Working as VP of Product Marketing for Sage HCM portfolio, I spend a lot of my working and personal life researching, reading up on and talking about the latest trends in people management, and future gazing about what the forthcoming years have in store for us. In this series of blogs, I would like to share my thoughts on how we can make the best of ‘now’ and we can protect ourselves from whatever the future holds for people managers and HR teams alike.
Please feel free to comment and share these posts, I would love to hear your thoughts.
I personally believe that the most vital component in a business’s success, is the people it is composed of. This makes finding talent and on-boarding the right people into your organization a key factor for success.
With growth of any kind comes growing pains – and even if your company is not in a growth phase, it still has to replace departing employees and ensure that everyone is as current in their training and skills as possible.
Whether it’s a few or many, the first thing to sort out is how to attract the right talent. If anything, we need to be more competitive in a growing market, because with more demand for skills, good people can afford to pick and choose.
And when you’re hiring more people, they have to fit in and come on board quickly and smoothly. If it’s a lot of new hires, this has to be particularly slick – you’ve got to equip new hires with the tools they need to be successful as quickly as possible.
Of course, the times when a business is hiring lots of new staff tends to also happen to be periods where everyone is rushed off their feet meeting the demands of new business or struggling to deal with the capacity issues that the new team members are being hired to solve. It’s often a tricky task that, done wrong, can create more problems and bad experiences for new hires. It’s vital to get key experts in place to act as mentors or buddies and build support networks that get new hires integrated quickly.
A mix of old and new
This raises another issue, of course: managing the mix between new and existing employees, and making sure everyone mingles and integrates well. Existing staff often have their own internal networks to get things done, and processes that they’ve refined over time. New people bring with them fresh thinking, new skills and aptitudes. These are fantastic additions – but they have to incorporate in to practices and behaviors that are already successful. It’s really important to make sure both groups are integrated and incorporate the strengths of all. It’s all too easy for existing staff to feel a little intimidated, outdated or surplus to requirements – often when the exact opposite is the case. One tactic that’s served me well over the years has been to ensure that employees are not siloed, but encouraged to collaborate in new projects and cross-functional teams that involve new and existing staff.
A key thing, I feel, is to share the culture. What is it like to work at your company? There are two elements to this; the existing culture, and what you aspire it to be like. This is something that’s important to create internally, but also helps when recruiting – if someone sees an element of your company’s culture they identify with, they are already engaged, and hopefully they’ll have a good idea of what to expect.
Finally, I’d want to think about the issues and opportunities that are unique to each business. Each company is different of course, but some common areas stand out that are worthy of attention. It could be launching a new product line, expanding into new geographies, identifying and following up new opportunities or an existing market that the business isn’t penetrating to the full extent. All of these things require a different mix of things – it might be more marketing or digital marketing efforts, the creation of a new team or the build-up of an existing one. All of this comes from, and returns to, a thoughtful examination of the company’s P&L, and the creation of a clear plan.
One thing’s clear for me: the next five years are going to involve a lot of change for many companies. Preparing to embrace change, and taking advantage of technological developments that help with Human Capital Management will certainly stand businesses in good stead.