the subject of learning presentation and delivery – with skills-based talent management leaping into the forefront and college degrees losing relevance in hiring, transfer, and promotion decisions, fewer workers will have the same set of skills and experiences that can be handled with standardized training programs. 

At the same time, leadership and management role requirements are changing, with generational expectations, agile business methods, globalized and blended employee/contractor workforces, and rapid technology disruptions driving traditional management methods aside. In fact, leadership behaviors and Development continue to be rated as one of the highest priorities in Boston Consulting Group’s Creating People Advantage 2023 report .

Preparations for climate disasters

Regardless of one’s position on climate change, the facts support a much more volatile and damaging global environment. Companies need to be prepared to respond to the trend towards catastrophic environmental events. Governments, boards of directors, investors, and employees are asking questions about an organization’s readiness and response to natural disasters and apparent changes to global climates.  

Employee pressures to support them as natural disasters hit their communities and homes and upended their ability to work, get to their work location, have a roof over their head, have access to safe and clean water, etc.  Catastrophic wildfires in Hawaii and the western U.S., flooding in Alaska and Vermont, unprecedented heatwaves in the southern U.S., and extended droughts in the west have been followed by record-breaking rainfall and flooding in the east.  In fact in 2023 alone, according to the NOAA , the U.S. suffered over 25 confirmed weather disasters that resulted in losses of over $1 billion each.  Keep in that between 1980-2022, there were 8.1 such events per year, while in 2018-2022, the number rose to 18.1 events per year.  

The issue is not limited to the US alone – companies with global operations and supply chains had to endure historical weather and geological events in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Cataclysmic earthquakes, volcanoes and devastating rainfall and flooding are becoming annual events across many geographies.

Legislative pressures are also increasing globally, with the EU and other governments requiring companies to report on their environmental impact and meet ESG disclosure requirements.  And companies need to respond with policies that protect the health and well-being of their employees who work outside.

Group looking at HR strategies to adopt in the new year

Strategies to adopt in the new year 

Preparing HR priorities should be based on assessing the various external and internal forces expected to either support or inhibit an organization’s business plans and prospects. That said, HR leaders should become both knowledgeable and familiar with the factors that impact the business to such an extent that they become thought leaders and champions for solution sets that directly address business requirements. With that context in mind, key strategic priorities should include some of the key contributions that Wowledge has been promoting as best practices throughout the year.

Employee Experience (EX)  

Engage employees in the design and improvement of the processes that they encounter regularly, to create an environment of continuous listening and improvement.  Focus on simplifying their interactions with HR and business systems, processes, work methods, forms, and tools. Proactively engage and listen to employees’ feedback, preferences, and ideas related to how they are managed, their workplace, the teams they are on, the culture in which they operate, and the resources they access or need.

Candidate Experience (CX)

Differentiate the company from its talent competitors by creating an ecosystem that is defined by the ease with which one can access information on company direction and advances, career, development, growth opportunities, benefits of employment, etc. Develop a fast and efficient application process that provides generous insights into the tasks, teammates, manager(s), and culture one will be working with.

Hybrid Workplace

Create a solid, meaningful, and equitable work schedule and location strategy that provides freedom to work where and when it makes sense while simultaneously meeting business needs. Reconsider the traditional requirements of a five-day, onsite workweek, including the frequency of meetings and methods for managerial monitoring of individual and team contributions. Consider which departments/functions thrive and rely upon cross-functional collaboration and leverage them in joint -in-house workdays with group problem-solving, unique product/service design or delivery solutions sessions, etc. And make coming into the office a positive experience that is worth the commuting time.

Leader and Manager Effectiveness

Modernize management capabilities to manage workflows, project work, etc., through enhanced training, group coaching, etc. Help leaders better balance the need for oversight with providing worker independence and meaningfulness in their work. Address the challenges that plague many middle managers , such as stress and burnout and handling employee mental health issues. Provide them robust support for managing diverse teams, increased unionization activities, and new generation expectations for greater transparency, challenging authority, and questioning management decisions.

Reconstruct DEI Solutions 

Meet  employee and candidate expectations  in a manner that simultaneously addresses socio-political biases and leanings against the concept. Recommit to a workforce that is populated with and led by people of all backgrounds.

Employee Well-being 

Address employee well-being proactively and constructively by providing programmatic and policy support for mental/physical/financial health . Consider it both a business and employee welfare benefits priority.

Address Skill Shortages

Embrace multi-pronged strategies to deal with shortages, starting with enhanced employee development opportunities linked to forecasted business and operational changes, enhanced talent acquisition, contingent worker strategies, and programs designed to enhance employee productivity opportunities. Make investments in function or skill-specific training, development, and experiential opportunities. Create a culture of talent mobility  that actively encourages cross-fertilization and skill development. And become a champion by pushing for productivity enhancements via process improvement  and enterprise innovation strategies .

Skills-based Talent Management

Take the time to adapt to a skills-based HR concept that deconstructs jobs into their core capability elements.  Reconsider the job description and traditional college degree requirements to better articulate what is needed while opening up the labor pool possibilities. Focus learning and development on upskilling and cross-skilling employees, and embrace talent mobility to address persistent talent shortages. Adopt talent marketplace concepts and technologies as having the potential to deploy employees across traditional and outdated geographic, business unit, functional, and departmental lines. Upgrade learning to address specific skills and skill groupings, adopting supportive AI-based technologies such as adaptive learning, learning content generation, and skills testing and assessment generation.

Reconsider the HR Operating and Delivery Models

The time has come for a more agile and adaptive HR model. Start the transition by planning and developing more business challenge-tailored interactions and solutions, cutting across traditional HR organization and skill boundaries. Employ the use of HRBP’s and Organization Development (OD) specialists as problem identifiers, and organize cross-functional HR experts into SWAT teams to address issues with retention, engagement, productivity, succession management, etc. Move more administrative and repeated processes into HR shared services, where the focus should be on process automation, ChatBots, process reengineering, and personalization.

Change Management

Given all the social, environmental, economic and technological upheaval occurring, change management needs to become a core competency for HR professionals. Such change environments require businesses to embrace agility, flexibility, and adaptability as corporate assets, capabilities, and strengths. As such, Preparing HR priorities should include steps to lead the way with the ability to understand and guide an organization through changes and enterprise capability upgrades.

The list of potential strategies to consider is extensive, reflecting the intricate nature of the evolving business, technological, and labor landscapes. The right mix of strategies should be tailored to support specific business strategies, organizational context, and the unique HR-related challenges a company faces. At Wowledge, we have developed a free, intelligent strategic HR roadmap generator tool to accelerate this process. This tool connects to recommended best practices applicable based on the distinct characteristics of each business. Leveraging this free resource could be a solid start in preparing HR priorities for 2024 and beyond!

Wowledge's Strategic HR Roadmap Generator

Relevant  Practices & Tools

Core hr strategy practices to define a foundational direction for the hr function. >.

An HR Strategy defines the process of identifying business-based human resource (HR) tactics that will constitute a comprehensive multi-year approach to managing the HR function...  more »

Identifying External Supply and Talent Availability of Most Business-critical Roles. >

A key element of advanced workforce planning is the use of external data to determine current and future availability of the talent needed to fulfill a company’s strategic objectives...  more »

Laying the Foundation for a DEI Strategy that Aligns with Business Goals and Key Objectives. >

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP)  highlights the benefits an employer provides to its workers. While it enables HR work in several ways, an EVP is helpful for defining DEI strategy...  more »

Assessing the Change Impact on Specified Stakeholder Groups for Prioritizing Activities. >

Understanding how an initiative will impact the organization and specific stakeholder groups or people is key to designing effective change management strategies...  more »

The External Environmental Scan Tool: Capture and Categorize Factors Outside of the Company’s Scope Impacting its Objectives. >

This template provides a structure for identifying key external topics that should be considered in a formal analysis of the business’s upcoming challenges...  more »

About Wowledge

Wowledge is the expert-driven platform for lean teams building strategic HR programs. Members enjoy access to up-to-date best practices, step-by-step guides, tools, templates, and insights to accelerate the design and implementation of all key HR programs and processes.

Since each organization has unique characteristics, needs, and aspirations, Wowledge's practices are developed utilizing an exclusive stage-based approach – from Core to Advanced to Emerging – that reflects distinct levels of sophistication to meet our members where they are.

Build strategic HR programs with refreshingly easy-to-follow best practices.

Get started for FREE!  Learn more.

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HR Checklist for Startups: 9 Priorities That Drive Small Business Growth

hr business plan and priorities

In 2023, more than half of startups (65%) have no dedicated human resources support. That's a stark contrast to Fortune 100 enterprises, where human resources is a standard department for 100% of top companies.

For many startups, this is the result of limited resources. Founders and CEOs are faced with difficult choices, such as whether to devote resources to product development or seeking additional funding.

Yet HR is a critically important function for every business. Not only can establishing an HR department early on help your company scale effectively, but it can handle the legal and ethical challenges that are part of every workplace.

In this HR checklist, we gathered the top priorities startups should consider when building an HR department.

Free Resource: The Essential HR Checklist

Putting the right HR policies in place can help your organization grow smoothly and help your company culture thrive. Use this essential HR checklist to cover the basics and make sure there aren’t any gaps in your HR functions.

HR for Startups: Is It Really Necessary?

The simple answer is yes—no matter how big or small your company is, HR matters.

An HR department helps startups craft policies, plans, and processes to take care of short-term needs and mitigate long-term risks. Solid HR policies make for a better employee experience and limit your company’s liability.

However, creating HR policies and ensuring compliance with federal laws isn’t just about making it to an IPO or getting external funding. An HR department will help your startup:

  • Ensure ethical behavior . Emphasize the importance of ethical behavior to your employees. Unethical behavior is often a result of company culture and must be addressed by HR.
  • Comply with employment laws. For example, if your business includes remote employees in different states, you will need to know which have at-will employment laws.
  • Navigate policy changes . Reserve your company’s right to change policies whenever necessary.
  • Handle compensation and benefits administration. Your HR team should work with accounting so they can answer any payroll questions employees have.
  • Discover ground truth about company culture. HR is there to help employees in every department and needs to know what’s going on. Your HR personnel should meet and interview other employees to get a feel for the company, see different viewpoints, and gain employee trust.
  • Set goals for growth. When creating your HR plan, make sure HR and company goals align. Help set realistic HR goals that can be implemented within the first three to six months.

HR Checklist for Startups: The Top 9 Priorities

1. establish your hr department structure.

Your company doesn’t need to have a comprehensive organization plan the day you open, but you do need to have a basic HR department plan for structure and operation. This plan will act as a guideline as your company expands and will help you develop your HR department.

Unlike a 500-person enterprise, startups will likely have fewer people and resources. At a minimum, your department structure should include a strategic leader who will establish company policies and ensure compliance.

According to SHRM , companies typically handle core functions in-house:

  • Compensation and incentives
  • Employee communication plans and strategies
  • Performance management
  • Developing and implementing HR policies
  • Supporting strategic business planning

Additional HR functions, such as payroll and benefits administration, are often outsourced to third-party vendors.

2. Use a Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

HR software helps businesses of all sizes manage people analytics, performance management, onboarding, and more—but it's especially helpful for startups.

If you have limited resources for HR, an HRIS can help you introduce core HR functions into your business. We recommend investing in an all-in-one solution that makes it simple to manage these diverse functionalities. Otherwise, you'll risk burning time and money by working in disconnected systems that don't pair well together.

For example, BambooHR's software comes with built-in tools that help you track employee time, recruit new employees, manage paychecks and benefits, automate administrative tasks, and much more.

Plus, BambooHR is designed to scale with you. Companies that have 20 or fewer employees pay a flat rate, and as your team grows, we'll automatically apply volume discounts. Get a free price quote today!

3. Establish Onboarding and Recruiting Procedures

Even if your startup is small, you need to consider how to make hiring decisions. This includes where to post your job ads, how to determine who your target candidates are, and how to structure the onboarding process. Whether you’re hiring your first employee or your 50th, make sure you have the necessary paperwork ready for them.

This includes the:

  • Offer Letter
  • Employee Information for Payroll
  • I-9 Employment Verification
  • Equity Paperwork
  • Any Employment Agreements (non-compete, intellectual property, etc.)

In addition to required paperwork, consider your onboarding process for new employees. A good onboarding process sets your employees up for success from day one. Make sure you are ready for them on their first day, and use that time to establish expectations and introduce objectives. Check in regularly with your employees during their first several months and maintain open communication with new hires.

Free Download: The Definitive Guide to Onboarding

Hiring a new employee is expensive and time consuming—and what happens during onboarding can make or break long-term retention. In this in-depth guide, you'll learn actionable tips for creating better first days.

4. Comply With Health and Safety Regulations

A key point is making sure your work environment is safe for employees and meets federal and local regulations.

Your work environment must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) as well as outline policies for behaviors to stay in compliance:

  • Safety : This includes creating an emergency action plan, identifying emergency exits and routes, providing first aid and medical supplies, and keeping the work environment safe.
  • Behavior : This includes policies on equal employment opportunity in the workplace as well as sexual harassment policies.

Developing an HR department focused on creating a workplace that complies with federal regulations for compliance, safety, and health provides legal protection for your company. Regulations change often, which is where a dedicated HR team can help ensure you’re in compliance with federal and local laws.

You can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website for additional information on workplace safety requirements .

5. Set Up Processes for Payroll and Benefits

Now that you’ve created your hiring process, you’ll want to know how to keep employees with your company for the long haul. Ensuring that your company establishes competitive compensation and benefits can help you get there.

To establish these plans, you’ll need to determine what your pay structure looks like, as well as policies for vacation and sick time, retirement benefits, and what system you will use to manage payroll.

You'll want to consider:

  • Compensation Strategy : Determine a company pay structure that is competitive and fair based on an evaluation of your market. Learn how to create a competitive pay structure in a changing economy here .
  • Benefits Administration : Some benefits are voluntary and some are required by law. Voluntary benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and retirement accounts such as a 401K or IRA. Mandatory benefits vary from state to state but can include workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance. Learn more about competitive benefits here .
  • Payroll Management System : There are dozens of different payroll management systems . Payroll errors can be expensive to fix—do your research to find the best management system to fit your startup’s needs.

Compensation doesn't have to be complicated.

From tax deductions to direct deposit, BambooHR makes it easy to manage your team's total compensation in a single, centralized system.

6. Nurture Employee Relationships

In 2023, just 3% of Inc. 100 startups have dedicated DEI leadership positions, compared to 85% of enterprises. Without dedicated support and resources, many startups struggle to create and nurture an inclusive environment.

An HR department can help you establish policies before complaints occur, so you'll be ready to handle them. Prepare to address any employee concerns by outlining your business’s standard of conduct, creating a plan to address issues, and establishing a system for gathering employee feedback.

Along with addressing employee concerns, you should take an individualized approach to employee engagement to maintain relationships. Following up once a year isn’t going to cut it, and if you don’t consider employee engagement and satisfaction, you will end up with employees who are disengaged from their work. Employees need to know their purpose in your organization, find meaning in their work, and gain skills to do their jobs well.

7. Introduce Performance Management Processes

When you’re just starting up your new business, training employees and evaluating their performance may not be your top priority. An important part of setting up an HR department in a startup is making sure you are allowing employees to grow and develop their skills and providing them with appropriate feedback for improvement. This can be accomplished by keeping personnel files and establishing a performance evaluation process .

Failure to train employees may result in poor performance and loss of employees and may damage your relevance in the industry if left unchecked.

8. Prepare for Audits

Another key point to consider when detailing your HR policy is keeping in mind that you will be audited at some point. Before that happens, your HR department should establish areas to review and check for compliance, as well as ensure they meet manager and employee needs.

Key areas include:

  • Company Policies
  • Recruitment
  • Orientation and Training
  • Salary Structure
  • Employee Relations
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Safety Plan
  • Personnel Files
  • Performance Evaluations

9. Create an Action Plan

Creating a detailed action plan to implement these key points in the HR department startup checklist is crucial for getting management approval and making sure everyone is on the same page with budgets and HR actions. Management can then categorize projects by priority level and help HR create a project timeline for implementing each action.

Part of your action plan should be creating an employee handbook that details HR policies such as benefits, commitments, equal opportunity, employment practices, pay, safety issues, consequences for misconduct, and leave of absence.

This ensures employees are on the same page and aren’t confused about new policies and procedures. This will also help answer many basic employee questions that would otherwise take up valuable HR department time.

Bonus: 12 Best Practices for HR at Startups

Create an intentional company culture . Your company culture will be there whether you establish it or not. Company culture relates to the personality of founders. Think about your company personality and how it will mesh with your own personality.

Determine core values . Define your company’s core values and let HR know your expectations. A good HR department will recruit and hire new employees that reflect your company values.

Start at the top . Building a great company starts with developing and retaining top talent in leadership.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Startups pivot and change quickly. Keep your HR department simple so it can keep up and match the maturity of the organization. There’s no need to complicate things.

Match expertise with culture . Consider who you’re hiring for your HR team just as you would any other position. Hire an experienced HR professional who reflects your company culture.

Stay consistent . Your HR department should reflect your company values, mission, and vision in all of its job descriptions, benefits, and policies.

Create leaders. HR should focus on hiring great leaders that are aligned with company values and HR strategies. Great leaders train new leaders and promote success within your growing startup.

Consider the total cost . Having an internal HR department is great, but startups should consider the overall cost and determine whether HR software can help them streamline their operations and save on costly mistakes.

Create a culture of learning . HR departments that implement training programs from the get-go help create a strong company environment.

Focus your energy on your people . Processes are necessary and important, but they’re not everything. Streamlining processes can help HR departments focus on employee development and maximizing human capital.

Stay involved . Make sure you stay involved in the HR department processes. While you shouldn’t micromanage HR, you should be aware of HR operations.

Create a culture of clarity . HR can help create actions and policies that promote trust and encourage transparency in the workplace.

An Award-Winning, All in One HR Solution.

BambooHR provides a one stop shop to manage people analytics, payroll, benefits, and more. Best of all, it's easy and intuitive for busy HR teams.

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HR Strategy in 2024: Making Sure Your Priorities are Business-Led

Image of a puzzle with one piece remaining to be filled. The remaining piece has "Priorities" printed on it.

As the calendar turns to 2024 it’s tempting for HR leaders to follow the latest trends and adopt buzzworthy strategies but it’s crucial to make sure your priorities are business-led and align seamlessly with your organization’s goals. 

“To develop business-led HR strategy, HR must put their favorite HR topics to one side and open up their minds to take a completely fresh perspective,” advises Deborah Wilkes of EnableHR . “How can you successfully create a business-led people strategy for 2024? Engaging business leaders from start to finish is key.”

HR Needs to Speak the Language of the Boardroom

It’s important to remember that HR departments risk losing the support of business leaders if they fail to speak the language of the boardroom – and research shows that those making the big decisions are open to input from HR.

The reality is that the eyes of some stakeholders will glaze over when presented with an array of HR acronyms and new methodologies making it tough to bridge the gap between innovative HR practices and the tangible needs of the business.

“The good news is that 89 percent of CEOs say HR should have a central role in the business, according to new data from Accenture,” reports Forbes .

That Accenture research , however, found that only 29 percent of HR leaders today have both the profile and the right conditions to fulfill that central role in their organization.

Accenture said: “As Cisco’s Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins puts it: “CHROs (Chief Human Resources Officers) have the ability to drive a company’s growth and business outcomes by effectively using people strategy, data insights, and technology to the company’s advantage. When a CHRO is empowered to operate in this way, the result is a culture that benefits both people and profitability.”

Here are eight tactics to help make sure your priorities are business-led in 2024:

  • Ask the Right Questions

The cornerstone of any successful HR strategy lies in understanding the business’s unique challenges and goals.

HR leaders must engage in meaningful conversations with business leaders, with Wilkes saying to start with the crucial question, “What keeps you awake at night?”

This opens the door to deeper discussions about the organization’s pain points and aspirations.

Other questions that HR can ask business leaders include:

  • What specific skills or talents are we lacking in our workforce that hinder our growth?
  • How can HR contribute to enhancing employee engagement and retention?
  • Are there any emerging market trends or industry shifts that HR should be prepared for?
  • In what ways can HR support the organization’s long-term vision and sustainability goals?

Also, remember the power of “tell me more” as a potent tool.

It not only demonstrates a genuine interest in the concerns of business leaders but also encourages open communication. HR professionals should be avid listeners, seeking to uncover the challenges faced by the organization.

This approach transforms HR from a reactive to a proactive partner in driving business success.

  • Build the Relationship: Nurture Long-Term Engagement

Before diving into the creation of an HR strategy, it’s imperative to establish and cultivate long-term relationships with stakeholders.

Rushing into strategy formulation without a solid understanding of the organizational landscape and the unique needs of different departments can lead to misguided initiatives.

Engaging stakeholders in ongoing conversations fosters trust and ensures that HR strategies are not only well-informed but also well-received.

Building relationships takes time, but the benefits are immense. Long-term engagement allows HR to gain insights into the nuances of the organization, understand the perspectives of various stakeholders, and tailor strategies that resonate with the specific challenges faced by different business units.

  • Understand the Levers: Decoding Data-Driven Decisions

Data-driven decision-making is not just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental aspect of aligning HR strategies with business goals.

HR must go beyond surface-level understanding and delve deep into the business’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and critical success factors. By comprehending the levers that drive improved results in the organization, HR can develop strategies that directly impact these key areas.

Understanding the levers involves identifying the metrics that matter most to the business. Whether it’s sales growth, customer satisfaction, or operational efficiency, HR strategies should be designed to enhance these specific outcomes.

  • It’s All About the “Buy In”!

Securing and maintaining “buy-in” from key business leaders and stakeholders is pivotal for the success of HR priorities.

To achieve this, HR leaders must communicate the strategic value of their initiatives in a language that resonates with the broader organizational goals.

Ways to win and retain buy-in include:

  • Clearly articulating how HR strategies align with and contribute to overall business success.
  • Involving key stakeholders in the strategy development process, ensuring their perspectives are considered.
  • Demonstrating the positive impact of HR initiatives through tangible results and outcomes.
  • Creating a feedback loop to address concerns and adapt strategies based on evolving business needs.
  • Start with the End Game: Crafting Strategies with Purpose

The principle of starting with the end in mind emphasizes the importance of aligning HR strategies with the desired organizational outcomes.

Instead of crafting strategies in isolation, HR leaders should begin by defining what success looks like for the organization and then work backward to create strategies that directly contribute to those goals.

This approach ensures that HR strategies are purposeful and directly linked to the overarching objectives of the organization.

  • Connect HR Activities to Business Results

The incorporation of measurements and milestones into HR strategies is crucial for several reasons. It provides a framework for evaluating the success of HR initiatives and demonstrating their impact on business results.

By establishing clear metrics, HR can track progress, identify areas for improvement, and showcase the tangible value it brings to the organization.

Measurements and milestones can serve as a bridge between HR activities and business outcomes.

They also provide a basis for accountability, helping HR leaders and stakeholders understand the direct correlation between HR efforts and the achievement of organizational goals.

  • Prioritize: Decide What Can and Cannot be Accomplished

While no one likes to say “no” to requests, acknowledging the limitations of budget, time, and staffing constraints is essential for an effective HR strategy.

Rather than attempting to fulfill all demands, HR must prioritize initiatives that align most closely with the critical needs of the business.

This requires a strategic assessment of what must be achieved for the organization to succeed.

Strategic prioritization also guards against spreading resources too thin, allowing HR to focus its efforts on the areas that truly matter and deliver the greatest value to the organization.

  • Track and Celebrate HR Achievements

While measurements and milestones quantify the impact of HR initiatives, tracking and celebrating achievements serve the vital role of showcasing the value that HR brings to the organization.

Recognizing and publicizing successful HR endeavors fosters a positive organizational culture and reinforces the strategic importance of HR.

These celebrations will not only boost morale within the HR team but also communicate to the broader organization that HR is a proactive and integral contributor to success.

Ultimately, this positive reinforcement helps build a culture of appreciation for HR initiatives, strengthening the alignment between HR strategies and business goals.

2024 may be the perfect time for HR to move beyond the confines of traditional methodologies and embrace a dynamic, business-centric mindset.

Not sure where to start? Reach out to Employer Flexible today for help in making sure your HR priorities next year are business-led.

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Top 7 HR Priorities for Leaders in 2024

We’ve moved past from 2022 with a baggage of lessons learnt, a list of dos and don'ts, and strategies that shaped, strengthened and changed our workplace culture. Businesses must now "zoom out" to envisage their organisation, its difficulties and its top HR priorities for leaders in 2024.

In this article, I urge readers to "zoom out" alongside me and consider what each of the three reinvention areas: 1. Workforce, 2. Organisation and 3. HR must look like, a year from now. Take into account a.) where you want the organisation to be and b) the variables that may help or impede its success.

Later, let's zoom out the focus altogether so that you can choose a few significant initiatives that deserve to be implemented in the coming 6-12 months.

So, what should HR Professionals focus on in 2024? An organization polled over 800 HR leaders from different industries and locations to determine their objectives for the coming year. These priorities must be designed to solve short-term problems in a way that will accelerate the path to your organisation's long-term destination.

Here’s a look at the top 7 priorities for HR leaders in 2024, according to Gartner’s report.

Top 7 HR Priorities for leaders in 2024 ‍

Analysing the HR priorities for leaders in 2024 and HR trends 2024 is a critical first step highlighting the HR scenario and strategic workforce planning .

1. Redesigning Work (What gets done), Workforce (By whom), & Workplace (Where & How)

Work, workforce and workplace are the three main pillars of building a future-ready workforce.

Work : Organisations need to re-evaluate their work and work environment and ensure that they are concentrating on tasks that add value to the company.

Workforce : One must then select who or what should be the deciding factor of that specific task, while incorporating people and technology, using new contingent workforce models.

Workplace : Finally, companies must consider where and how that work will be done, experimenting with new modes of working (hybrid or remote) that build on what you've learned and experienced throughout the pandemic.

2. Training managers to lead with empathy

hr priorities 2023

Some common hurdles for managers trying to adopt empathy at the workplace are disguised beneath three attributes: Skill , Mindset , Capacity

Skill : “Empathy isn’t my cup of tea. What do I do?"

Mindset : “Why should I be responsible for supporting an employee’s personal needs?”

Capacity : “I already have enough on my plate. How will I find the time?”

As per Gartner’s research, only 44% of employees say they trust their organization’s managers to handle a crisis well. The attributes of an ideal boss or manager may be expressed into these five pointers:

  • Prioritises people over processes
  • Embraces growth mindset
  • Asks, doesn't tell
  • Contextualizes employee experience and mindset
  • Creates transparency

3. Shaping talent management around skills, not job roles

HR priority #1 for 2024: Meeting the evolving skill needs. Most organisations believe they lack the insights required to train employees in meeting the business goals. Amidst this, business need to make a difficult decision: Should you invest large sums of money today, to win the talent required tomorrow? Or should you risk competing with an under skilled workforce?

hr priorities 2023

A possible alternative:  Workforce analytics. One must seize the opportunity to learn how new tools and platforms enable a data-driven strategy, for understanding, assessing, and tracking their workforce's skills at all levels, especially as they evolve.

A Canadian Crown corporation, for instance, maximised it's efforts to meet the talent needs by leveraging an AI-based workplace analytics tool . The project enabled the Crown corporation to a) extract important insights on the future of work, b) address its changing workforce needs, c) improve visibility into talent requirements, and d) identify important skills gaps.

Also read: How Google is using people analytics to completely reinvent HR

4. Aiming for a positive change management

As per the same human resources report, 54% of HR leaders say their employees are fatigued from all the change.

Instead of constantly focusing on difficulties, the approach with organisational change must be founded on the principle of positive change. That is, HR priorities for leaders (2024) must focus on what's functioning well and what a positive, exciting vision of the future could look like. In a process like this, a big portion of the organisation is often involved in evoking visions, images, and fantasies of what is possible.

This is the first step in shifting the conversation away from setbacks ("what's wrong") toward positives ("what needs to happen" and "what should happen to support our vision") .

hr priorities 2023

5. Holding leaders accountable for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Among the top HR priorities for leaders in 2024 and HR trends 2024, the greatest challenge is to diversity the leadership bench which lacks diversity in the pipeline.

“When leaders are not held accountable for advancing DEI goals, yet are personally responsible for advancing talent, this creates a disconnect.” - Caitlin Duffy, research director in the Gartner HR practice.

Initially, the role of HR in 2024 must take a two-pronged approach to address how leaders make decisions:

  • First, organizations must redefine the criteria leaders use to make talent decisions, with a focus on eliminating bias.
  • Second, HR leaders should integrate objective data into talent processes around the decision-making moments, such as evaluating candidates for a promotion or analyzing the mental health of succession pools.

Next, the focus can be narrowed down in the following manner:

  • Create standardised procedures to track and monitor leaders' progress toward their DEI targets .
  • To incentivize individuals to take action, establish peer-to-peer leader transparency around DEI measures.
  • To ensure that leaders' success in the organisation demands them to lead inclusively, incorporate DEI measures into performance evaluation processes.

Also read : Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace

hr priorities 2023

6. Employee Experience and Wellness

The significance of employee health and employee wellbeing has been brought to light by the current outbreak in South East Asia. Finding a good work-life balance is becoming increasingly important as remote and hybrid work models become more common. Employers have seen how stress and anxiety affect production levels directly. One of your HR objectives for 2024 should be to concentrate on a more holistic perspective of employee welfare.

Make sure your workers who work from home have the necessary equipment, resources, and assistance to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Ensure that your management are knowledgeable of the risks of stress and burnout. Tracking emsployee hours and PTO is crucial for ensuring that your staff is getting the necessary rest and recovery time.

7. Remote / Hybrid Workplace Culture

This may be one of the biggest problems among all the top priorities for HR leaders in the upcoming year. If there are no in-person events, team-building activities, or talks in the cafeteria, how can you make individuals feel a part of the corporate culture? It might be challenging to foster an atmosphere where all employees feel connected and a part of the team in light of the fact that many businesses still provide temporary or permanent remote or hybrid working options. The secret is to adjust your idea of workplace culture and look for new approaches to promote teamwork. Reinforce a feeling of common purpose and remind each employee that their work is crucial to the success of the organisation as a whole. Encourage engagement and support personal growth.

A common string attached among the top HR priorities for leaders in 2024 is HR technology that impacts all the above concerns. Recently, a slew of new technologies, many of which are AI-powered, have hit the market to make the process more scientific, scalable, and efficient. Many new tools can help with targeted job advertising and expansive candidate searches.

Consider a simple scenario. peopleHum posses a wide range of AI-based evaluation system that can evaluate a wide range of human qualities and skills based and match them to the characteristics of the highest-performing people in diverse roles. Organisations like Unilever and others have greatly increased their recruitment pool by using the technology, hiring people who may not have expensive college degrees but are capable, ambitious, and ultimately successful.

This list of 7 top HR priorities for leaders in 2024 has been compiled by Gartner after surveying over 500 HR leaders, 36% of whom were Chief Human Resource Officers or Heads of Human Resources in all industries and in 60 countries. You can access the full report here .

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I was LinkedIn's first head of HR. PIPs don't work — there's a better way to help struggling employees.

  • Steve Cadigan has led HR teams at top companies for over three decades.
  • He has seen how performance-improvement plans (PIPs) often fracture relationships between managers and employees. 
  • The better alternative to PIPs allows employees to mutually agree to separate from the company.

Insider Today

Over the past three decades, I've witnessed various approaches to performance-improvement plans (PIPs) as an HR executive across five different industries and three countries.

Often, the traditional approach to PIPs — slapping them on employees who are underperforming without offering sufficient support — can feel punitive rather than constructive to many employees, fostering an environment of fear and mistrust.

But PIPs often fail to achieve their intended outcomes for a variety of reasons — from inadequately prepared managers to breakdowns in communication between managers and employees to subjective judgments of performance .

In my experience, the primary reason for the failure of PIPs lies in the irreparable fracture they create in the relationship between the employee and manager. Once the PIP process begins, this fracture in trust is seldom repaired. The atmosphere becomes palpably tense, and trust begins to erode.

PIPs lead to an irreparable fracture in the relationship

Recent stories of employees feeling unfairly targeted and demoralized and complaints of mishandling of PIPs have illuminated the complexities and challenges inherent in performance management.

These stories serve as cautionary tales, highlighting the potential pitfalls of traditional PIPs and the need for organizations to rethink their approach to managing underperformance.

Even if an employee successfully meets the objectives outlined in the PIP, the underlying tension and strain on the relationship often persist, adversely impacting productivity and morale not only for the manager and the employee, but for the entire team.

Related stories

I've rarely seen managers more tense than when addressing a PIP. These conditions don't set the stage for a productive process. At their core, PIPs should reflect an organization's commitment to achieving high performance. They should identify areas for improvement, set clear expectations, and provide a roadmap for progress.

A better approach involves choice

From 1998 to 2004, I was an HR executive at Cisco Systems, where I encountered a novel approach to the traditional PIP process.

Prior to my arrival, Cisco had recognized that something was broken in the PIP process. The HR team conducted a thorough analysis of PIPs across the company and made a fascinating discovery: most individuals placed on a PIP left the company within a year , regardless of whether their performance improved.

They spoke with many of the employees who survived their PIP and improved their performance yet still chose to leave, and the story they heard had a similar refrain. The employees felt their managers did not really support them, they no longer felt they were in a safe work environment, and many felt humiliated and deeply hurt by the process.

Looking at the data and listening to employees, the HR team developed a new approach that involved choice. Employees who were not performing to an acceptable level were offered two options:

Enter a PIP and try to improve, or

Mutually agree to separate from the company and receive more severance than they would if they failed the PIP.

By presenting employees with this alternative path, Cisco empowered them to make decisions aligned with their personal circumstances. This approach also alleviated stress for managers, enabling them to focus on other priorities. The conversations became more constructive, and employees appreciated being given a choice rather than feeling cornered into a dead-end PIP.

Challenge conventional practices

In the years since leaving Cisco, I've introduced this alternative approach to other organizations, contributing to healthier cultures and more constructive environments .

Performance evaluation is inherently subjective, and no process can eliminate all conflicts or unexpected reactions. However, offering employees a choice rather than a one-way ticket to a PIP can lead to more positive outcomes and healthier work environments.

As HR professionals and organizational leaders, it's our responsibility to challenge conventional practices and explore innovative solutions. By rethinking performance management and embracing alternative approaches, we can create a culture of trust, transparency, and continuous improvement where both employees and organizations thrive.

Steve Cadigan is a talent advisor to leaders and organizations around the world. He specializes in helping firms build talent strategies for the modern workplace.

Watch: Jill Kramer, CMO of Accenture, says disability inclusion should be baked into creative briefs

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  • PRA 2024/25 Business Plan

Embedding competitiveness and growth

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The PRA's latest Business Plan , covering 2024/25, was published on 11 April. The programme of work is intended to maintain the resilience of the UK's banking and insurance sectors and deliver against the same four strategic priorities as last year. The key areas of focus, as expected, are financial and operational resilience, enforcement policies, and diversity and inclusion. Emerging risks called out include the financial risks of climate change, the impacts of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and digital money and innovation.  

There is nothing inherently new or surprising in the Business Plan for firms as it follows relatively soon after the 2024 supervisory priority letters for international banks , UK deposit takers and insurers . However, it is interesting to note the PRA's ongoing concerns about the potential impacts of NBFIs on financial stability and its continuing ambition to become a more dynamic and responsive regulator. 

Competitiveness and growth

This will be the first full year in which the PRA operates under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA 2023), which expanded its rulemaking responsibilities and gave it a new secondary growth and competitiveness objective (the SGCO) in the UK. A significant portion of the plan considers how the PRA will balance the SGCO with its primary commitments to safety and soundness of the banking and insurance sectors. 

The following key initiatives underpin the PRA's work to promote UK competitiveness and growth:

  • The 'Strong and Simple' (SDDT) regime  — simplifying regulatory requirements for smaller, non-systemic banks banks and building societies, in order to reduce compliance burdens without compromising on robust prudential standards.
  • Reforms to bank ring-fencing  — following the independent Skeoch Review .
  • The 'Solvency UK' reforms of insurance capital standards  — aiming to reduce bureaucracy in the regulatory regime, while allowing insurers to invest in a wider range of productive assets.
  • Insurance special purpose vehicles (ISPVs)  — consulting on reforms to allow a wider range of transaction structures in the UK regime, improve the speed of the application process, and clarify expectations of UK insurers who cede risks to ISPVs.
  • Improvements to the authorisation processes  — building on progress in improving the speed and efficiency of authorisations. Also, introducing a new 'mobilisation' regime to facilitate entry and expansion for new insurers from 31 December 2024. 

Strategic Priorities

The PRA's four strategic priorities (SPs) are to:

  • Maintain and build on the safety and soundness of the banking and insurance sectors and ensure continuing resilience.
  • Be at the forefront of identifying new and emerging risks, and developing international policy.
  • Support competitive and dynamic markets, alongside facilitating international competitiveness and growth, in the sectors that it regulates.
  • Run an inclusive, efficient, and modern regulator within the central bank.

SP1 — Maintain and build on the safety and soundness of the banking and insurance sectors and ensure continuing resilience.

Financial resilience priority areas for banks include:

  • Basel 3.1  — implementation is due to start in 1 July 2025, with a transitional period of 4.5 years to 1 January 2030. This is in line with the previously communicated timeline. The second near-final policy statement, on the remaining elements of credit risk, the output floor and Pillar 3 disclosure and reporting requirements, will be published `in due course'.  The PRA expects both sets of near-final rules to be made final later in 2024, once the relevant parts of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) have been revoked.
  • Stress testing  — in 2024 the Bank of England (BoE) will carry out a desk-based exercise, supported by the PRA. The BoE and PRA will also review and update the framework for concurrent stress testing. Stress tests based on firm submissions will resume in 2025.
  • Exposures to non-bank financial institutions (NBFI)  — particularly private equity financing and private credit — the PRA will look for further improvements in firms' ability to identify and assess correlations across financing activities with multiple clients. 
  • Model risk management (MRM)  — banks are expected to embed and implement the expectations set out in SS1/23 which takes effect on 17 May 2024. The PRA will also focus on the `hybrid' approach to mortgage modelling, the IRB repair programme and continued assessment of the adequacy of post-model adjustments (PMAs).
  • Liquidity risk management  — the PRA will follow up on how firms are responding to lessons learned from market events. It will continue its engagement on authorised firms' access to the BoE Sterling Monetary Framework and monitor closely how how firms consider changes in depositor behaviour and future changes in bank funding and liquidity conditions.
  •   Credit risk management  — focus will be on the evolution of credit risk management practices, whether they can be `robust and adaptable' in changing conditions, whether there is appropriate consideration of downside and contagion risks, and firms' monitoring and planning for the impacts of customer refinancing. There will be a thematic review of smaller firms' credit risk management frameworks. The PRA will monitor changes to firms' business mix and credit exposures and exposures to vulnerable segments (e.g. cyclical sectors, key international portfolios, and traditionally higher-risk portfolios such as buy-to-let, credit cards, unsecured personal loans, small to medium-sized enterprises, leveraged lending, and commercial real estate). It will also continue to assess whether the policy framework for trading book risk management, controls, and culture is adequate, robust and accessible. 
  • Capital  — the PRA will review its Pillar 2A methodologies once the Basel 3.1 rules are finalised and aims to consult on proposed changes in 2025.
  • Securitisation regulation  — simultaneously with the FCA, the PRA will publish final rules to replace or modify the relevant firm-facing provisions in the Securitisation Regulation and related Technical Standards. It also intends to consult on draft PRA rules to replace firm-facing requirements, subject to HMT making the necessary legislation. 

Financial resilience focus areas for insurers include:

  • Solvency UK implementation  — the PRA is consulting on how to transfer remaining Solvency II requirements from assimilated law into the PRA Rulebook. It will also streamline internal model and matching adjustment approval processes, supported by the establishment of dedicated, specialised teams, and publication of templates to facilitate firms' implementation of new requirements. 
  • Matching adjustment (MA) reforms  — publication of final policy in June 2024. The bulk of the reform will take effect at end-June, with the remainder on 31 December 2024. This staggered approach is in response to insurers' concerns about ability to produce attestations in time for mid-year results. The PRA will also explore creating 'sandboxes' to allow for either self-certification or further expansion of MA-eligible assets.
  • Single regulatory reporting insurance taxonomy  — this will be published in Q2 2024, followed by industry roundtables to support implementation by year end.
  • Stress testing  — the next stress test will take place in 2025. This will be the first time that the PRA publishes the individual results of the largest annuity-writing firms and the first time an exploratory scenario will be included to assess exposure to the recapture of funded reinsurance contracts. In 2025, the PRA will run its first dynamic stress test for general insurers — details will be published in 2024.
  • Cyber underwriting risk  — there will continue to be supervisory focus on cyber exposure. The PRA is monitoring the risk landscape, including contract uncertainty.
  • Model drift  — in 2024, the PRA will address perceived systemic trends that may weaken the robustness of internal models across the market as a whole, and continue to address firm-level model drift.
  • Funded reinsurance  — this continues to be a key policy and supervisory area of concern. In 2024, the PRA will finalise and implement its policy expectations. Assessing resilience of funded reinsurance arrangements is also part of the 2025 life insurance stress test.
  • Impact of claims inflation  — the PRA will continue to monitor data throughout 2024 to assess if further work is needed.  Concerns remain around optimistic assumptions.
  •   Liquidity risk management  — following market events, the PRA will develop liquidity reporting requirements for insurance firms most exposed to liquidity risk. 
  • Credit risk management  — as insurers' exposure grows, the PRA will monitor how firms' credit risk management evolves as a result. Areas of focus are concentrations in exposure to internally valued and rated assets.

Other regulatory reforms:

  • Operational risk and resilience  — the PRA will continue working with the FCA to assess firms' progress on their ability to deliver important business services within defined impact tolerances during severe but plausible scenarios (no later than March 2025).
  • Critical third parties to the UK financial sector  — the PRA will continue working with other authorities to develop a final policy and oversight approach in 2024 on CP26/23 (Operational resilience: critical third parties to the UK financial sector).
  • Review of enforcement policies  — following the principles of PS1/24 (Bank of England's approach to enforcement).
  • Diversity and inclusion in PRA-regulated firms  — the PRA will continue industry engagement and provide a further update in due course.

 SP2 — Be at the forefront of identifying new and emerging risks, and developing international policy

The PRA will continue to use its horizon-scanning programme to focus on:

  • International engagement and influencing regulatory standards — participating actively in bodies such as the BCBS, IAIS and FSB.
  • Promoting supervisory co-operation  — via colleges and existing memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
  • Overseas bank branches — consulting on targeted refinements to its approach to banks branching into the UK, reflecting lessons from the failure of SVB.
  • Operational and cyber resilience  — continuing its work on the G7 Cyber Expert Group and other similar bodies.
  • Managing the financial risks of climate change  — publishing thematic findings in 2024 on banks' processes to quantify the impact of climate risks on expected credit losses and commencing work to update SS3/19.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning  — the third joint PRA/FCA survey on machine learning in UK financial services will be conducted in Q2 2024.
  • International policy on digitalisation  and managing associated risks.
  • Digital money and innovation  — continuing to work with HMT and the FCA on issues such as a regulatory regime for crypto-assets, and wholesale payments/ settlements and their interaction with retail payments.

SP3 — Support competitive and dynamic markets, alongside facilitating international competitiveness and growth (in the sectors that it regulates)

In addition to the areas mentioned above, the PRA will focus on developing proportionate and efficient prudential requirements including:

  • Regulatory change  — embedding its approach to rulemaking, using its new powers under FSMA 2023 to repeal and replace assimilated law relating to financial services. 
  • The Banking Data Review  — intended to reduce the burden on firms by focusing our data collection on the most useful and relevant information.
  • Ease of exit  — the policy statement on solvent exit planning for insurers is expected in H2 2024.
  • Remuneration reforms  — the PRA will consult on any changes in H2 2024.
  • Changes to the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR)  — consulting alongside HMT and the FCA on proposed changes in H1 2024.
  • Improvements to the PRA Rulebook and Cost Benefit Analysis  (CBA) framework. 

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hr business plan and priorities

  • Government efficiency, transparency and accountability

GLD Business Plan 2024–25

This business plan outlines the range of high-profile and complex legal work that will form GLD's delivery priorities for the coming year.

GLD Business Plan 2024–2025

PDF , 2.33 MB , 11 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

This business plan outlines the range of high-profile and complex legal work that will form GLD’s delivery priorities for the coming year. It sets out how we plan to meet the ambitions in our new strategy and play our part in leading on wider government priorities such as Civil Service Modernisation and Reform.

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