HR Goals and Business Objectives: The Ultimate Guide

HR Goals and Business Objectives

Fostering a healthy company culture is the main function of human resources. To that end, HR professionals outline key performance indicators and objectives to support the company further. If you’re an HR professional looking to learn about SMART goals in HR, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more!

What are HR objectives
What are HR objectives?

What are HR objectives?

While HR departments outline internal goals, the company expects the department to meet certain expectations. An HR objective is the latter; upper management informs HR that certain objectives need to be addressed for business success, and HR devises policies to meet them.

What are examples of HR objectives?

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, some examples of HR objectives are:

  • Smooth on-boarding for new hires
  • Employee retention
  • Conducting a regular employee engagement survey
  • Provide employees with avenues for career development
  • Save costs and cut down expenditure
  • Maximize hiring effectiveness

While looking at this list, it might cross your mind that these aren’t very explicit goals for human resources. There’s a certain amount of vagueness about the desired outcome. This is because a company usually looks at the big picture and isn’t so concerned with the “nitty gritty” of the situation. It’s not about “how” the goal of HR is to meet it somehow.

What is a good goal for HR?

Now that we know what sort of goals upper management would prioritise, let’s look at some good human resource goals for HR professionals.

  • Increase the amount of positive employee feedback received
  • Prioritise diversity during talent acquisition
  • Flexible work schedules to improve company culture
  • Introduce more team-building activities
  • Enact a thorough hiring process with detailed background checks

Now compare this list with the previous one. There’s a clear difference in how the two outline goals. While the business goals were vague, the HR goals weren’t. There’s a certain clarity of purpose, and one can roughly determine the desired outcome.

So the upper management will share the overall plan, and HR will define clear tasks to achieve the goal.

Why is it important to set HR goals?

HR goals make it easy to track progress across the entire organization. As mentioned above, businesses need to meet their targets, and HR exists to translate those goals into actionable plans.

At the heart of every HR department should be HR managers that want to create a healthy work environment for the company. And from a practical point of view, this means ensuring business objectives are met without wasting company time. Keeping employees satisfied is a convenient method for optimising productivity and ensuring successful retention.

Adding onto this idea, effectively monitoring employee performance for promotions and appraisals is the best way to keep your team members motivated.

If the upper management wants more senior resources, HR can rely on their performance monitoring and assess if any existing employee can be considered. This would be a cost and time-effective way to achieve the HR goal.

Plus, effectively tracking employee progress will be able to quickly provide a list of candidates (if any are viable).

What are your future goals as an HR employee?

The main focus for any HR leader is to scout the best workers and enact talent retention policies for long-term business growth. Having top talent in place can boost productivity and encourage prospective new hires to apply for job postings.

Mental health is also becoming an increasingly important topic for HR managers. Many experts in the field are devising strategies to encourage employee satisfaction.

This can include a monthly meeting, personal development programs, 4-day weeks (for a healthy work-life balance), etc.

The current landscape of HR goals is all about valuing the worker and their work environment. When creating your own future goals, make sure they are valuable additions to current employees.

In the past, some HR policies included not making personal phone calls at work or taking lunch breaks at one’s desk.

One can still enact those policies, but they’ve proven ineffective and inhumane. As time goes on and more research is conducted into the workplace, it’s become clear that supporting a team member will yield significantly better results than penalising them.

What are your future goals as an HR employee
What are your future goals as an HR employee?

What are SMART goals in human resources?

SMART goals are an extremely popular method for outlining objectives practically. It’s an approach used in various disciplines, but SMART goals for HR can be very powerful.

They make it possible to assess every angle for the task at hand. They also enable HR managers to make informed decisions about their policies instead of relying purely on instinct.

SMART is an acronym which stands for the following:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Timely

Each letter corresponds to some aspect of the human resource goals you have in mind. By accounting for each factor, you can outline some very impactful goals for your team.

What are the 5 SMART goals?

Now that we’ve been introduced to the concept, let’s dig a little deeper. We’re going to go over each of the goals individually.

With each step, we’ll also be fleshing out examples of SMART goals for human resources. In this way, you can see how the goals of HR can be developed into an actual plan. So, let’s get started!

What are specific goals?

Over here, specific is meant to refer to an explicit goal. It can’t be vague or abstract; it needs to be clear and have some direction.

Specific goals for HR professionals would then be: to increase employee engagement on surveys. It wouldn’t be a specific goal if we left it at employee engagement. This is because, in and of itself, engaging employees can refer to multiple things.

It’s necessary to point out the goal’s main subject. Without that clarity, it can be very challenging to follow the next steps.

What are measurable goals?

Measurable goals are those that have some key metric or performance indicator. Some aspects of the goal should be quantifiable as data. This is so that results can be assessed and compared with previous statistics.

Let’s build on the previous example, which seeks to increase employee engagement on surveys. This goal would become measurable by assessing how many employees engaged with the survey before and after the policies were enacted.

If the previous quarter indicated that only 40% of employees took part in surveys, it means that the next quarter needs to show a bigger number by comparison.

What are achievable goals?

Arguably, it is the most simple one. These are attainable goals which aren’t impossible to achieve. Adding to the survey example, it wouldn’t suit the SMART goals criteria to expect 100% engagement.

While some businesses expect magical results overnight, pursuing these objectives in a rush can be detrimental to company culture and growth. Staying reasonable is key to finding successful results.

What are realistic goals?

Realistic goals are somewhat similar to achievable ones at a surface level. But in actuality, they’re a bit more focused.

A realistic goal is one that is aware of the current state of affairs and outlines a realistic increase or decrease depending on the situation.

For our survey example, this would go from 40% engagement to 45%. A number that marks improvement but isn’t overly ambitious either.

While the previous step looks at whether progress can be made, this step adds a specific figure which will frame the results.

What are timely goals?

HR managers need to have grounded expectations. This means allowing ample time to enact policies and carry out administrative tasks. To that end, a goal must be time-bound or restricted to a certain period.

Using the survey example, let’s fully flesh out this SMART goal. It would be “increasing employee engagement by 5% in the next quarter.”

The time-bound aspect is limited to the upcoming quarter, so it’s easier to analyse the results afterwards.

How can HR benefit from SMART goals
How can HR benefit from SMART goals?

How can HR benefit from SMART goals?

SMART goals in HR provide a level of convenience and practicality. Human error can result in missing certain things, but relying on models like SMART goals ensures that all factors are 9632000considered.

This can be within the HR department itself or for their fellow coworkers.

How do HR departments benefit?

Within their own department, HR managers can comfortably evaluate employees and their level of satisfaction. Not only that, but project management also becomes a lot easier.

In trying to create a positive work environment, HR managers can get a big-picture view through SMART goals in HR.

How do other coworkers benefit?

The employee experience is supported in a variety of ways. One of these is HR can help any team member set their own personal SMART goals.

Aside from that, it becomes easier to address feedback shared by employees. Not only does this support employee retention, but it also keeps them satisfied. A workforce that feels “seen” and “heard” will likely value their workplace more.

This can even be taken further to develop training programs to inspire and empower employees further.

What are the most popular HR goals in 2022?

Remote work and shorter work weeks are the most popular goals for HR professionals in 2022.

More businesses around the world are adopting these human resource goals.

There are a few reasons, such as the lockdown proving that remote work is feasible. In addition, many businesses have recorded increased productivity by encouraging remote work.

Shorter work weeks are also gaining popularity in some parts of the world. The UK is itself in the process of formally legalising a 4-day work week.

With some of the most recent trials being conducted in October 2022. This clearly indicates that more businesses need to think beyond company time for increased productivity.

What about having a diverse workforce?

This is also one of the most popular goals in the realm of HR. It continues to be an ongoing development and has seen significant improvement recently.

Diversity and inclusion should be at the forefront of the hiring process, but this isn’t quite as new to the conversation as remote work or shorter work weeks.

Take away

If we want to summarize a set of HR goals in a list, that could be this one.

  1. Automate anything that can be automated.
  2. Reevaluate and revamp core values.
  3. Focus on lowering the turnover rates.
  4. Help your team members learn.
  5. Definitely prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  6. Think again about what employee benefits should be.
  7. Reduce administrative tasks time to (almost) zero.
  8. Make the work environment a happier place.
  9. Don’t stop flexible or remote working.
  10. Adopt and implement a wellness scheme for employees.
  11. Focus on how to engage employees.
  12. Experiment with different interview styles.
  13. Improve your feedback quality methods and processes.
  14. Never stop learning.
  15. Speed up onboarding.
  16. Last but not least, adopt and implement support for mental health.

Book a 30-minutes discovery session and discuss your goals and needs with us.

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