Five HR Strategies Every Employer Should Consider

Five HR Strategies Every Employer Should Consider

At Alternative HR, we work with lots of small employers. Most of our clients have anywhere from a handful of employees up to several dozen employees. But the truth is, most of them have little to no human resource strategies and plans in place when we start working with them.

What is very apparent is that this lack of intentional HR focus eventually creates problems with morale, productivity, retention and profitability.

Based on our experience, here are 5 HR strategies that can make a powerful, positive impact on your organization:

  1. Identify the CULTURE, or work environment, you want to create.

A key question we ask clients is this: Is the culture you have, the culture you want? If it is, let’s reinforce it. If it’s not, let’s identify changes we need to make.

Culture is a difficult recipe to perfect. It includes your mission, vision and values. It includes the leadership style you and your team practice. It includes your internal communications and your operational processes and practices. It includes your people and how they interact. Those ingredients, and others, create your work environment, and the reputation you have earned.

What is your culture goal, and what is your culture strategy?

  1. Envision the TALENT/TEAM you want to assemble.

Even as a small organization, in today’s market, you better have a strategy and a plan for finding talent, for hiring and bringing them on board, for growing and nurturing them, and for getting them and keeping them engaged in your business.

For most businesses, hiring is a reactionary event. You have a need – frequently a sudden need – to fill a position, so you jump into action.  Instead, this ought to be part of a planned strategy, determined well before the need arises.

Are you really planning for the next people on your team, or are you reacting to the most recent termination?

  1. Establish a COMPENSATION & BENEFITS philosophy.

Your comp and benefits become an important part of your overall strategy, of your culture, and of your ability to attract, hire and retain. But most employers don’t have a plan, so their philosophy, by default, becomes “Let’s get what we can for the least amount of money.”

Your compensation and benefits not only impact your culture, they influence your competitive positioning in the marketplace, and are a huge factor in attracting and keeping the people you need.

Where do you want to be positioned in the marketplace? What will you need to offer to attract the people you need?

  1. Develop a PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT system that will grow your people.

You can love or hate performance reviews, and that’s fine, but you need something in place that will elevate performance, that will help your people excel, that will cause you to stand out among your competitors.

Frankly, it’s not that difficult, but it does not come naturally to most entrepreneurs, executives, department heads or line managers. You need systems in place to identify and communicate expectations and outcomes, to develop individual and team skills, to provide feedback, and to measure and celebrate progress.

What growth and development is needed for your team to excel?


Lots of business owners and execs shake their head over what seems like over-regulation. Argue the point all you want, but compliance needs to be a priority for you to be competitive in the long run. What we see as a recurring problem, though, is that smaller employers don’t have anyone keeping an eye on employment laws and regulations. They don’t know what they don’t know, and are caught unaware when a problem is uncovered.

Having the right resources in place, including legal, financial, IT, and HR, helps you prepare for and respond to issues that may arise.

What are your organization’s primary risks? How confident are you in your compliance with state and federal employment laws?

More common, but less effective small business strategies include: “Let’s wing it!” or “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” or “Yes, but what are the odds we’ll get caught!”

Whether you work on these strategies on your own, or solicit outside assistance (we know a great HR management and consulting firm that can help, by the way), here are more questions to ask in each of the areas listed above: “What is the current state of our organization? Is this where we want to be? How can we do better?”

Establishing HR strategies is not easy, and it’s not a quick fix. They need to be well thought out, well planned and carefully executed. The advantages, though, of establishing key objectives for improvement, can have a profound, positive impact on your organization.

For help setting your HR strategies, give Alternative HR, LLC a call at 1.888.335.8198 or e-mail