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Preparing for growth (a people perspective) 

So you’re ready to become the next Steve Jobs?

If you’ve been running a small business and you’re setting your sights for growth in 2016, you might be wondering what it really takes to support your ambition.

Today we’re going to look at how to set strong foundations in planning and preparation from a people perspective…

To bear the load of a growing team.

So that you can minimise your growing pains…

And crystalise your vision of growth with certainty and confidence knowing that you’re truly prepared for the road ahead.

Here are my 7 people planning considerations for the small business breaking out of it’s shell.

You need to:

1. Want to grow 
This means understanding what your growth plans are and ensuring that you have a leader in the business who actually wants to manage people. This is perhaps one of the largest traps for experts in their field who suddenly find themselves with a big team and no time or inclination to actually manage them.

2. Change your mindset  
If you don’t see yourself as a larger business, then you’ll always make decisions based on what you have done previously and not necessarily on what the business needs.

3. Create a clear plan and be on top of your numbers 
Both from a budget perspective and a workforce planning perspective (as per the topic of last week’s article – read it again here). How does the growth directly impact the type of workforce you need? Get help answering these questions with the Business Health Check resource below.

4. Define your values and get policies and procedures in place
Of course I believe that even if you have one employee you should have some policies, procedures and contracts. However, the general tipping point is when you hire your 3rd staff member. The old ‘handshake’ agreement unfortunately just doesn’t cut it.

5. Systematise 
Understand your systems to ensure access, confidentiality, reliability and control.

6. Build a space for growth
Review what space requirements you have and the type of space you will provide. Will it be agile, office based, open plan etc.? The type of work environment can significantly impact people’s productivity, satisfaction and engagement.

7. Communicate your vision 
Get your team on board with the growth so they understand it and become part of it.

Strategic Workforce Planning

In thinking about the types of employees you may need, ‘Strategic Workforce Planning, Forecasting Human Capital Needs to Execute Business Strategy’ by The Conference Board outlines a useful model.

This model highlights 4 types of roles.

The first two are roles that affect the strategy. The next two are roles that are affected by the strategy:

1. Strategic Roles

These are roles which are critical to ensuring long-term success and competitive advantage. Normally they will have specialised skills, knowledge or the leadership capability to drive the business forward. It’s important to build these roles within your business (whether it’s as key positions within the business, advisory committees or boards).

2. Core roles

These are the resources that are absolutely critical to ensuring the company delivers on the products and services that they are known for. Otherwise referred to as the ‘Engine of the Enterprise’. It’s important to protect these roles within your business and lock them in wherever possible.

3. Requisite roles

These positions need to be carried out but could be delivered through alternate staffing models (i.e. outsourcing, offshore resources or systemised with technological advancements). Review whether these positions could be outsourced, stream-lined or automated.

4. Non-core

These positions are skill sets that no longer align with the company’s strategic direction, processes or requirements. Review whether these positions can be re-directed.

Start to think about where your current employees fall into the above 4 categories and which categories the people you want to recruit will fall into.


Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!