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Redesign Your HR Structure

Create a fit-for-purpose HR structure.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all HR structure, as no two HR functions are the same – they have different strategic objectives, clients, employee value propositions, etc.
  • Designing an HR structure is complicated and often doesn’t produce the desired results.
  • A poorly structured HR function impacts the larger organization, as it can result in bottlenecks and delays in meeting client needs or misalignment between priority HR capabilities and HR resource allocation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • There is no one-size-fits-all structure. Invest time in identifying how the HR function enables your unique organizational strategy.
  • Optimize HR to ensure resources are allocated where they will have the biggest impact and create no conflict between subfunctions.
  • Prepare for iteration. Designing an HR function is an iterative process that requires re-evaluating previous design decisions to ensure they are still appropriate.

Impact and Result

  • Design a fit-for-purpose HR structure rather than replicating or copying another.
  • Design for the future, aligning HR structure and HR functional capabilities with organizational and line of business strategic objectives.

Redesign Your HR Structure Research & Tools

1. Align HR structure with strategy

Review the current state and desired outcomes, create design principles, and identify HR functional capabilities.

2. Define delivery characteristics

Determine each capability’s priority, centralization level, co/outsourcing, and delivery mode.

3. Create the new HR structure

Create capacity work units as well as their accountabilities and responsibilities to finalize the new HR structure.

Workshop: Redesign Your HR Structure

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Discuss Design Principles and Capabilities

The Purpose

  • Assess current-state implications and identify future state.
  • Draft and discuss design principles and capabilities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Reviewed and assessed the current state of the HR structure
  • Vision for the future statement determined
  • Identified the design principles and capabilities for the HR structure




Review the assessments.


Identify current-state implications.

  • Current-state assessment

Determine future state.

  • Future vision

Draft design principles.

  • Design principles

Discuss the capability model.

  • Capability model ranking assessment

Module 2: Design HR Operating Model

The Purpose

  • Finalize capability heat map.
  • Review centralization, decentralization, and sourcing.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A finalized HR capability heat map
  • A finalized level of delivery centralization/ decentralization map (if applicable)
  • Sourcing options defined




Review and finalize capability heat map.

  • HR capability heat map

Discuss centralization and decentralization.

  • Level of delivery centralization/ decentralization map (if applicable)

Determine and define sourcing options.

  • Sourcing map

Module 3: Design HR Operating Model

The Purpose

  • Review capabilities and design potential HR structures.

Key Benefits Achieved

HR operating model reviewed and two potential HR structures identified




Review capabilities against design principles.


Review HR operating models and build two potential HR structures.

  • HR operating models and two potential HR structures

Module 4: Design HR Work Units

The Purpose

Select and modify HR structure and discuss HR work units.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HR structure selected and modified if necessary
  • Completed responsibility and accountability matrix




Select final HR structure and modify, if necessary.


Complete responsibility and accountability matrix.

  • Capability-based responsibility and accountability matrix

Discuss HR work units.

Module 5: Finalize Work Unit Structure

The Purpose

Finalize work unit structure and create high-level plan for next steps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Finalized work units, and if time permitting, inclusion of work unit responsibilities
  • Review future-state HR structure presentation template for completion (time permitting)




Finalize HR work units.

  • HR work units

Complete work unit responsibilities.


Start mandate statements, as time allows.


Document high-level plan for next steps.

  • Future-state HR structure presentation template
Redesign Your HR Structure preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 5 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Align HR structure with strategy
  • Call 1: Discuss stakeholder consultation plan and required information/analysis.
  • Call 2: Review design principles and chosen HR functional capabilities.

Guided Implementation 2: Define delivery characteristics
  • Call 1: Review selected delivery characteristics and discuss structural implications.

Guided Implementation 3: Create the new HR structure
  • Call 1: Review work units and discuss other options or changes.
  • Call 2: Identify possible efficiencies in final structure and discuss next steps.


  • Ronald Capelle, President, Organization Design Consultant, Capelle Associates Inc.
  • Anton Fishman, Managing Director, Fishman & Partners Ltd.
  • Cathy Lyttle, SVP, Chief Human Resource Officer, Worthington Industries
  • Jim Rankin, Organization Change Management Consultant, Jim Rankin & Associates Inc.
  • Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM at Lancaster University Management School
  • Naomi Stanford, Organizational Design Consultant
  • Dr. David Weiss, Author, Strategist, Consultant, Educator, President and CEO of Weiss International Ltd.
  • Stuart Wigham, Content Manager and Consultant, On The Mark
  • Jan De Visch, Owner, Managing Director, Connect & Transform