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For improving the effectiveness of the people resource, people are to be aligned to the mission, vision , strategic goals and the processes. People are to integrate with the organizational culture. In case they do not integrate then they will be frustrated in no time. Further, it is very important to match the ability of the people with the requirements of that process to which they are attached. Regardless of the organizational structure, people are to be attached to those processes which they understand, they have qualification and skills needed for the process and where they can contribute based on their experience and knowledge. But the above criteria are not the only considerations. In many cases, people can be trained for the intricacy and specifics of a job, provided they have the basic skills needed and the right attitude for the learning. If they do not have the right approach and personal culture, it is much more difficult to teach them to be friendly to customers, cooperate with their team mates and accept change.
Another important aspect of people strategy is that the organization cannot afford to ignore the fairness in its decision making. Equal opportunities regardless of race, sex, creed or colour are required to be given while managing its people. It is always in the interest of the organization to ensure fairness and transparency when dealing with its people since it minimizes suspicion, envy and the consequential loss of motivation amongst the people. There are six basic components of a people strategy. These are principles, policies, plans, processes, programmes, and parameters of success. Principles lead to policies. For fulfilling policies there are processes which are to be planned and which are to be supported by programmes. Successful implementation of processes and programmes helps the organization to achieve the parameters of success.
People strategies cannot be common to different organizations though they aim to establish best practices in each of the human resource (HR) policy area. There is no one single type of people strategy that is coherent with the HR policies and practices which can be adopted off the shelf by an organization seeking excellence. Each organization has to develop its own people strategies and manage its people more strategically following six basic components of the people strategy. A successful people strategy has three dimensions. They are namely (i) vertical alignment, (ii) horizontal alignment, and (iii) the action dimension.
Vertical alignment is the alignment of people strategy with the organizational goals. The people strategy of the organization must suit the environment under which it is operating. The key issues are the organizational goals and strategies. In order to play a strategic role in the organization, the policies and practices that make up the organization’s people strategy of the organization are to reflect, reinforce, and support the organizational aims and objectives. A strong linkage is needed between the overall vision of the organization and the aims, objectives, and underlying philosophy of the organization’s approach to managing people. This linkage ensures that people strategy interventions can become a creator, and not an inhibitor, of sustained competitive advantage. This link between people strategy and the organizational strategy is termed as the vertical alignment. This alignment allows for variation and flexibility and not just mechanical matching between the organizational strategic objectives and people strategies. Vertical alignment process is evolved based on an understanding of what the organizational goals are, the people implications, and the translation of these into an overarching people strategy that can be used as a basis for detailed policies.
Horizontal alignment is the internal alignment between the set of policies making up the people strategy. Vertical alignment though a crucial dimension of a people strategy, is not sufficient. The horizontal alignment operates at the level of individual policy areas. The aim here is the achievement of a coherent and consistent approach to managing people that permeates the entire activities of the HR function and other organizational functional areas. This is carried out at the policy level, not the practice level. This distinction is important, since putting people strategies into action is a separate dimension. Achieving a high degree of horizontal alignment implies that the organization has embraced the value of developing and articulating clear people related policies that consistently relate to one another. At a more fundamental level, the organization is able to communicate consistent and reinforcing messages to employees.
The third dimension is action or implementation of the people strategy. It is the degree to which the policies are enacted and put into practice. It is judged by the employee experience and the management behaviour and values. The vertical and horizontal dimensions are not sufficient unless the policies framed under people strategy are put into action with all seriousness only then the results are obtained in the area of people management. This requires a comprehensive measuring and monitoring system besides the complete involvement of the top management. The action dimension results into the people experiencing the benefits of the people strategies.
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