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HR Policy vs HR Strategy: What to Know as an HR Manager


Enable Group | Sep 21, 2022

For Employers ● 3 min read

HR professionals today must know how to balance the requirement for speed with the need for thoughtful, strategic decision-making. They also require a deeper understanding of industry trends and their implications on HR functions and human capital strategies. And that’s just scratching the surface. The role of HR professionals is evolving faster than we can interpret them. Keeping track of all these changes isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for your professional development.

While HR outsourcing services in Singapore can help with this aspect, what else should be considered? To assist you, we’ve compiled a modern-day HR policy vs HR strategy guide – so you can become a strategic, process-driven operator who understands what matters in this ever-changing world of work.

HR policy vs HR strategy

HR policies are guidelines that govern employee behaviour and work practices. They can be as simple as a dress code or salary requirements or as complex as employee training programs or onboarding procedures. The company’s senior leaders typically mandate HR policies to oversee employee behaviour and manage legal risk.

By comparison, HR strategies are long-term plans that aim to maximise the company’s human capital. They’re frequently aspirational but may also be highly tactical – and they’re virtually aimed at attaining specific business goals.

In essence, HR policies assist managers in managing their teams. HR strategies assist them in running the business.

Which comes first: HR policy or HR strategy?

Many HR professionals begin by creating an HR policy manual. This is an excellent first step, but keep in mind that your HR policy is constructed on top of your HR strategy. When developing an HR strategy, there are two questions to consider. First, you must determine your company’s goals. This is the “what” question: What do you hope to accomplish? Second, you must decide how you will attain your objectives. This is the “how” question: How will you do it?

Why does HR need a strategic plan?

HR policies, in and of themselves, aren’t strategic. They often contradict one another if they’re not founded on a unified, consistent strategic approach. If you adopt an employee engagement strategy while creating a rigid employee handbook or performance evaluation procedure, you’re sending inconsistent signals and undermining your efforts. You can unite and standardise your approach by developing an HR strategy tied to your company and its long-term business goals. Employees, managers, and the company as a whole will benefit from this consistency.

The importance of culture in your HR strategy

It’s critical to remember that culture and strategy are inextricably interwoven. In reality, culture is essential to HR strategy. How do you want employees to feel about their work? What do you want them to do? What do you want them to value daily when they come to work?

These are components of your company’s culture. They’re also the elements that will drive your strategy forward. As a result, cultural strategy is the most significant component of your HR strategy. It will dictate how you hire, onboard new workers, develop employees and retain employees. It will also determine how employees are compensated, who is promoted, and how staff are let go when necessary.

Which talent is most important? Which skill should be invested in?

There are two types of talent in any organisation: strategic and operational. Strategic talent is the top talent closely related to the company’s business goals. Operational talent is everything else – the people who keep the lights on and those who are essential to the company’s everyday operations but have no direct impact on business goals.

Because talent acquisition costs are so high in today’s market, it makes sense to direct the bulk of your financial investment towards strategic talent. This encompasses IT, engineering, sales, and product development talent. However, it also comprises talent from all business areas, such as HR, finance, sales, and legal.

What’s next for organisational growth and development?

HR’s function is rapidly changing, but it’s not going away or becoming less crucial. Rather, it’s expanding to encompass new areas and responsibilities. As technology evolves and becomes more automated, HR becomes increasingly vital in assisting people in navigating that transition and understanding the repercussions.

HR is also getting increasingly intertwined with corporate strategy. As businesses grow more data-focused and analytics become more intimately linked to day-to-day operations, human resources become a more critical component of corporate strategy.


HR professionals must do more than just stay on top of compliance concerns. They must be strategic, business-oriented decision makers who grasp their role in the larger scheme of things. The first step towards this goal is to develop a strategic plan that connects your HR strategy to business goals.

Consider outsourcing your HR functions to ensure the smooth operation of your business’s HR department. As a reputable HR firm in Singapore, Enable Consulting offers strategic HR consultancy and outsourcing services to help companies to grow and flourish. With a team of experienced HR consultants by your side, you can focus your attention on growing your business and ensuring its success. Drop us an email today to start discussing your company’s needs.

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