5 Critical HR Strategy steps to implement in your business

We love talking to clients about their plans for the future of their business, however, the current pandemic has meant that many businesses are having to rethink their plans for their business and rethink their profit ambitions as a result. With a need to review your business plans, what impact does this have on your HR strategy and in all honesty, do you have one?

The cost of your team is likely to be one of the biggest costs of your business and so like any investment, it is critical to ensure that you are getting a full return on your investment.

We are working with a whole host of businesses, helping them to realign their HR plans against their new forecasts.

So, what are the five critical steps to creating an effective HR plan for your company?

  1. Assess your current workforce

Your first step in HR Strategy planning is to look at the skills, knowledge and numbers required by your business and cross-checking that against your current employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities.

You should also consider what talents/potential they have beyond their current job descriptions. For example, an administrator may also have a talent for building customer relationships. You can pick up on these less obvious abilities by getting to know your employees through regular conversations – both formal and informal.

It may surprise you that we work with a number of clients who, when we dig into their business, discover that they are paying two people at a lower rate to perform the functions of one role.

  1. Develop performance and employee development plans

Building capability is critical to developing a long-term, winning workforce. To make a real impact, your employees’ work needs to support the company’s growth goals.

You can do this by making a performance and development plan for your employees. This will help you create clear direction on how to increase their contribution to the business and develop skills and advance their careers so that your business can forge ahead. Follow these steps to help make sure your employees’ development plans are on point.

    • Consider your business goals – Before you set objectives for employees, you should try to align their performance plan with your company’s needs.
    • Talk to your employees – Don’t just assume that they know what is expected from them and that you know their skill levels and career aspirations.
    • Decide what skills your team needs – Once you’ve looked at each of your employees’ abilities and experience, as well as your company’s needs, decide exactly what skills each person needs to acquire and to what level.
    • Create an action plan – Once you know what the objectives are, you can determine how your employee will go about achieving them.
    • Apply the new skills in the workplace – Set up some opportunities where your employees can quickly apply the new skills to the job and get feedback.
    • It’s important that your company doesn’t neglect the employees you already have – especially top performers. Even for your high achievers, there’s always room for improvement, and they still need development-focused attention from you.

Also make sure your employee development plans have a positive connotation in your company (and that they’re not viewed as a form of corrective action) by presenting them as an opportunity to maximise potential, grow and get better all around.

  1. Create a succession plan

With business growth/contraction comes change. It is inevitable and so you need to be prepared.

A succession plan can help you minimise disruption by identifying critical roles in your business and employees who have the skills to immediately assume these positions, should someone leave.

You may choose to involve employees directly in creating your succession plan. This would mean having conversations with all your employees to find out what their career goals are, where they see themselves in the future, and what development they feel they need in order to get there.

You can also create your succession plan behind the scenes. The choice really depends on what your organisation’s culture is like.

In addition, you should always be prepared to keep your employees well informed about changes and explain how exactly a change may affect them. Transparency eases anxiety and keeps your employees from imagining negative reasons for the changes.

  1. Perform a gap analysis

A gap analysis helps you identify what resources your company has and what you’ll need in the future. When performing a gap analysis, you’ll assess your HR practices and infrastructure to determine where your company is falling short. For example, some of your HR practices may be designed to fit where your company was five years ago, but don’t meet your needs today or where you plan to be soon. This review will also ensure that the HR practices and documentation are compliant with UK current legislation.

After a gap analysis, you can improve your current procedures and implement new practices that will better support your business’s growth.

This could include:

    • Job descriptions – Do they match the expectations you currently have for your employees and outline all the necessary skills and requirements?
    • Employee handbook – Have you reviewed and/or refreshed it in the last 12 months? Check to see if your policies are still aligned with UK employment laws.
    • Training programs – Are your employees being prepared for their roles in an organised way that still makes sense according to business needs?
    • Sick days – Are your managers effectively managing absence in the right way and in line with your values? Have you an employee who has developed a pattern of taking off days sick around the weekend?
  1. Decide if/how to increase resources for the future

As your business needs to adapt, so will your staffing needs. To find the best people for the job and your business, you must know what you’re looking for.

Review the information you have gathered about your current workforce. Do you have enough people? Do they have the right skills and know-how to help you achieve your business goals?

This information can help you decide what jobs need to be filled and who would be the best fit.

Before you go out to the market, is your proposition as an employer clear? Are you emphasising the features and benefits of working with you to ensure that you are attract the high-quality candidates? Do you have anyone internally who could (with additional training) fulfil this new need?

Knowing these things can help you avoid recruiting roadblocks before they become a problem. Try to resolve potential issues before bringing in a new employee. Make sure that the environment is right to attract and retain top talent. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly replacing employees, increasing costs, draining resource and causing significant disruption.

Remember: HR strategy and planning is an ongoing process and your HR strategy should be reviewed regularly and updated as your organisation changes.

If you are not sure how to get started with your HR Strategy,  then talk to us about our Strategic HR Support.  You can either arrange a free one-hour consultation or call one of our HR Experts for a chat about how we can support you on:

Essex Office: 01245 410201      Norfolk Office: 01603 791256       Suffolk Office: 01473 360160