Everyone can benefit from a good purpose statement.
Having your own purpose statement helps you identify your goals, remember your values, and create a plan to keep you on track to achieving success on your own terms.
Having an HR purpose statement will aid in the translation of your company’s values into it’s HR practices, thus accomplishing the same positive outcomes listed above, but for the company’s HR process and team.
What exactly is a purpose statement:
A purpose statement details why your organization exists (its purpose!) and why your organization does what it does (why that purpose matters).
For HR specifically a purpose statement will need to express why the company needs a human resources team, what the purpose of HR is for your company, and why having an effective human resources team/structure is important to the success of the business as a whole.
What a purpose statement is NOT:
A purpose statement is not a to do list. It must inspire your team, and give them a deeper understanding of why their role matters to the company, and to other employees.
A purpose statement that does not incorporate values, and the more human elements of your company’s goals will not inspire much purpose in anyone!
How to Create a Purpose Statement for HR:
Start by assessing your organization’s overall purpose/mission/vision statement.
What are the core values and goals expressed in this statement/these statements?
Let’s say, for example, that you are in tech and your main goal is to be the most innovative company in your field, and your company values creativity above all else.
Next, put these goals and values into the context of human resources by asking yourself what the company needs from HR to accomplish it’s goals and live out its values.
In order to make innovations in tech, a company must build a team of innovative designers and developers (recruiting).
In order to make creativity a priority, employees must feel comfortable to express their creativity, and have the tools they need to be creative (work environment).
Then derive your purpose statement from these goals.
As innovation is the goal of the company, then HR’s purpose is to recruit the most innovative designers and developers to your team.
As creativity is the company’s core value, then the human resources team’s purpose is to establish a working environment that nurtures creativity.
I could go on ad nauseum about how to craft a more complex purpose statement, I am, after all a writer and this is something we love to do, but your purpose statement doesn’t need to be complex in order to be effective.
Adjust your purpose statement for your team’s specific needs.
You will probably have more than one goal, and one value to incorporate into your purpose statement, but try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. Use simple, clear language that your entire team can relate to, without jargon, or five dollar words.
You may even wish to have your entire team participate in the process. If they help build your purpose statement, then they will be more invested in its success. You can even use the opportunity as a team building exercise, and encourage everyone to build their own work related purpose statement.
Hopefully you’ll find that having an HR purpose statement will help ensure that every future to do list, project, and new goal you introduce will work directly towards reaching your organization’s key goals and maintaining its core values.