Love it or hate it, there is no getting away from the fact that having a robust people plan in place for 2023 will stand you in good stead to ride out the recruitment, retention and engagement challenges that businesses are facing.
Although there is turbulence all around us, focusing on a structured HR plan to bring your employees on the journey with you, makes perfectly good business sense. You’re not alone in thinking “How can I predict the future?” Regardless of the economic or social climate faced, the fundamental principles of a good people strategy prevail and will support the challenges your business faces.
Ensure that you know and understand what your employees wants, and needs are before making wholescale decisions and reworking your plans. Annual employee engagement/opinion surveys and more regular pulse surveys are an effective way of keeping pace with your employee’s thoughts and feelings. If you are focusing on specific topics or want to engage a diverse opinion, consider putting in place focus or working groups that are representative of your business to allow you to really drill down.
One of the biggest demotivators employees report is feeling that things are ‘done’ to them, rather than being involved and engaged in any process either positive or negative. Even if you are undertaking a redundancy or restructure programme, when employees feel that the business is being open and transparent with them, they are likely to remain engaged and understanding of the difficult choices that must be made. Don’t let employees hear about change when it has already happened!
An overcomplicated strategy with too many competing objectives is going to cause you a delivery nightmare, it also confuses and disengages your employees. Ensure the objectives you choose clearly align with the overall business strategy and its direction of travel.
This will ensure it is easier to deliver consistent and clear messaging, not only on what you are planning to achieve, but also tracking and reporting where key milestones have been met. Reporting back to employees regularly builds trust – for example using ‘You said, we did’... “You said you wanted us to implement a flexible benefits scheme, we set up a focus group to work through how we can practically implement this. If you would like to be part of this group register your interest to HR …”. This is quite a granular point but it reiterates the message that the employees voice is important and they’ll be kept up to date throughout the process.