They say a company is nothing without its employees. People Hub Group has built an entire business helping organisations understand that, working with leadership teams to create dedicated people plans that sit alongside their wider business plans.
We sat down with Nigel Shackleton, People Hub’s founder, to understand why the people plan is key to achieving business goals.
Every company has a business plan, setting out its goals and strategy to achieve it. But what is a people plan and why do companies need one?
Put simply, a people plan is a blueprint for organisations to ensure their people can help them successfully deliver against a business plan – covering everything from organisational design to engagement and reward.
Companies focus so much on their growth strategies and can often forget that their employees are critical in helping the business achieve its objectives. As well as having a plan for the strategic direction of the business, a people plan can help ensure that the workforce is aligned – ensuring that people are growing alongside the business and helping companies meet their goals faster.
We work with organisations to help them understand this, and develop a tailored people plan that allows them to create a structure and a culture that empowers, motivates and engages staff. Ultimately, this has a direct impact on an organisation’s bottom line – some of the world’s most successful businesses have a laser focus on their people plan.
How difficult is it to make meaningful changes to a company’s culture as part of this people plan?
When thinking about a people plan, it is important that businesses create a plan that they stick to. The two most important elements of that are consistency, ensuring that the plan is equal across an entire workforce and that it doesn’t change frequently over time, and authenticity – so that people can truly buy into it and its purpose. If this is done correctly the company culture change will happen organically over time.
Given we as human beings are naturally averse to change, it’s normal for there to be some resistance at first. But ultimately if the plan and everything that comes from it is clear, well communicated and reflects the values of the company, we find that the vast majority of people start to accept it more quickly.
Where employees can become disengaged is when the people plan and strategy are always changing. Change fatigue can be a big problem for businesses, that’s why making sure the initial plan is tailored for your business, aligned to your strategy and rolled out consistently is critical.
Does a plan like this need to have a top-down approach?
To a certain extent, yes. Leadership and management are the people who design strategies to drive change across an organisation. But it’s the employees who embed it into the culture. That’s the challenge that most businesses struggle with – how to weave something that is created by a management team into the fabric of an entire business.
There’s no denying that strong leadership is crucial in a process like this, but getting early buy in alongside strong and frequent internal communication is critical to making it a success.
To what degree has coronavirus impacted management team’s view on people?
COVID has highlighted just how important it is to have a culture where people feel engaged and motivated. It’s employees who will help businesses emerge from the pandemic in a strong position and their value cannot be underestimated.
Leadership teams have really woken up to this. Despite the challenges, coronavirus presents a huge opportunity for companies to review their strategies and assess how a people plan that would sit alongside their business plan could improve their organisational effectiveness.
To find out more about People Hub Group, visit: https://www.peoplehubgroup.com/our-approach/
If you would like to know more about how we work with our portfolio businesses on their people strategies, get in touch.