Where to focus – HR Strategic initiatives or HR Tactical initiatives?

HR Strategic initiatives or HR Tactical Initiatives

One of the top discussions that create a lot of buzz in today’s HR world revolves around the debate of where HR should focus more – HR Strategic initiatives or HR tactical initiatives? As far as I am concerned, there is not even an iota of doubt as to where the focus should be. But before we delve more into this question and arrive at a conclusion, let us first understand what we actually mean by Tactical and Strategic HR.

HR Strategic Initiatives

HR Strategic initiatives are those initiatives / activities that consider people as its primary assets and define plans in such a way that we use these assets in the most appropriate manner in order to achieve the organizations’ business goals or objectives. Strategic HR takes a more proactive stand and understands the organizations’ business plans well, and formulates HR plans such that they are in alignment to the organizations’ business plans. Having said this, we all now know that for HR to be effective and to have a business critical impact, the focus should be on strategic HR.

HR Tactical Initiatives

HR Tactical initiatives / activities signify more routine and operational activities that enable normal and smooth functioning of day to day operations in an organization. Such activities are more focused internally and benefit specific individuals or groups of individuals within the organization. However, if we lose focus on these essential activities, there is nothing but trouble ahead. It is crucial that these activities function seamlessly for the organization to  move forward harmoniously every day.

The balancing act:

Although it is evident that the focus should be primarily on HR Strategic initiatives, the key is to also not lose focus on the tactical activities of HR. A typical Strategic initiative would be to put the necessary process and systems in place in order to ensure that the tactical activities happen flawlessly so that HR can focus more on strategic planning.

The balancing scale:

Should there be an equal balance between both?

The answer is “NO”. The degree of focus should certainly be more on strategic HR but what ought to be the percentage of focus should be defined based on your organizations needs and priorities and where you stand today as an organization in ensuring the seamless function of tactical initiatives so that you can free the HR mind to start thinking strategically. The earlier you adapt to this mode of operation, the sooner you will be able to easily realize business objectives.

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