Three reasons why strategic HR helps your business to scale.

You may have ambitions to scale your business over the next three years – but have you fully factored in the people aspect?   

Business leaders naturally need to grow their business and will have a business plan (whether written or not) to achieve it. But while most plans have the finance and logistical aspects nailed down, many do not consider the impact it will have on their employees – the people aspect. A business plan needs to be backed up with a strong people strategy to be able to succeed.  

Here are the key things to consider: 

  1. Ensure people are in the right roles. 

Do you have the right people in the right job roles now, or does this need revisiting? And even if you do have the perfect structure for your business right now, what about when you realise your growth plans – will your structure be fit for purpose then? Will your team have the skills, behaviours and communication to support the business growth?  

People Puzzles PinwheelThis is where planning is essential. Look at your business plan for the next three years and map out the roles you will need to get there. Consider where responsibilities and processes have changed and any roles that are superfluous or need redesigning. Use an organisational chart to visualise where everyone will go. Systems such as People Puzzles’ pinwheel can help to clarify and link individual KPIs to departmental goals to business objectives, creating solutions for skills gaps and development.  

2. Decision making and planning. 

Once you have worked out which people you need in which roles, identify any skills gaps you have and how you will fill them. Could existing staff be upskilled, or will you need to recruit or use external resources? If the latter, consider the hybrid world of freelance workers, sharing skills with other companies, part-time workers, remote teams. Also, could better terms be negotiation with recruiters to make cost savings? Do you need to increase office or warehouse space to house extra people? These associated costs need to be built into the business plan.  

Test if your managers fully understand the business and people strategy. Do they share your values and commitment to the plan? This makes a huge difference to whether a business grows or achieves their strategy. Are there any significant people problems that need to be sorted before you can move forward, such as performance management? Make sure you are aware of any potential issues and have a plan for dealing with them. 

3. Change management. 

Growth means change – and change is simply continuous improvements.  

Ensure the whole team knows the importance of sticking to the business goals.   

A merger or acquisition, for example, can involve complex people issues such as TUPE transfers and/or restructures – both of which need carefully agreed planning. You do not just risk losing valuable talent or customers – you could face a tribunal and/or reputational damage if people feel they have been badly treated.  

A communication strategy is key when things are changing. Even positive changes can go down badly if they are not communicated properly. A bonus scheme, for example, might potentially arouse suspicion from colleagues if it is too complicated to understand or people suspect it is not being fairly applied.

Finally, even if your business is not growing, you will always face changes to the way you do things, for example, in order to adapt to market conditions, keep your IT systems current or deal with a global pandemic! These all impact your employees, so it is worth having a people plan in place for when change does happen. 

In short, if you have a people strategy to support your business plan, you are far less likely to be faced with unexpected bumps and costs along the way. You will also be in a far better position to hold on to your key talent who will help you to fulfil those business ambitions. 

Do you have people-related issues that are holding your business back from achieving the growth you know it’s capable of? Try our HR healthcheck and get an immediate personal report to help accelerate your business’s growth from a people perspective. 

People Director Catherine Wood
People Director Catherine Wood

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