The Best HR Goals to Set

by Jackie Lohrey; Updated September 26, 2017
Businessman Wearing Headset in the Office

A human resources strategy should link to your business’ overall strategy and long-term objectives. The “best” HR goals are purposeful, value-added solutions that change as your company grows and evolves. Getting the most value from these goals requires that the HR department transition from its traditional role as a support function into a strategic business partner. Doing so allows HR to set big-picture goals and actionable objectives that support the business.

Strategic Goals

The best strategic goals directly support the company's mission statement. For HR, these goals often focus on finance, talent acquisition and employee training and development. Finance goals are quantitative and should work to decrease expenses or increase the return on investment. Examples of talent and training goals might be to reduce turnover rates by 10 percent over the next 12 months, recruit and retain top talent, and support employee talent development through online training programs, mentoring and job-shadowing, and regular performance management.

Operational Goals

HR operational goals typically focus on responsibilities such as communication and assessment. The best goals support managers and day-to-day business activities as they relate to the overall operational strategy. For example, if part of a long-term business strategy is to maintain a positive company culture, an HR operational goal might be to implement an employee recognition program that rewards or recognizes employees for outstanding performance. A goal that aligns with increasing productivity might be to decrease absenteeism rates via a wellness program.

Company-wide Goals

Achieving company-wide goals often requires participation and a buy-in from employees at all levels. These include federal and state regulatory compliance, emergency response situations and problems or issues within the workplace that require immediate attention. HR goals that can support company-wide objectives might be to monitor, issue updates and provide training on new or revised compliance regulations as soon as they become available; encourage employees to come forward with complaints and respond with timely feedback; and promote a safe work environment with on-board and ongoing safety training.

Conflict Resolution Goals

HR often serves as a mediator in employee-manager conflict situations. The best conflict resolution goals not only determine how HR will manage competing personalities in the workplace, but also provide for diversity training and for improving communications and conflict resolution skills. In addition, conflict resolution goals should address change management, which often is the root cause of conflict within a business. For example, a goal might be to be transparent and timely in communicating organizational changes.

About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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