3 Things Every HR Program Needs

Written by Raul Pereyra HR Pro|Human Resources Consultant

This is the most important sentence: Your Human Resources department must align its programs and services with the mission and business objectives of the organization and understand the role that company culture plays in the planning, implementation, and utilization of programs and services.

So, there you have it. You’re welcome.  

Ok, enough games. Let’s jump into the practical.

Your Human Resources Department is responsible for delivering many programs and services such as:

  • Recruitment and Onboarding
  • Benefits Management
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee Leaves of Absences
  • Recognition Programs
  • Training and Development

With so many responsibilities, how does HR do it? How can you make sure that your programs are successful? And what does success look like?

Now, we could get down and dirty with a deep dive into strategic planning and metrics, but then it wouldn’t be fun (or practical and easy to remember). What follows is a simple guide you can use to make sure your programs have the best chances for success.

Here’s the short version: You need a clear destination, a leader, and a way to measure success.

One: A Clear Destination

This is by far the most important part of your process for delivering HR programs and services that meet your needs.  You need a clear destination: goals and objectives.

Strategic planning involves asking these four questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get there?
  • How will we know if we are on track toward our intended destination? 

The “where are we now” question is really about assessing your current situation. “Where do we want to be?” is all about setting your goals – creating a clear destination. The “how do we get there” question speaks to your objectives, the clear action steps you will take to get to your destination. Finally, the “how will we know if we’re on track toward our intended destination” question is about measuring success – what does success look like?

When you answer those four strategic planning questions, you’ll have a clear picture of your destiny.

To create a clear statement that describes your destination, you need to ask: what is the goal of the program or service? What do we want people to get out of the HR program we’re planning to implement? What’s the purpose of the program?

Use SMART Goals to create a clear destination. SMART Goals are:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Achievable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound 

Here’s an example of a clear destination using SMART Goals for the HR Program, “Benefits Management:”

To achieve our goal of delivering benefits people need, we will conduct a utilization review to make sure benefit offerings are relevant, setting milestones for program roll-out, and achieving 85% enrollment by the end of Open Enrollment, November 2021.

Two: A Leader

The role that leadership plays is critical to the success of your HR program or service. You need support for your HR initiatives from the top-down.  

This piece is almost obvious, but most strategic HR programs fail because there’s a lack of leadership buy-in or leadership direction. You are left second-guessing and disagreeing on the best direction you’d like to take. Your HR director (no blaming or shaming here) needs to be involved – they need to provide direction and get their hands dirty. He or she needs to articulate a clear path forward and help you navigate the resources required for the implementation of your programs.

The leader is your cheerleader – or coach – the one who keeps you on track with your goals and objectives. The one who sees the big picture and breaks down the roles and responsibilities of the HR team.

The leader is the person with authority – someone who can decide on matters of great significance, the one who has authority over budget, and a liaison between the HR team and the CEO and other leaders. The role of the leader is important to help you foster buy-in for your program and to ensure there’s a smooth roll-out with maximum participation from executive staff and department heads.

Of course, your leader should inspire and motivate you for success. Choose your leader wisely.

Three: A Way to Measure Success

This piece can be intimidating. But it shouldn’t be if you remember to keep it simple and ask the following questions:

  • What does success look like?
  • What are people saying, doing, feeling?

Go ahead, be creative with your answers to the previous questions and you’ll be surprised at how easy you can measure the results and success of your programs.

If you want to get more formal, then by all means: create an evaluation plan to help you measure success. Your plan should establish how you monitor and evaluate your program. Include how you plan to get feedback for improvement and how well goals and outcomes of the program are being met and how it’s meeting its intended purpose.

Here’s a typical “template” you can use to evaluate your efforts. A spreadsheet template is a good way to track your program evaluation and may include the following data fields:

  • Objective: To achieve 85% enrollment in company-sponsored benefits during Open Enrollment.
  • Outcome Performance Measure: Enroll 85% of eligible employees in company-sponsored benefits. 
  • Question(s): Has the program achieved desired results? What benefits are more successful than others? How did our Open Enrollment roll-out contribute to these numbers?
  • Data: Review the benefit application numbers and the number of staff who participated in our Open Enrollment workshops and meetings. 
  • Who and When: John and Mary are responsible for compiling these numbers by December 2021.

Be Practical

At be the change HR, Inc., we’re intentional and practical with everything we do. So, we encourage you to do the same with your HR programs and services.

Gather your troops and stakeholders and spend a good amount of time establishing a clear destination. You need to have crystal clear goals and objectives. Leadership must be involved from beginning to end. When you have buy-in, your chances of success increase, big time. Finally, be intentional in what you measure. What matters to you – what is it that you want to measure? Why is this measurement important? How will this help you improve your programs or services?

If you follow these 3 things, then every HR program you do will have a purpose and be successful. And when you’re done – celebrate! You deserve it!

If you’re looking to hire a new employee in California and don’t know what’s needed, we can help! We have a few resources that you can utilize, we have A Step By Step Guide to Hiring Your First California Employee and New Hire Forms available on our website.

Another good resource to help you is Us! You can reach out to us here.


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