Building an Effective People Strategy in the Workplace

Jun 06 2024 | Perspectives
Woman sat at her table in an orange jumper, smiling and working at a tablet.

Leaving the attraction and retention of your employees to chance is a bad idea for any business. Your business strategy should extend to its people, ensuring they feel valued and appreciated. People strategies are crucial for inspiring and engaging employees, and they can take various forms.

So, what exactly is a people strategy?

In essence, a people strategy is a concrete approach to recruitment, retention and training. It's a proactive way to ensure that all employees align with the values and goals of your company – not something to leave to chance!

A people strategy serves several functions, including:

  • Outlining a plan of action for diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Considering how to optimize and lengthen the employee lifecycle

  • Developing talent and maximizing employee potential

An effective people strategy can act as a roadmap for the future of your organisation, by driving employee engagement and productivity, as well as cementing trust and positive relationships.

Why do businesses need a people strategy?

Not having a people strategy to complement your business one opens you up to a number of potential future issues. A misaligned internal strategy will create confusion, cause communication breakdowns and hinder growth. Additionally, it can lead to low employee morale, high turnover rates and difficulty in attracting top talent. The fact is, without a cohesive people strategy, your business may struggle to achieve its goals and maintain a competitive edge.

How to build a people strategy

There are a few important steps to creating a good people strategy. Here's a comprehensive approach that you can adapt to align with your business goals and create a productive, engaged workforce:

1. Know your business goals: It’s essential that your organisation knows what it’s striving for. Your employees need to know and, more importantly, understand the company mission and vision to properly thrive and help the company reach those goals. Once you know your business goals, you can set proper objectives and strategies to meet them.

2. Examine your employees: Take a look at your current workforce to understand strengths, gaps and potential areas for employee development. We recommend using data analytics and anonymous surveys to gain insights into existing employee performance, satisfaction and retention rates.

3. Define your businesses culture and values: Establishing a company culture is important for the happiness, engagement and general wellbeing of your employees because it creates a sense of belonging. Ensure your values are consistent and regularly communicated to the company, and that they’re integrated into HR policies and procedures.

4. Create a talent acquisition plan: Without an effective recruitment strategy, top talent will pass you by. Invest time in refining your branding and messaging to showcase why you should be the employer of choice. This is also a great opportunity to further your diversity and inclusion initiatives, as it’s important to create a workforce that reflects the world we see outside.

5. Implement learning and development programs: Continuous learning and development is so helpful for employee growth and satisfaction. Coaching can help employees identify their strengths, overcome challenges and achieve their career goals. It improves leadership skills and boosts overall employee performance. Regular coaching sessions can also provide personalized support and development, contributing to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

6. Develop a performance management system: A performance management system is a great way to provide feedback, set expectations and recognize achievements all in one place. You can then use this performance data to help you identify your next leaders.

7. Prioritize employee wellbeing: Make it clear to your employees that avoiding burnout is paramount to a healthy working life. Implement wellness programs to emphasize this message, for example, mental health counselling, fitness initiatives, flexible working schedules and wellness hours or days off.

8. Plan for your future leaders: Creating a succession plan for high potential employees is ideal for ensuring a smooth transition when the time comes. Leadership development can start at anytime and will only help your employees feel more comfortable and capable when it’s time for them to take the reins.

9. Take advantage of technology: Identify where technology and analytics can be used to streamline business processes and improve communication. You can use technology to measure the effectiveness of the people strategy, helping you to make improvements where necessary.

10. Measure and adjust: Don’t leave your people strategy to gather dust. Conduct regular reviews to assess its effectiveness, being sure to collect employee feedback.

By following these steps, you can build a people strategy that not only supports employee growth and satisfaction but also drives the overall success of your business.

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