McKinleys Group Trading Ltd

McKinleys: Gearing up for growth with a strategic people plan

People Puzzles helped this innovative packaging company realign its leadership team and ensure that it had the right people in the right place to focus on the business goals.

“We now have a high performing leadership team and employees who know where we’re going and how their work contributes to our overall success.” – Jeremy Fentiman, Managing Director

About McKinleys Group

Founded in 1995 in Epping (recently moved to a newly opened distribution centre in Newmarket), Mckinleys Group supplies eco-friendly packaging and stock management solutions to e-commerce and warehousing businesses – including Amazon – across the UK.

Growing businesses usually reach a certain point at which their current structure and ways of working are not sufficient to support them longer term. To strengthen the foundations for continued growth and sustainable success, it’s usually necessary to make some changes.

That is exactly why Jeremy Fentiman, Managing Director of McKinleys Group, initially contacted People Puzzles.

Jeremy had ambitions to expand his company but knew that growth wasn’t possible in its current format. The structure and accountabilities of McKinley’s 25 employees needed changing to ensure that everyone was aligned and focused on delivering the business strategy.

Underpinning the business plan with a people strategy

In January 2021, expert People Director Victoria Sullivan of People Puzzles began working with McKinleys to take this work forward. After the initial discovery phase over just a few days, Victoria identified that the business needed a broader and more long-term business strategy, with clearly defined goals, as well as the steps needed to reach them. This plan would then be underpinned by a people strategy to drive and maintain the growth that Jeremy was seeking.

The plan involved taking a ‘right people, right seats’ approach – establishing what roles were required for sustainable growth, and moving people into the roles that were needed. The leadership team was recalibrated, with a talented employee promoted onto it and a new leader recruited in to run operations.

Implementing a new operating system

With the new team came a new way of working. Victoria worked with the team to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) model, explained in the bestselling book Traction by Gino Wickman which helps small but growing business focus on six key components to create a forward-looking, ambitious business plan. The framework included quarterly ‘ROCKs’ – key objectives to be completed in the next 90 days, with clear accountability for each. Victoria supported the new leadership team to focus on these objectives with coaching for personal development.

Another EOS initiative included the introduction of ‘Level 10’ meetings – tightly structured weekly leadership team meetings designed to keep focus on the most important agenda items with great efficiency. Meetings are then scored out of ten by attendees; since Victoria introduced the format, these meetings are regularly rated highly.

Improved communication processes were initiated to help cascade information from the leadership team to everyone in the business to ensure everyone is keenly aware of the business goals, and what they each need to do to achieve them.

Finally, Victoria helped the business define new company values and made sure the recruitment processes and one-to-one meetings were led and informed by them.

“A forward-thinking, long-term people plan”

This work has fundamentally changed the way that McKinleys operates – for the better.

“Victoria has really shown us the importance of forward-thinking, long-term people plans and a strategy to help us deliver our business goals,” says Jeremy. “Having a people-focused professional working with the leadership team has given a strategic focus on our employees, which we didn’t have before. We now have a high performing leadership team and employees who know where we’re going and how their work contributes to our overall success.”

Victoria is delighted with the positive way in which McKinleys has responded to the changes. “It’s great to see a business of this size really embracing the value of strategic HR and its importance in the business plan,” she says. “The business has fully embraced the new ways of working, while still maintaining their agility and customer focus – and are in a great place achieve their growth targets!”

If your business would benefit from the support of a part-time people expert like Victoria, please get in touch, and call 0345 646 5201 to arrange a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute consultation call.

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