What exactly is a People Plan? As our VP of Consulting, Rick Rittmaster says, “It’s like a business plan for your talent”. Just like having an org chart, or future business goals which guide how the company will grow and succeed, a People Plan is for finding, developing, and retaining top talent. Every organization knows that growth is messy, but having a plan in place both for your business and your talent is essential for success and minimizing the mess.
Say you have a goal to double your revenue in the next 3 years. How would you go about achieving that goal? What roles will you need to fill in order to achieve and sustain that growth? What skills will you need that you don’t currently have? Since we know that people drive growth, a People Plan will be key to achieving your goals.
A People Plan consists of two key steps:
1) Charting out your goals
2) Managing talent effectively
Actually, “step zero” to a People Plan is starting with your current state. Before you dive into charting out your goals, first understand what your organization looks like today and assess any gaps. Then, charting your company’s three to five year goals is the next piece of the puzzle. Once you have your goals clearly laid out, you will need to create a future-state org chart. This will allow you to compare with your current state to determine what gaps exist now, and how to prepare for future growth.
Creating a future-state org chart with clear accountabilities will allow your leadership team to define needs and determine which talent has the potential to take on more responsibility. This leads into the next step of creating a People Plan – managing talent effectively.
You probably already have a sense of who your top performers are. If you are like most leaders, it is much less clear what top performers need to advance. Review what the company needs out of each role in the future state org chart. To develop talent into these roles you will need to identify practical action plans that build capability (skills, experience, and attributes) aligned with the needs of the organization. (Check out our previous webinar on this topic for more information!) Most of this can, and should, come from on-the-job experiences. Successful companies are built on strong talent, and effectively developing talent is a proven method to growing your business.
Throughout the people planning process, you may also be asking yourself: “Do I have the talent internally or do I need to start looking externally?” Knowing a new role needs to be filled externally can feel daunting. Fear not! Since you will have spent time charting out the goals and future state of your organization, you already have a leg up in understanding what talent you will need.
Having a strong and well-developed team is essential to reaching your goals and a People Plan will ensure you have the right talent in the right seat at the right time.