At the beginning of the year there were many articles about creating a strategy with some great advice around why it’s a good idea and how to do it.  Now that we are a couple of months into 2021, how has your strategy helped you in your business so far?

  • Has it helped you focus on your business priorities?
  • Has your strategy supported your communication to your people?
  • Has it served as a reference for everyone to make sure the work they are doing is contributing to the overall focus of the business?
  • Has it helped you plan for key events?

If you are planning to restructure this year, it is especially important to fully understand what you will need to manage any potential risks.

I particularly enjoy working with clients who have a live strategy, one that is regularly referred to, reviewed, and serves as a guide and focus for everybody.  But not everybody has one, in this instance I work with my client to create one before beginning a piece of work to ensure what I create is part of their overarching business goals.

Sometimes creating a strategy feels more like an administrative task than a value-add one, this usually means it isn’t fit for purpose.  It’s a good idea to step back and ask yourself what isn’t working.  You can critically assess the strategy by applying some questions (examples below) to it or hold a Senior Leadership meeting and ask them to contribute.

Some questions to help you determine whether your strategy is fit for purpose are:

  • if I haven’t used this why not?
  • why did I create it?
  • what do I want from it?
  • on a day-to-day basis how do we, as a business, know that the work we’re doing is contributing to the success of the business?
  • what are the priorities for the business?

Answering these, and other, questions will help you to refine your strategy and think differently about how it can be useful in your organisation.  You can then use it as a base for creating objectives, recruitment, training, organisational change, advertising etc.  In some organisations, it will be appropriate to create more specific strategies that focus on people, marketing, technology or finance.

I recommend most businesses have a people strategy.  Something as simple as how you want to recruit, reward and retain your staff to support your business goals will give you an advantage over making a series of decisions in isolation.  Additionally, you could include diversity, culture, development, engagement – depending on your priorities.

An essential part of my role as a Human Resources Consultant is to work with business leaders to understand their needs so that I can tailor my approach accordingly.

Before we reach Q2, I can help you review and revise your business strategy and provide suggestions on how to incorporate people elements to support your focus and achieve your business goals.

Claire Carson

Human Resources for SMEs