10 Questions for your HR planning this year

The early part of the year is often taken up with planning. Very soon after that we get caught up in what we think is our normal business. Towards the end of the year we'll wonder what happened and find out that much of what we planned just didn't eventuate.

There is a fair chance that the reason it didn't happen is a people problem. Someone shouldn't have planned it in the first place, no one was given responsibility to make it happen, someone was supposed to do it but no one followed through, someone did it and got it wrong or there was just nobody there in the first place to do what we all thought was a great idea.

Making plans happen is really what management is all about and a large part of this is getting the people side right. So where do we start?

Examining our strategic plans is a good start – provided they have been completed and documented. If this hasn’t happened then going back a step or two is necessary. Working on plans for the people, or any other function, is really not possible unless you know where the organisation is heading and what the key corporate objectives are for the year. 

And then, just as a business will typically do the finance planning, the sales planning or the marketing planning for the year ahead, it’s essential that you consider HR planning; do you have the resources and skills available to achieve your strategic objectives? And if not, what’s your plan to plug the gaps? Whose name is written down to go off and execute?


Here are some key questions to ask yourself. These all form part of Horizon’s HR planning process.

1.     Jobs: Do we have the right jobs designed with key results areas and measures of success defined?

2.     Numbers: Are there enough people to fill the jobs?  

3.     Knowledge: Do the people know how to do the jobs required?

4.     Experience: Is there enough at the required level? 

5.     Skills: Are additional technical skills required?

6.     Competencies: Do our people have the right combination of knowledge, skills, aptitude and motivation?

7.     Management Styles: Is the current management style suitable for what has to be achieved?

8.     Location: Are the right people in the right place? Can some people be moved if needed?

9.     Conditions: Are people on appropriate terms and conditions (contracts) to provide any required flexibility? Are pay and benefits (including any incentives) correct?

10.  Other: Any other people related obstacles or challenges?


Business Benefits

Investing just as much time and energy in planning for human resources as you do in financial resources will make life more enjoyable for everyone AND help ensure those strategic plans are realistic and achievable. If people know what needs to be done, understand who’s accountable and have the skills and experience to do it, this will help ensure your strategic plans can be executed successfully and at the end of the year, you’ll have some progress to report.

If everyone in your organisation knew what to do and did it, what difference would that make to you? Consider investing some time to make this happen. It is possible, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. 

If you’d like some more information on how Horizon can help ensure your HR plans are clearly developed and linked to your strategic objectives please get in touch. You’ll also find some outlines for the HR and Strategic Planning Workshops Horizon offer here.