Business strategy planning 2017: #3 People hold everything together

November 23, 2016

People hold everything together

Here’s part 3 of our guide to business strategy planning for 2017. Leeds-based HR 180’s Mission Control Consultant Sue Westhead considers the people in your business. Sue has managed major transformation and change initiatives in leading organisations, both in the UK and globally and can turn her hand to anything related to strategic, transformational change. Look out for Sue’s final article on Business Strategy Planning which we will publish next week. Want help quickly? Call Sue and the HR180 team on 0113 287 8150 for immediate assistance.


People plan should match your ambitions

A talented and aligned workforce is crucial for bringing strategy to life and ensuring a business delivers on its objectives. All organisations understand that success comes from having the right people aligned to the work that needs to be done.

As work requirements evolve, the demands on your workforce change too. Combined with a number of trends that impact on the shape and expectations of the workforce, business leaders need to address these challenges to deliver their strategic plan. Many industries are in the midst of major changes where having the correct workforce in place is the critical gap between success and failure – workforce planning is not just about keeping up with workforce trends. Getting the right people in place means addressing the right things.

What is missing can be fundamental

Missing any one of five core elements would be detrimental to providing the basis for the talent required to deliver on your strategy.  Even with small numbers of employees, you need to integrate workforce supply and demand analysis into your planning cycle giving you:

  • The right size – the right number of people in the right roles spending the right amount of time achieving given outcomes.
  • The right shape – identify duplication and inefficiency to establish the right balance of admin to professionals, juniors to senior, experienced staff to new hires.
  • The right place – ensure the required staff resources are available in the right locations to meet current and future workload.
  • The right skills – assess the gaps in the competencies and skills that will be needed to meet future goals.
  • The right costs – benchmark pay and reward to pay the right process for the right skill.

Communicate, change, coordinate

Few businesses have escaped the need for change at some point, and any change requires fostering new behaviours needed to transform or make something stick. The fact that change needs to happen, or has become more frequent, does not make such changes any easier. At its core are the people and people processes – and people are creatures of habit, hardwired to resist adopting new mindsets, practices and behaviours. Businesses must embed these mindsets, practices and behaviours at every level and that is hard to do, but it is vital. Implementing business strategy and changes to make it happen means effort must be given to capture the hearts and minds of people who need to operate differently to deliver the required results. The good news is that it can be done!

Read the series so far by using the links below:

Part 1 – No More Wash and Repeat

Part 2 – Swot Analysis



Strategy Check

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