Sustainability is defined as the ability to meet the needs without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We usually see many examples of the unsustainable business practices. Many organizations have stopped their innovations, and they sell the same products for years. These firms are in a decline phase of the life cycle. The sustainability HR challenge is about reversing the trend. The high-performance organization always keep ahead of the curve, and it is strongly supported by the HR Strategy.
Human Resources plays a crucial role. It has to make sure the organization keeps its agility to deal with changes and makes no compromises in primarily critical areas. HR needs to encourage the business to innovate, monitor competitors and empower employees to find new ways of working. Moreover, HR has to ensure that the company makes no compromises in the business ethics.
Note, there is also another sustainability issue. It is about the balance of the entrepreneurship that also future generations can live on the planet Earth. The solution is always focused on the friendliness to the environment around us, relationship with communities, supporting the education and delivering more utilizing less natural resources. However, this is not a challenge just for Human Resources (the entire leadership team needs to be accountable for finding suitable solutions).
The organization with a clear sustainability focus balances its profit with the growth requirements. It does not make compromises when it comes to the development and learning. It invests a significant portion of the income into the improvement of skills and competencies available. The growth usually realizes through employees, and we tend to forget it.
The introduction of the Strategic HR Planning is always a good start to make the business long term sustainable. The strategic plan is always focused both internally and externally. It does not allow the organization to ignore external factors. The leadership team is pushed to find answers to all strategic challenges. It works the same in Human Resources.
The strategic planning in Human Resources always starts with the general SWOT analysis that evaluates the competitive position of the people management in the organization. It has to reflect all benefits and weaknesses to ensure that the team works with right inputs. The team has to mark trends to individual items. It helps to identify areas where the organization improves or declines.
The strategic planning requires the business to take the helicopter view. The team describes all important elements in the comparison with external competitors. It watches trends and finds relevant supporting data. The company can learn new stuff from watching the market. The innovative idea can occur during strategic sessions. The reflection of the internal development and external news is always refreshing. It can charge the batteries and refresh the willingness to change.
Moreover, Human Resources can discover gaps in skills and competencies during strategic planning sessions. It can observe gaps nobody noticed before. It can learn new approaches from competitors. They had to overcome similar obstacles. They can enlighten the way forward.
The best way for Human Resources how to avoid sustainability challenge is the competitive Learning Strategy. It inspires the leadership team to invest into the development of the workforce. It gives clear goals and objectives to employees and rewards them with the personal growth. It pushes managers to their limits to look for the external inspiration. Overall, an excellent Learning Strategy keeps the organization ahead of the curve.