Create a People Plan

Written by: Alan Rodway

Create a People Plan

A high performing team of people is crucial to running a successful business … to achieve results and to enjoy the journey. Creating and following a plan to gather them is therefore necessary. The steps below may or may not be regarded as new but they will significantly challenge any business that has the courage to follow them:

Whiteboard the determinations for the following steps:

  • Determine what the core business is to be in the next couple of years, and make this broad and flexible enough to accommodate the world’s fast paced change.
  • Determine the revenue the business should achieve in two years time.
  • List the areas where people will need to be engaged within the business. For example, generating revenue, creating and supplying the product/services, dealing with consumers, managing the money, making decisions and innovating.
  • For each area, approximate the number of people required.
  • For each area, list the number and names of people currently involved there …. and place a tick, cross or question mark alongside each name to signify whether they are ‘right’ for the future or not or there is doubt. This has to be done with regard to future probably performance and objectively (not emotionally).
  • For every name that has received a question mark, change it to a cross unless the question mark is there because the person has been in the business for 6 months or less. Anyone else with a question mark should probably be a cross … businesses wait too long in the question mark phase before eventually deciding the person is not right for the future. (This is not harsh! It’s reality and one of the biggest factors that holds privately owned businesses back … inertia due to keeping the wrong people).
  • The gaps to achieve what the business could be in the next couple of years will now be evident. Set about sourcing the required new people over the coming 12 to 18 months and help those who are not right to find more suitable positions elsewhere (and that is meant genuinely … so the process has integrity).

Only by following these simple yet very difficult steps (and decisions) will any business reach its true potential. It must be stressed that this approach does have integrity with respect to people who aren’t right for the future … people who aren’t connected to high level business success are just at work (not suggesting it’s their fault). Everyone can be in a productive and rewarding career … but not if just being at work is acceptable. It’s not about sacking people without regard. Often, when people move out of unsuitable roles they can become better off, rather than just remaining where they are.

This approach to creating a people plan is pivotal to success but it is a very difficult exercise to go through, due to loyalty, uncertainty, friendships, etc. Providing it is created and implemented with integrity it is a highly productive approach to the future, for everyone.

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