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HR Strategy Examples to Empower Your Employees

Have you ever wondered how companies like Apple and Google keep their employees so engaged and motivated? Spoiler alert: It all boils down to having a solid HR strategy. 

HR strategy is like a game plan for managing a company’s most valuable asset—its people. It guides businesses in handling everything related to their employees. Today, talent is a key differentiator. So, having a good HR strategy can make or break a company. 

But what is HR strategy all about? It’s not just ticking off checklists for hiring, engaging, and managing performance; it’s about how you attract top talent, help them grow, keep them happy, and, ultimately, drive the company forward. 

So, it’s essential for the Human resources department and business leaders to understand HR strategy and why it’s crucial. 

In this detailed guide, we’ll discuss 20 successful HR strategy examples that can transform your workplace from “meh” to “amazing”.

We’ll also cover the key components of a successful HR strategy, how to overcome its challenges, and meet your strategic objectives. Get ready to take notes and see how you can make your company a place everyone wants to work at!

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What Is an HR Strategy?

HR strategy is a set of workforce practices or steps an organization takes to evaluate, understand, and manage its people better. It contains initiatives and plans designed to align HR practices with the overall business objectives, ensuring that the workforce contributes effectively to the company’s success. 

Essentially, HR strategy is a guiding framework that enables businesses to leverage their human capital efficiently, driving organizational growth and sustainability.

It’s all about setting clear objectives and then figuring out the best way to use and develop your team to meet them. 

HR strategy vs. people strategy 

While both have overlapping functions, HR strategy and people strategy are slightly different. 

HR strategy focuses more on the administrative and logistical side of human resource management—hiring, training, payroll, and performance management are some components of an HR strategy. 

People strategy takes a broader view, looking at how your workforce fits your overall business strategy. It’s about nurturing your employees and building policies to ensure that your employees are happy and growing both personally and professionally.

Let’s break it down to differentiate between the two easily.

HR StrategyPeople Strategy
ObjectiveIts main objective is to ensure that all HR processes run smoothly and efficientlyIts main objective is to keep the goals of its employees in alignment with the overall goals of the organization
ApproachAddresses immediate HR issues and needs; is reactiveAims to foresee and solve future HR problems, needs, and opportunities for business growth; is proactive
FocusAdministrative functions such as hiring, payroll, and complianceEnhancing employee engagement, development, and overall organizational culture
Success metricsEmployee turnover rate
Cost per hire
Net Promoter Score
Training costs
Employee retention rate
Employee satisfaction
Employee productivity levels
Rate of absenteeism

In other words, HR strategy is like the engine that drives your people management efforts, while people strategy is the big-picture plan that ensures your workforce is aligned with your company’s objectives.

None of this happens by accident—it’s all part of strategic management, where you constantly evaluate and adjust your approach to ensure you’re heading in the right direction. 

In HR, you’re not just dealing with day-to-day tasks like hiring and training; you’re also shaping the future of your organization’s workforce. So strategic planning and management help HR professionals anticipate changes in business and talent needs and align HR practices with long-term organizational goals.

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Key Components and Types of an HR Strategy 

Understanding the different components of human resource strategy is the first step in strategizing. Let’s go through each one.

Employee retention strategy

The average cost of hiring a new person in 2023 was $4,700. That’s just one of the reasons why retaining your employees should be an important component of your strategic HR plan. This component focuses on building strategies to keep valuable employees within the organization for the long term. 

Identify factors contributing to employee turnover and implement initiatives that enhance employee well-being, job satisfaction, career development opportunities, and work-life balance.

Tip: Employee mentorship programs for new hires showcase that an organization values their employees’ career growth, building a sense of belonging and brand loyalty among employees.

Onboarding strategy

A clear onboarding process helps your new hires better understand the organization and set expectations accordingly. It also ensures that new employees are smoothly integrated into the organization, setting the stage for their success. 

An effective onboarding strategy involves providing comprehensive orientation, clear job expectations, and support systems to help new hires quickly adapt to their roles and the company culture.

Tip: Create an onboarding checklist that includes introducing new hires to key team members, providing an overview of company policies and procedures, and assigning a buddy or mentor (as companies like Netflix and Microsoft do) to help them acclimate to their new role and environment.

Compensation and benefits strategy

Competitive compensation packages and attractive benefits lead the way to attracting and retaining top talent. If you don’t offer them market-standard compensation and benefits like a hybrid work model or wellness days off, chances are that your competitor might.

For better employee engagement and loyalty, conduct market research, benchmark salaries, and design benefits programs that align with employee needs and organizational goals.

Tip: Offer benefits such as health insurance, mental health days, retirement plans, and wellness programs to make your employees happier.

Performance appraisal strategy

This component of HR strategy aims to evaluate your employee’s performance systematically and fairly. It involves setting clear performance expectations, providing and receiving regular feedback, and conducting performance reviews to recognize achievements and identify areas for improvement. 

Providing constructive feedback and recognition of achievements during these discussions fosters continuous growth and development.

Tip: Implement a performance management system that includes regular check-ins between managers and employees to discuss goals, progress, and areas for improvement. It could be through peer assessment, 360-degree appraisal, self-assessment, or a combination of the three. Find what works for you and your employees.

Remote work strategy

Remote work and global teams have become a reality for many, like for us at ClickUp. It is the future of work. Organizations need HR strategies to effectively manage their remote teams and maintain productivity. 

This means establishing clear communication channels, providing remote work tools and resources, and cultivating a remote-friendly culture.

Tip: Use collaborative tools such as video conferencing software, project management platforms, and cloud-based document-sharing systems to further seamless communication and collaboration among teams worldwide. Have daily team syncs to maintain accountability and momentum.

Employee engagement strategy

An engaged employee is a happy employee. And a happy employee is a productive employee. 

Employee engagement HR strategies focus on creating a positive work environment where employees are motivated, committed, and aligned with organizational goals. 

It includes promoting open communication, recognizing and rewarding achievements and milestones, and promoting opportunities for growth and development.

Tip: Organize regular team-building activities, such as offsite retreats, virtual happy hours, and volunteer events, to strengthen relationships among team members. Recognize employee contributions through awards, bonuses, or public acknowledgments.

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20 HR Strategy Examples to Consider in 2024

Let’s explore the best HR strategy examples that you should consider implementing in 2024:

1. Flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours or remote work options, are an HR strategy example for allowing employees to balance their work and personal responsibilities better. 

Example: Deloitte’s work-life integration program offers flexible work schemes that enable their employees to work from home, plan their work hours, or reduce their work portfolio for a limited time in case of a personal emergency.

Such flexibility has been proven to increase productivity, improve job satisfaction, and reduce stress. 

2. Remote work policies

If you work with global or remote teams, it’s best that you establish and implement clear guidelines and expectations for those employees. 

Remote work policies aid strategic workforce planning. They allow employees to perform their jobs well by defining clear expectations and providing necessary resources and support.

Example: You can develop a remote work policy that states expectations for communication, productivity, protocols, and work hours and provides resources and support for remote employees.

3. Diversity and inclusion initiatives

With global teams on the rise, you may have to work with a diverse set of colleagues from all across the world. Diversity and inclusion initiatives aim to create a more equitable workplace where all employees feel valued and respected. 

By encouraging an inclusive culture, organizations can tap into the unique and innovative perspectives and talents of a diverse workforce. 

Example: The American tech company Intel incentivizes employees by doubling their referral bonus when they successfully refer people from underrepresented groups.

You can also implement unconscious bias training programs to help employees recognize and mitigate biases in the workplace.

4. Employer branding initiatives

Have you seen Life at Google videos and posts by Google employees and wondered, “I too want to work at Google!”? Well, that’s their brilliant employer branding strategy at work! 

Employer branding is one of the best ways to ensure that your talent pipeline never runs out of top talent.

Build and promote a positive employer brand by promoting employee achievements, office events, or off-sites on your social media channels or website blog. This is the easiest way to showcase your employee-focused company culture, attract the best talent, and enhance your organization’s reputation. 

Example: You can showcase employee testimonials and success stories on the company website, participate in industry events and job fairs, and leverage social media to highlight company values.

5. Employee referral programs

Salesforce organizes something called Recruitment Happy Hours. These are informal get-togethers where employees are urged to invite the people they want to refer to their organization. 

This is a great way for recruiters to meet and get acquainted with potential candidates. Not only that, but it can also help team leaders see whether the candidate will fit in with the team and the culture of the organization.

Employee referral is a great method of quickly filling vacant positions. It incentivizes current employees to recommend qualified candidates for open positions within the organization. By tapping into their networks, employees can help identify potential hires who fit the company culture and the job requirements.

Offer monetary rewards or other incentives for successful employee referrals and promote referral opportunities through internal communication channels. 

6. Candidate experience enhancement

How you treat your potential employees says a lot about how you treat them. Candidates notice how much attention you pay to the candidate experience during the hiring process.

To deliver an exceptional candidate experience, you must communicate clearly, respect your candidates’ time, and ensure a smooth application process. Provide detailed information about what to expect at interviews and follow up regularly.

Provide timely feedback to candidates at each stage of the hiring process and ensure that interviews are conducted professionally and respectfully. Inform the candidate regardless of whether they got selected.

7. Cross-functional collaboration

It is said that if you combine the knowledge of all the employees working in any organization, you can potentially solve all their challenges!

Cross-functional collaboration means engaging in teamwork and information-sharing across different departments and teams. It involves breaking down silos and encouraging employees from diverse backgrounds to work together toward common goals.

Encouraging collaboration and knowledge-sharing across different departments and teams drives innovation, improves problem-solving capabilities, and enhances an organization’s overall performance.

8. Reskilling and upskilling

In response to rapid technological advancements and evolving job roles, HR departments must prioritize reskilling and upskilling initiatives to ensure that employees have the necessary skills to thrive in the future workplace. 

Introduce skill development programs to allow your employees to acquire new skills and knowledge relevant to their roles and career aspirations. 

ClickUp regularly hosts Lunch and Learn sessions where employees voluntarily come together during their lunch break to learn about a specific topic. 

These sessions are casual and informative gatherings in the workplace or a nearby cafe where your team can bond, develop professional skills, transfer knowledge, and share information with teammates.

Investing in employee development benefits both you and your employees. It enhances individual performance, strengthens the organization’s talent pipeline, and encourages healthy competition among team members. 

For example: Buy online learning platform subscriptions, offer tuition reimbursement, sponsor further education, or conduct workshops on relevant topics for employees who want to learn and enhance their skills.

9. Reverse mentorship programs

Yes, you heard it right. In this strategy, you pair senior leaders with junior employees for reverse mentoring. Junior employees share their expertise on topics such as technology, social media, or industry trends, while senior leaders provide guidance and mentorship on leadership and career development. 

This encourages knowledge-sharing, builds relationships across different generations in the workplace, and promotes a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

When Pershing implemented the reverse mentorship program, they experienced a 96% retention rate among millennials in their organization simply because they felt valued and could network with many experienced leaders in the organization.

Example: Invite volunteers to host a monthly or bi-monthly knowledge-sharing session with their mentees, during which they address any questions on a pre-decided topic. 

10. Gamified employee training and development

Training and development lessons can seem like a waste of time or be boring for some. To increase participation, enhance employee training and development programs with gamification techniques, such as interactive quizzes, challenges, and simulations. 

By incorporating elements of gamification, such as rewards at the end of each module, competition for who finishes first, and progress tracking on a leaderboard, organizations can increase engagement, motivation, and retention of training content. This will also lead to more effective learning outcomes.

11. Leadership development

Leadership development means identifying and nurturing high-potential employees for future leadership roles. Instead of hiring someone new when a leadership position is vacant, plan and start training promising employees to take on those responsibilities when need be. 

By investing in leadership development and succession planning initiatives, you can ensure a steady supply of qualified candidates to fill key positions. 

12. Variable pay 

Implement variable pay programs, such as performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing, or commission structures, to reward employees based on their individual or team performance. Tying compensation directly to performance outcomes incentivizes high performance and drives employee motivation. 

It can also align individual goals with organizational objectives. Variable pay programs can be particularly effective in sales roles or other performance-driven environments where employees directly impact business outcomes. 

13. Employee wellness programs

Employee wellness programs promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being in the workplace. By offering resources and support for your employees’ health and wellness, you can improve employee morale, engagement, and productivity. 

Example: Implement wellness challenges, provide access or subscriptions to fitness facilities, and offer mental health resources to support your employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Take the example of Nike. From customers to employees, Nike promotes mindfulness and wellness for all. They offer a range of benefits and programs to support the emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing of their employees and their families.

They offer 20 free therapy and coaching sessions and a range of meditation, mindfulness, and caregiving resources to employees and their family members. They also promote sports by providing employees free access to Nike Sports Centers, wide-ranging fitness discounts, comprehensive preventive programs, healthcare, and family-building benefits.

14. Employee recognition programs

Acknowledge and celebrate employee achievements, milestones, and contributions to encourage a culture of appreciation. Recognizing employees’ efforts and accomplishments boosts morale, engagement, and retention. 

Your employees will love seeing their efforts and hard work recognized, appreciated, and rewarded.

Example: Introduce an ‘Employee of the Month’ award and gift winners with extra paid time off or discount cards, host recognition events, or provide personalized thank-you notes or social media shout-outs.

15. Flexible sabbatical programs

Your employees need flexibility from you. Whether it’s remote work, hybrid work, holidays, or communication—your employees need you to trust them and give them some flexibility at work.

Offer flexible sabbatical programs that allow employees to take extended leave for personal development, travel, or pursue passion projects while maintaining job security and benefits. 

By providing opportunities for rejuvenation and self-discovery, flexible sabbatical programs can improve employee wellbeing, creativity, and job satisfaction. This ultimately benefits both the individual and the organization.

Example: Offer extended sabbaticals to loyal and hardworking employees in times of need, or sponsorship or visa to employees who want to pursue higher education abroad.

16. Transparent communication practices

Sharing information openly and honestly with your employees boosts their trust and improves engagement. 

By keeping employees informed about company goals, decisions, and changes, you can empower them to understand their role in the overall success of the organization. It pushes them to work diligently and makes them feel like a part of something big.

Example: Conduct regular town hall meetings, share financial performance updates, and solicit feedback through anonymous employee surveys.

17. Continuous feedback

Honest and constructive feedback is important for employees to understand expectations and identify areas for growth. Build feedback mechanisms to provide ongoing feedback to employees to support their growth and development. 

Establish regular channels for communication and feedback among peers, managers, and leaders to facilitate open dialogue among teams and continuous improvement. 

Example: Conduct regular check-ins between managers and employees, use feedback tools, templates, and surveys to gather input, and provide constructive feedback in real-time.

Take a look at this employee from Netflix who only had praise for the way Netflix operates. They emphasize the importance of offering regular informal feedback loops between managers and their juniors. They also have 360-degree reviews only once a year. 

18. Agile performance management

Agile performance management ditches the old, rigid annual review system for a more dynamic approach that includes frequent feedback and flexible goal-setting. Set regular review meetings to discuss and realign priorities and expectations. 

This allows organizations to respond faster to changes and give employees timely input so that they can course-correct in case something is not working out well.

Example: Replace annual performance reviews with quarterly or monthly check-ins. Set shorter-term goals aligned with organizational priorities and focus on continuous improvement and development.

19. Employee exit interviews and feedback

Just like a job interview, an exit interview is equally important! Employee exit interviews are confidential and are conducted by HR teams to gather feedback from departing employees about their experiences, reasons for leaving, and suggestions for improvement. 

This feedback provides valuable insights about employees and their expectations, office policies, and what is and is not working. This can help you identify your areas of strength and opportunities for improving HR policies and practices.

20. Data-driven HR decision-making

By analyzing workforce data, organizations can gain valuable insights into employee trends, behaviors, and performance. This enables them to make informed decisions that drive organizational success. 

Using workforce analytics, you can track key metrics such as employee turnover rates, engagement levels, and performance metrics. By identifying trends and patterns in the data, you can pinpoint areas of concern and develop targeted interventions to address the issues. This helps them build informed strategies, policies, and initiatives.

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Adopting HR Strategies: Overcoming Organizational Hurdles

When you decide to implement these HR strategies, you may encounter hurdles that impede your progress. Overcoming these challenges requires a disciplined approach to workforce management and a strategic focus on talent acquisition and talent management. 

Importance of discipline and workforce management

Without a structured approach to managing employees and their activities, even the most well-crafted HR initiatives may fail to achieve their intended outcomes. Effective workforce management involves establishing clear policies, procedures, and performance expectations, focusing on accountability. 

By prioritizing discipline and workforce management, organizations can ensure alignment between HR strategies and operational objectives, ultimately driving sustainable business success.

Employee resource groups

Additionally, employee resource groups (ERGs) are crucial in overcoming obstacles and implementing the best HR strategies. These voluntary, employee-led groups unite individuals with shared characteristics, interests, or experiences, providing a platform for networking, support, and advocacy.  

ERGs promote diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement, cultivating a sense of belonging and community among employees while serving as valuable sources of feedback and insight for your HR department.

For instance, Starbucks supports military families who are going through relocation by providing a centralized service that connects employees and their families to Starbucks opportunities as part of its transfer policy. Starbucks also provides personalized mental health support to its Veteran partners and their families. 

Talent acquisition and management in HR strategy

Talent acquisition and management influence the organization’s ability to attract, retain, and develop top talent. Effective talent acquisition requires a well-thought-out approach to sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding candidates.

Similarly, talent management involves nurturing existing employees’ skills, capabilities, and potential through performance management, training, and career development initiatives like the ones mentioned above. 

By prioritizing talent acquisition and management in HR strategy, organizations can build a high-performing workforce that drives innovation, growth, and competitive advantage in the marketplace.

HR planning and talent management tools like ClickUp offer templates to help you build roadmaps to plan and manage your HR functions. 

ClickUp’s Strategic Roadmap Template, for example, helps you map out SMART HR goals and long-term objectives.

Track task progress and get everyone on the same page—all in one place on ClickUp’s Strategic Roadmap Template

Use it to:

  • Identify and prioritize your most important initiatives
  • Align your departments and teams on objectives
  • Standardize your assessment process

It saves important information about each project with its custom attribution fields, such as Duration Days, Impact, Progress, Ease of Implementation, and more.

This strategic planning template provides all the tools and visuals to help your team prioritize tasks, optimize collaboration, and achieve success. 

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Role of Strategic Tools in HR Planning

Human resource planning tools offer valuable insights and capabilities to organizations to implement such HR strategies. 

We’ll briefly talk about two key tools that play a significant role in this process—Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and Objective Key Results (OKR) frameworks, alongside performance indicators—to track the progress of implementation.

Enterprise resource planning in human resource strategy

ERP systems streamline HR processes by integrating various functions of an organization, such as payroll, recruitment, training, and employee management, into a unified platform. 

ERP software makes reporting easier and more customizable. In the context of HR strategy implementation, ERP systems provide real-time access to critical candidate or employee data, enabling you to make informed decisions, identify trends, and align HR initiatives with organizational goals. 

This improves human resource productivity and completes processes and projects faster.

OKR and key performance indicators (KPI)

OKR frameworks are powerful tools for setting and tracking goals within an organization. By defining clear objectives and measurable key results, OKRs provide a framework for aligning individual and team efforts with strategic priorities. 

In the context of HR, OKRs help establish actionable targets for key HR initiatives, such as employee engagement, talent development, and diversity and inclusion. 

On the other hand, key performance indicators, such as employee turnover rates, productivity metrics, and satisfaction surveys, offer important insights into the effectiveness of HR strategies.

ClickUp’s Human Resources platform simplifies all of your people management processes, from recruitment and talent development to onboarding and employee management.

ClickUp’s Human Resources platform
Organize, track, and manage people operations with ClickUp’s Human Resources platform

The HR platform allows you to:

  • Assign specific tasks to HR team members, managers, and new employees to simplify your day-to-day tasks. With 15+ customizable ClickUp Views, organize your HR tasks easily and align your team with organizational goals
  • Integrate with any of your existing HRMS software to deliver a seamless experience
  • Create detailed onboarding checklists for new hires to ensure all necessary tasks and paperwork are completed on time 
  • Set up automated reminders for important tasks like training sessions, equipment setup, and paperwork submission with ClickUp Automations

ClickUp helps you save time by offering a variety of free HR templates, employee handbook templates, custom statuses, and automations to move candidates through your pipeline for you.

For example, ClickUp’s HR Knowledge Base Template is an easy-to-use template specifically designed to be the hub for all company policies, procedures, and regulations. 

Any time you need to access company policies or related data, you can log in to ClickUp and access it. There’s no need to go to your HR and wait for them to find it for you!

Improve accuracy and consistency in information dissemination in your organization with ClickUp’s HR Knowledge Base Template

Having a centralized HR knowledge base that can be accessed anytime takes the burden away from the HR to store and remember it. You can easily manage and store all the information you need in one place.

Create custom fields for leave policy, training and onboarding, compliance, and employment policy, and stay current in case of policy changes.

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The Future of Human Resource Strategy

The field of HR strategy is evolving rapidly, driven by a shifting emphasis on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and forward-thinking planning. The newer generations want to work for ethical organizations and make a positive impact. Incorporating CSR principles into HR strategies fosters ethical business practices and strengthens your organization’s reputation. 

Setting clear goals and strategically planning for future HR needs is essential for staying relevant and ahead of your competitors. By aligning HR initiatives with long-term objectives and using HR software such as ERP systems and OKRs, organizations can effectively address any emerging challenges and capitalize on new opportunities. 

The role of technology looms large in shaping the future of HR strategies, enabling automation, data-driven decision-making, and enhanced employee experiences. Embracing innovative HR technologies and AI-led HR tech tools will be key to driving efficiency, agility, and competitiveness in the future. 

So, sign up for ClickUp and use its customizable HR tools and templates to create an effective strategy today!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is an example of an HR strategy?

An example of an HR strategy is implementing a flexible work arrangement policy to improve employee work-life balance.

2. What are the 4 HR strategies?

The four HR strategies are: 

  1. Talent acquisition
  2. Employee development and retention
  3. Compensation planning
  4. Succession planning

3. What are the top 10 HR strategies?

The top 10 HR strategies are:

  1. Talent acquisition and management
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Diversity and inclusion programs
  4. Performance management systems
  5. Learning and development opportunities
  6. Compensation and benefits strategies
  7. Employer branding
  8. Workforce planning and forecasting
  9. HR technology adoption
  10. Change management strategies

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