Creating sustainable business futures through strategic people planning

by Sarah Hamilton, Eastern Regional Director

Despite widespread economic challenges, a growing number of businesses throughout the UK have been quietly thriving. Taking a strategic, low-risk approach to people-focused business planning, they have adopted a unique, fractional model of HR consultancy, transforming their businesses in just one day per week.

As the lifeblood of your business, people are your greatest asset – but also your greatest challenge, and often your greatest cost. Whether your goals include growth, consolidation or reinvention, it is key to create empowering cultures to engage your people, through brilliant leadership, great communication frameworks and strategic alignment.

Too busy *in* the business to work *on* the business?

Business leaders may lack the bandwidth to step back; introducing an external expert to work within your business can provide that deeper insight and holistic perspective that is so elusive from within. Without that, it’s almost impossible to build the strongest foundations for growth; not just for your business, but for you personally as a leader, for where you want to be in three or five years’ time.

The right building blocks for growth

Nurturing a business means nurturing people, but you need a clear view of where you’re going to build the right roadmap. We call this stepping back process the “Discovery Phase” and it forms an essential part of the process. It shines a light on the challenges and opportunities, like employer brand, talent attraction, engagement and retention, development and training, succession planning etc, to gain clear understanding of what changes need to be made to sustain longer-term growth.

“We are now in a fantastic position – securing the future of the organisation in the long term and attracting the best people to drive our business growth.” Stuart White, Managing Partner, Barker Associates, Chelmsford

The roadmap for growth: aligning people planning with business strategy

Begin by asking yourself these ten questions:

  1. Why does my business exist?
  2. What delivers competitive advantage?
  3. How do we measure our value?
  4. What do we need to do to succeed this year?
  5. Is the senior team aligned to deliver this plan?
  6. Do we have the right leadership capability in the business?
  7. Are we arranged so everyone can do their best work?
  8. Do we have the right people in the right seats?
  9. Can we attract and keep the right talent?
  10. Will our culture and values drive success?

These “discovery” questions form an invaluable part of the strategic planning phase and often uncover surprising insights.

“The discovery phase was a real eye-opener. It helped us challenge and clarify our direction of travel and gain alignment as a leadership team. It has given us more confidence that we are heading in the right direction, and an actionable roadmap to get us where we want to go.” James Hutchins, MD, Zentura, Saxmundham

A trusted partner to share your journey

Taking a long-term, strategically aligned approach to people planning is a proven way to build strong foundations for growth. Embedding an experienced People Director at the heart of your business is a smart way to remain people-centric, while helping you make difficult decisions, navigate challenging conversations, and confidently build a lasting legacy.

Headshot portrait photograph of Eastern Regional Director Sarah Hamilton
Sarah Hamilton, Regional Director for the East of England

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