Imagine if Martin Truex, Jr. or Kevin Harvick had the fastest race car in NASCAR and a map of the course at Talladega Raceway but didn’t have a finely tuned, experienced pit crew. The time Martin or Kevin would lose on pit stops could cost them the race.
Or even worse, imagine if the crew chief of one of their pit crews had an emergency and couldn’t perform his/her duties and there was no alternate plan to put in place. The only person available to step into the role would be one of the tire catchers. What happens then? The driver may continue the race but what would the results be? Disastrous.
Now picture yourself as a business owner with a great product and a well thought out business plan but no people strategy that maps to the growth of your company. As your business grows, it needs some higher skilled employees or those with entirely different experience. Employees currently in positions may be high performing but not exactly what’s best for your business or ultimately your customers if they don’t have the appropriate experience or skills for future growth. A People Strategy helps your employee base evolve as your company grows.
What is a People Strategy?
A People Strategy is a plan to assure that a business has “the right people, in the right jobs, at the right time, for the right reasons.” It’s a plan that is reviewed regularly alongside the business plan and has action items after each review. The plan has short, mid and long-term goals that may change or need to be adjusted as the business evolves. The management team is involved in the development and review of the strategy and committed to the resulting action plans that will ultimately help attract, develop and retain the right people for the business.
Just as important to defining a people strategy, is to identify what it isn’t; it is not a human resources department solution. Every supervisor or manager in an organization is responsible for owning the people strategy because they are closest to the needs of the business in their areas.
Elements of a People Strategy
A good People Strategy consists of three major components. I’ll call the first one a “People Schematic”. The second factor is the People Planning and the third one is the People Metrics and Performance.
- The People Schematic is a graphed representation that shows the number and type of employees that will be needed over time against the business metrics that are used. The business metrics are different for each business. It could be the number of widgets necessary to be produced or the revenue needed to be generated. The metric could be the number of patients that need to be reached. It could be anything that the business deems to be its goal. The key point is that the People Schematic uses information derived from the business plan.
- The People Planning process uses information from the People Schematic to answer the question of how the business will achieve the numbers and types of employees identified. This answers the question of how the business will be able to adequately assure that the number and types of positions are filled in the time frame identified in the People Schematic.
- Finally, the People Metrics and Performance encompasses those measurements and actions required in the first two processes to ensure a successfully integrated people strategy process and allow you the opportunity to make modifications as other dynamics change.
Continued success of your business
Most successful companies, new or well-established, have a strategic or business plan that has helped guide the direction of the business’s actions and activities. Often overlooked, the People Strategy is one of the most important derivatives of a company’s Business Plan.
Just as an experienced NASCAR pit crew and back up plan is vital to the success of the driver and the rest of the team, your People Strategy is crucial to the continued success of your business.
In future articles, I will be breaking down each of these three key elements to show how and what needs to be done to assure a successful People Strategy.
Contact Paradise Workplace Solutions to get more information on People Strategy.