Building a Thoughtful People Strategy
I think January is one of the most important months of the year in businesses. Fresh from the holidays, you come back ready to refocus on your goals and tackle the upcoming year.
Your strategy to achieve those goals probably includes a lot of "what" statements- increasing profit by a certain percentage, new partnerships, etc. How many strategies have a robust “who” element to them? When it comes to your employees and your business strategy, you need to think of them as lockstep. The human resources portion of your business strategy should be thoughtful and thorough. The following are a few considerations when factoring the people element of your business strategy.
Capacity- Particularly in small- and medium- sized businesses, people wear many hats to get the job done. The “hustle” is what draws a lot of top-talent into these types of businesses and helps promote an ownership mindset.
However, when you are trying to get a to a place of growth or tackle new challenges, a team of people who are all at 110% are going to have a hard time getting you to the next level. Have honest conversations with your team about their capacity and decide on the triggers to start the recruiting process to add to your team. Once you decide on your capacity sweet spot, you can align new hires with project and goal timelines. This also gives you plenty of time to be searching for top-talent instead of hiring in a pinch.
Right people, right role- Taking a careful look at who is leading and supporting your current efforts is critical to driving your strategy. Every employee is motivated differently and brings a different skillset. The people you put in your organization are what gives you your competitive advantage, so spending the time to be thoughtful in how you bring out the best in your employees is a key part in your planning efforts.
Maybe you have a finance whiz who is constantly finding new efficiencies, but has a hard time seeing the bigger picture. Round that team out with a leader who can drive vision. On the other hand, maybe you have a leader who is great at relationships but can’t sit down and get into the weeds of the business. Find someone who can maximize that leader and crush the details.
People can be a leader in your business in many different ways. Be curious enough to utilize your employees at their highest and best use whatever that might mean.
Communication and clarity- Without a clear strategy, any hope of execution is wishful thinking. Every employee should be able to articulate the purpose of the company and their role in getting to that purpose. They should know the steps the company is taking each quarter to get there and where they fit in to the picture. This means that you should be communicating clearly, often, and in different mediums.
People are the biggest and most important investment that you make. Your people strategy should be like the rest of your business, proactive and thoughtful, not reactive and rushed.
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