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Aligning people with business objectives
01 April 2015
Establishing business plans and company objectives can be a time consuming and challenging process. Although critical to business success, managers can often lose sight of these guiding principles over time as day-to-day priorities take precedence.
To ensure high-level business objectives are brought to life, you need a clear understanding of how they translate into specific roles, skills and daily activities. This will help you to determine if you have the right people with the right skills to achieve your organisation’s goals.
By aligning your people with your business objectives, you can ensure that the investment you make in their development is targeted and reflects the strategic direction of the organisation.
Here is how you can ensure your people are aligned with your business objectives:
Analyse plans and objectives
The first step is to analyse your corporate business objectives. What are you looking to achieve as an organisation over the next 12 months, 5 years, 10 years? What positions are vital now, and which roles are going to be the most critical for business growth?
Establish skill requirements
The next step is to establish the key competencies required to undertake these roles. What skillsets are essential today, and how are these likely to change over time? What skills are required that you don’t have? This process should be driven from the top – senior executives are best placed to review business plans and identify the skill requirements for their various business functions.
Conduct a talent audit
Examine your existing workforce. Do your people have the right skills to achieve your current business objectives? Can you identify high potential employees that can help lead your business forward in the future? Are there significant skill gaps that require new headcount? Conducting an audit of existing talent will help to determine the skills gaps that need to be filled to achieve better alignment.
Fill the gaps
You should now have a clear understanding of where the business is headed and the people/skills required to achieve the organisation’s goals. If your current employees are not aligned with your business objectives, consider the type of development they need to build the right skills. This could involve mentoring, coaching, job rotation, secondments or educational programs. If new headcount is required, be sure to recruit people with the skills and experience your business will require over the longer term.
Aligning people with business objectives needs to be an ongoing commitment. Managers in all parts of the organisation should be continually assessing the skills of their team against the current and future plans of the business. This will ensure that skill gaps are identified early on – and that people are developed in the most effective way to help lead the business forward.
Taking stock of where your business is heading can often be overlooked as short-term tasks take precedence. Remember to do the following:
- Make a conscious effort to align managers with long-term objectives
- Work collaboratively to establish where staff skillsets need to develop and where skill gaps may arise
- Match ongoing training to the long term plans of the business
- Help prepare the workforce for future skills demands