Strategic management and organizational development are interconnected processes since leaders often need to elevate organizational performance, culture, and potential in order to fulfill the selected strategic goals. Human resources management plays an important part in organizational development. First, HR specialists have an in-depth understanding of the organization they work in and the problems it faces, and thus, they can become strategic leaders by providing advice and direction to the management. Secondly, the HR department can assist organizations in implementing strategic management processes by engaging in organizational development, planning change implementation, and supporting employees in fulfilling their potential.
Thirdly, the knowledge and experience of HR workers enable them to analyze various organizational factors that have an influence on the company’s strategy, including workforce, performance, culture, and more. Finally, HR departments can implement organizational development and change processes required to achieve strategic goals in a way that minimizes resistance and ensures employee commitment. All of these roles are evident in my work as a school support team leader, and the present paper will discuss these aspects of my work in detail.
Personal Role as a Strategic Leader
To qualify as a strategic leader, a person that fulfills some job position should be able to influence or implement his or her organization’s strategic vision. At the same time, being tasked with performing functions that have to deal with the representation of companies’ strategies and key values also enables an individual to act as such leaders. To a great extent, I unlock my potential in strategic leadership by working in the human resources department of my organization.
Based on modern researchers’ findings, HR-related activities are inextricably connected to the process of strategic decision-making (Zhao et al. 258). By performing their everyday work-related tasks, HR specialists use knowledge and professional intuition to “attract, retain, and develop employees,” thus contributing to the development of new strategic initiatives and goals (Zhao et al. 259). Therefore, being responsible for the quality of the workforce, HR specialists facilitate the realization of strategic initiatives.
My position is the school support team leader, and my duties involve dealing with timekeeping and attendance issues, salary cuts, resignation and retirement requests, and workplace conflicts. My organization includes over 16000 teachers from all over the globe, which requires me to have an excellent understanding of organizational theory, culture, teamwork, development, and performance. Because the field of education is influenced by a variety of factors, such as culture, politics, research, and economics, entities working in education need to maintain a strategic focus to adapt to frequent changes in the environment. Therefore, as part of my job, I also engage in strategic management and organizational development.
The strategic management process in my organization consists of four key steps, and I participate in each one of them. Firstly, my organization uses analysis in order to identify factors in the internal and external environment that could affect the strategy and its implementation. Here, my primary duty is to help analyze the internal environment by assessing workforce needs, motivation, conflicts, culture, and other related factors. Secondly, at the strategy formulation step, I present my findings and advise strategic decisions that could help to improve human capital and develop the potential of individual employees and teams.
The third step is strategy implementation, during which action is taken to ensure that the organization can achieve its strategic goals. At this stage, I assist in fulfilling various human resources initiatives and interventions, including training, restructuring, coaching, and other related activities. Lastly, during strategy evaluation, I help to collect information on HR-related strategic performance and present it to the management. All in all, my input assists in tailoring the strategy to the needs and capacity of the workforce and supporting successful strategy implementation.
Decision Categories in Strategic Management Process
Based on the nature of the strategic management process in my organization, there are five categories of decisions that have a direct influence on it: strategic, tactical, operational, leadership, and group decisions. Strategic decisions are at the core of the strategic management process because they are usually used during strategy formulation. Strategic decisions draw on the analysis of internal and external environments in order to set organizational goals and direction. Strategic decisions need to take into account both the status quo and the potential for development, so that goals set can be realistic. Additionally, it is essential to consider whether or not the organization has the necessary resources to reach a specific goal, as this would help during the later stages of the strategic management process.
Tactical decisions consider the objectives required to reach strategic goals. In my organization, this category of decisions is applied during both strategy formulation and implementation, and it can also be used to correct the strategy if something is not working as expected. Tactical decisions focus on policy changes that have to be made in order to achieve a particular strategic outcome, and thus, they support strategy implementation.
For instance, a decision to use compulsory annual training designed to enhance employees’ teamwork capacity is a tactical decision. In this case, it could help to achieve the strategic goal of improving performance and organizational culture. Tactical decisions in my organization are usually made by higher-level managers, but middle management can impact them by providing information and suggestions.
Operational decisions are the ones that I regularly make because they are embedded in my scope of responsibilities. Operational decisions are a significant part of the strategy implementation stage because they include altering operations to suit the new strategy. For example, if cost-cutting is among the organization’s strategic goals, related operational decisions would help to use resources more efficiently, thus supporting the implementation. As a team leader, I am required to make decisions about timekeeping, attendance, and bonuses. By aligning my operational decision-making with the organization’s strategy, I can contribute to meeting goals and developing human capital.
Leadership decisions are crucial to the strategic management process because they help to achieve higher levels of employee commitment, which, in turn, helps the organization to achieve its goals. Leadership decisions involve choosing leadership styles and techniques, motivational tools, communication means, and other HR-related variables that influence the workforce. In my position as a team leader, I make a variety of decisions that shape my leadership and communication style to the strategic needs of the company. For instance, if the strategy involves building a strong ethical culture, I could use ethical leadership to support this goal. Leadership decisions can also be made during strategy formulation to plan for employee resistance and conflicts of interest.
The final decision category used in my organization’s strategic management process is group decisions. This term refers to decisions that are made by a group of stakeholders, such as managers and employees. Group decisions are used extensively in my organization during strategy formulation and evaluation, because they invite a diversity of opinions and views, thus allowing teams to reach an informed decision. As discussed in the previous section, I participate in group decisions by providing information and advice to other stakeholders involved in strategic management.
Factors Analyzed during Strategy Formulation
In order to formulate a practical and realistic strategy, the organization needs to take into account a great variety of factors. Because the information and advice I provide assists in strategy formulation, I can easily identify the factors that I analyze when it comes to strategy formulation. These factors include organizational culture, employee motivation and commitment, skills, and needs, as well as resources available for strategy implementation.
Organizational culture plays a vital role during strategy formulation because it reflects the organization’s values shared by its management and employees. Analyzing corporate culture helps to formulate a strategy in two ways. On the one hand, it can help to decline strategic decisions that would conflict with organizational culture and thus cause significant employee resistance. On the other hand, it could identify cultural shortfalls that need to be addressed as part of a new strategy to make the organization more effective.
Employee motivation and commitment also have to be taken into account when formulating a new strategy because its implementation usually requires all workers to contribute. Additionally, these factors influence employee performance and thus can influence other organizational outcomes. If employee motivation and commitment are low, it would be beneficial to address this issue as part of the new strategy. Hence, I analyze employee motivation and commitment based on surveys and other assessments and provide results for group decisions regarding strategic management.
I also analyze employee needs and skills to support strategy formulation in my organization. Firstly, tailoring the organization’s strategy to employees’ needs helps them to feel more comfortable with any change processes involved while also raising commitment and participation in the implementation. Secondly, understanding employees’ skills can assist in identifying areas that could prevent successful implementation and shortcomings that can be improved to boost performance. Thus, analyzing these two factors helps to design a realistic strategy and ease its application in the organization.
Lastly, analyzing the resources available for strategy implementation helps at the formulation stage because it ensures that the chosen strategy is achievable. As part of my internal analysis, I assess whether or not employees have enough time to fulfill their duties, have responsibilities that conflict with their skills or abilities, lack training or education, and require more financing to enhance operations. This data is based on surveys and interviews, and the results are then presented to other strategic team members for discussion and information. Understanding whether there are any constraints to strategy in terms of time, skills, funding, and staff qualifications helps to decide on a strategy that would not require substantial resource investment while still benefiting the organization and its future development.
Change Management Processes
To ensure the success of an organizational change, it is necessary to use processes that ensure employee buy-in and contribution to the change while also minimizing resistance. Before implementing a change, I would perform a pre-change assessment to estimate employee readiness to change and identify the skills and resources they would need to support the implementation. Using surveys and observations can help to determine patterns of employee attitudes and behaviors that would benefit or harm change management. Based on the results, I would create a plan for change implementation for my team that would align with the organization-wide implementation strategy.
In particular, I would note any new duties and responsibilities that need to be assigned to employees, ways of accommodating new tasks in the current workflow, and any education or training required to accomplish goals. This can help to determine individual and team interventions, such as coaching, training, and mentoring, that would help to execute the plan successfully. Along with the implementation plan, I would also design a detailed communication plan to determine how to notify employees about the planned change and provide them with the support necessary to achieve the buy-in.
Once the change is planned, I would use the path-goal leadership theory to communicate the change to employees and choose the necessary leadership style to achieve higher levels of motivation. For example, supportive leadership style is particularly useful during change processes as it enhances organizational support, whereas participative leadership would help employees to view change as an opportunity to develop their potential and contribute to the organization.
Throughout the implementation process, I would also use evaluations designed to estimate change progress and point out any gaps or shortfalls to be addressed. Depending on the change, different outcome measures can be used, including performance, motivation, engagement, turnover, and many more. Finally, if the results of change progress evaluations are positive, I would reward employees by providing bonuses, organizing team events, and recognizing individual input. This would help to preserve motivation and commitment throughout the change process.
Managing resistance is a crucial concern when it comes to change management because resistance to change can have an adverse effect on implementation and outcomes. Based on my experience and knowledge, I believe that there are four main steps in reducing resistance to change. First of all, it is essential to plan the change well to ensure that workers will be able to implement it with minimal disruptions to the regular workflow and their work-life balance. Secondly, leaders should maintain active, two-way communication throughout the change implementation process in order to understand and address any issues or concerns that workers might face. Thirdly, managers should always provide support to employees, thus taking part in change implementation. The support might include discussions, training, task delegation, and other actions to ensure that employees do not suffer from significant stress and burnout.
Finally, successful change implementation should be recognized, and employees should be rewarded for their commitment and participation. This would ensure that employees feel the positive effects of the change and the management’s gratitude for their input.
Overall, my position allows me to take an active part in the strategic management process in my organization. I participate in all stages of the strategic management process, from analysis and formulation to evaluation, thus supporting my organization’s future development. By analyzing the internal factors affecting strategy and its implementation and presenting the results to other leaders, I can influence strategic decisions and their application in the organization. I am also responsible for many tactical, operational, and leadership decisions that contribute to strategy implementation and support organizational development. Finally, change management strategies and tools discussed in the paper would assist me in applying organizational change successfully and minimizing employees’ resistance to change.
Zhao, Shuming, et al. “A Comparative Study of HR Involvement in Strategic Decision-Making in China and Australia.” Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 2019, pp. 258-275.