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People & Strategy II

After last week’s post, you may be asking yourself where People fit into a strategic plan, and what that looks like. The explanation begins with a company recognizing the importance of having an adequate and engaged workforce over the long term (five to seven years). Most of us expect recruiting and retaining enough people to meet company and customer expectations to remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. Additionally, any company looking toward even moderate growth has an even greater need to retain the people (and the knowledge) already within their organization. These are both long-term challenges that require long-term (strategic) solutions.Many leaders see this as nearly hopeless and out of their control, but if we look at the data, we can start to see a pathway forward.We know that fair wages and benefits are important but are really considered “table stakes” in today’s labor market. In other words, a business can’t even get in the people game without competitive compensation. More meaningful though is that studies consistently show that people share some basic needs that impact their well-being and therefore performance. They want to feel safe in their workplace, have a level of job security, a sense of belonging, and to receive appropriate recognition and respect from peers and leaders. They also desire to be invested in through professional development, and to feel empowered to make meaningful decisions that impact the company.Employee compensation, working conditions, professional development, and a vision for the future are all things that can be improved by leaders if seen from the proper perspective and given appropriate attention. For companies without a strategic plan for people though, it is far more difficult to see both the pathway and the payoff.Be sure to include People in your strategic plan going forward.

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