Every company’s success is dependent on its employees. However, not all organizations have a well-coordinated people strategy to support, connect, and interact with their workforce. Research by Gartner shows that a lack of people-centric policies, especially in post-pandemic virtual or remote workplaces, affected employee performance and well-being.
Organizations will only achieve their strategic goals if they prioritize their people. And this is where a people strategy alignment comes into the picture.
A people strategy entails more than just filling immediate hiring needs or implementing an onboarding program. It governs the entire employee-employer relationship. And it is up to HR leaders to develop an influential people strategy to attract and retain talented employees in today’s workplace.
What is a People Strategy?
A people strategy is a company’s overall plan for attracting, engaging, training, and retaining employees. It establishes the strategy for a company’s relationship with its workforce at all stages of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to offboarding.
Leaders should collaborate with the rest of the C-suite, line managers, and finance to develop a people strategy. This collaboration serves two purposes: For starters, it keeps everyone on the same page. Second, it ensures that the people strategy achieves the organization’s overall business objectives.
As these groups come together, it’s critical to clarify what you want to achieve with a people strategy and keep these goals in the forefront of everyone’s minds to ensure everyone stays focused on them. According to Boston Consulting Group research, an influential people strategy should allow a company to:
What is the Importance of People and Strategy Alignment?
1. Increased decision-making speed
Indecision can stifle productivity, lead to missed deadlines, and have a domino effect throughout an organization. Organizational goals and alignment clarify who has decision-making authority over each work activity. Aligned organizations make better decisions and take less time to execute. Employees can also focus on doing their jobs rather than determining who needs to be consulted when making decisions.
2. Increased employee engagement
Most employees want to enjoy their jobs, believe their work matters, and know they are making a difference. An aligned organization communicates an employee’s work to the organization’s overall strategy. Employees are more satisfied and effective when they understand how their work relates to company strategy.
3. More resources are not necessary
An aligned organization clearly distinguishes between activities that promote growth and those that serve as a support function. It ensures that the company focuses its limited resources on the appropriate actions to promote growth, and align functional and business priorities. This enables businesses to do more with less, resulting in cost savings while increasing performance.
4. Enhanced self-government
Employees develop a clear vision of their work, priorities, and, most importantly, decisions as a natural result of a well-aligned organization. Because there is less ambiguity surrounding their responsibilities, employees have the confidence to make decisions independently rather than waiting to be told what to do or asking permission.
5. Reduce customer confusion
Customers and external stakeholders expect assurance and deliverables to be met consistently. An aligned organization develops mechanisms to ensure that processes within the organization exactly deliver what the customer expects. This way, the organization can consistently ensure customer satisfaction.
How to Attain Strategic Alignment?
Ensure that all leaders are on the same page
The executive team is responsible for outlining clear and compelling options for where to play and what actions to take. When done correctly, a successful strategic plan positions a company to outperform the sum of its parts.
Before you can expect your teams to consistently execute the strategy across the company, your leadership team must all agree that the strategy is clear, credible, and implementable.
Invest the time and effort necessary to align your leaders on your vision, mission, values, target market, unique value proposition, success metrics, and strategic priorities.
Next-level leaders (one level below the executive team) must buy into and commit to the strategic direction to achieve accurate strategic alignment. They must be actively involved in the strategy design process to accomplish this.
After you’ve got the executive team on the same page in step #1, we recommend getting honest and direct feedback from next-level leaders on what needs to be clarified, added, changed, or deleted for the strategy to be clear, credible, and implementable enough to move forward in unison. Then, have an open discussion with next-level leaders about the changes you did and did not include in your strategic plan and the reasoning behind your decisions.
Demonstrate how line managers and individual contributors contribute to the success
Line managers and employees will be far more invested in the strategic plan for success if they have a clear view of their role. Every employee contributes, from the cafeteria worker who understands that a nutritious and appealing meal sends employees back to work well-fed to the accountant who understands that accurate and timely reporting expedites decision-making.
Ascertain that everyone understands the overall strategy, and then assist them in defining their specific goals, roles, success metrics, and unique contribution.
Maintain the Plan in the Foreground
Your strategy communication should be clear, consistent, and ongoing. Every meeting should cover strategic links, progress, issues, and how to solve emerging problems before they become too big to handle.
The plan and progress should be communicated to all employees via emails, one-on-one meetings, company newsletters, social media, or any other means available to you. Be innovative while remaining transparent.
How Engagedly Helps to Achieve People and Strategy Alignment?
Creating a solid strategy is something that every organization strives for. A highly effective strategy assists organizations in establishing a competitive position, increasing market share, and thriving in a harsh business environment. Or they become obsolete and die slowly. However, here we will tell you why the Engagedly learning feature is the right tool to execute that strategy and bring the strategic processes to life.
1. Improve the onboarding process for new employees
The process of including new employees in an organization is known as onboarding. It’s critical to understand the distinction between onboarding and orientation. Orientation is a one-day event that usually kicks off the onboarding process. However, onboarding can last for months or even years after an employee is hired.
When hiring new employees, many businesses need to pay more attention to the importance of onboarding. 22% of businesses don’t have a formal onboarding program yet, and 49% have a partially successful process. What does lousy onboarding look like? New employees are less productive, stressed, disconnected, and more likely to seek alternative employment.
Companies spend a lot of money on employee turnover because of poor onboarding procedures. Onboarding increases employee engagement. The process benefits both new and returning employees, and company leaders.
The first days of a new job leave an indelible impression on an employee and lay the groundwork for their overall engagement with the organization. Engagedly tools such as LMS, goal-setting module, 30-60-90 reviews, file drive feature, and social sharing platform can assist you in providing your employees with the tools, knowledge, and roadmap they require from day one.
2. Maintain regular check-ins and project reviews
A check-in meeting allows managers to receive updates on current projects and challenges, reinforce team goals, and identify potential engagement issues as they arise. In other words, a check-in allows you to take the temperature of your team.
They are more akin to one-on-one discussions between managers and employees about their work, goals, well-being, and development plans. They will assist you in better understanding what your employees are working on and how you can help them. Employees are 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their full potential when they feel like they belong at work, which regular check-ins facilitate.
Employee engagement is becoming increasingly important for employees, as they feel isolated and unsupported due to remote work. According to Harvard Business School, 40% of those polled felt physically and emotionally isolated from their workplace.
Engagedly is a tool that provides tools for teams working on projects across departments and regions to conduct regular check-ins and project reviews. You can ensure progress and accountability across your organization with our ongoing check-ins, 360 assessments, OKR, and goal-setting software.
A people culture solidifies an organization’s foundation as a people-focused enterprise. Employees’ needs should be heard, acknowledged, and addressed. Great people managers are the critical missing link in developing a great organizational culture. Encourage good people management by including it in key performance indicators for managers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the relationship between HR and business strategy?
Employees in the organization reflect all elements that contribute to the actualization of the Business strategy, such as skill, attitude, competencies, reward, recognition, satisfaction due to effective promotion policy, desired behaviors to keep customers satisfied, performance, required passion, team spirit, and so on. This translates into business numbers like productivity, growth, and profits.
Q2. How do you get ready for a strategic planning session?
Several factors can impact how you prepare for a strategic planning session. What type of preparations are required heavily depends on where the group is in the strategic planning process. For example, if a company’s management team is starting, it may indicate that building clarity and alignment around the planning approach is critical.
Q3. Why is strategy formulation more difficult than strategy implementation?
Strategy implementation is transforming a previously developed strategy into a set of concrete actions. Strategy implementation is more complex than strategy formulation because it necessitates significant work and coordination. Implementation necessitates resources, time, and effort to ensure the plan is carried out effectively.
Jacqueline Martinez is the Director of Marketing at Engagedly, where she leads initiatives to fuel the marketing-to-sales pipeline through strategic content management, revenue operations, and thoughtful mentoring. She is a growth-focused marketing executive with extensive experience driving multi-million-dollar revenues across SaaS, technology, real estate, oil & gas, and financial services industries.