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Article -> Having a "People Plan" Drives Growth

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Date Added: March 2008

In the continued series of implementing five resolutions to generate sustainable growth, this article focuses on people/employees.

People signify employees, as organizations use different terms – members, partners, associates, human capital, etc. Having a comprehensive “people plan” is vital to accomplishing goals of strategic alignment and sustainable growth.

The end-game is achieving employee engagement because a fully engaged organization increases net income by 13 percent versus other firms. Unfortunately, only 15 percent of people are fully engaged. What to do?

1. Create strategy-related roles. Up to 20 percent of roles should be clearly aligned to your strategy to successfully execute it. If you don’t have these roles, create them!

2. Recruit. Create a culture where current people recruit by telling others what a great organization they work at.

3. Retrain. Provide people with resources and tools to perform to the best of their abilities.

4. Reward. Offer advancement opportunities and recognition. Rewards vary for Generation X and Y, and are not necessarily compensation-based.

5. Retain. Invest time with top-performing A and B people to help them grow and become engaged. Too many firms only focus on lower performers.

Step #1 is crucial. It’s been said organizations should “have the right people on the bus.” While true, having the “right people” in roles unaligned with your strategy is an ineffective endeavor. First, identify the right seats on the bus – those helping deploy your strategy – and then get the “right people.”

AL2A (Ask, Listen, Learn & Act) helps achieve the steps above. It requires openly asking people about engagement and satisfaction, listening and learning to create more strategic roles and training/recognition programs, and acting on needs by deploying tactics across the organization.

A good “people plan” requires strong communication – top-down, bottom-up, and most importantly, horizontally, to keep things aligned. CEOs play a major role with HR typically responsible for “people plans.” However, it can be difficult for HR to be accountable for deploying this throughout the organization to achieve strategic alignment and sustainable growth.

Ensure there is a key role to facilitate strategic deployment of the “people plan” and horizontal communication. Someone with skills and experience to formally and informally lead cross-functional teams and understand strategy development.

Now that strategy has been developed and you have a “people plan” to implement the strategy, the next article discusses customers and marketing. These drive growth externally, while aligning strategy and people with customers.

This article was published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on March 16, 2008.






















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