As a Consultant I talk to a diverse range of businesses.

At Optimum Consulting, our clients range from small entrepreneurial start-ups to large institutional clients which gives me a fascinating insight to the people challenges these businesses face.

One thing that resonates with all at the moment is that there seems to be a trend to go back to a simpler way of doing things. Human Resources has become overcomplicated and I think the time has come to bring it back-to-basics.

Let me provide you a couple of real instances.

Employee Engagement

This is a multi-million-dollar business globally. Companies spend thousands on measuring their employee engagement: asking standardised questions often 50-100 questions and collating some data to action as to what the engagement drivers are across your organisation.

Is it time for a simple approach?

Would it be better to ask 5-10 questions to our employees to find out their thoughts of what is working versus what is not? Act on this and measure again – some organisations are adopting this, and it is turning into real business intelligence data rather than engagement data.  


This is another very high-profile topic with various aspects and methods including rating scales between employees, managers, peers… everyone is asking if it should it be annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly…

Let’s bring it back to basics:

If every employee knows what is expected of them, have clear and agreed goals that are aligned to business objectives and have a boss who is capable of coaching and developing them wouldn’t that be great?

We think so and have developed My Employee Life™ which helps simplify what needs to be done, by whom by when.


Here is an analogy to highlight a back-to-basics approach.

I built a house for the first-time last year. The first and most critical thing to get right is the blueprint – the plan of the house. In hindsight this was the longest and hardest part of the process to get right.

This is where I think many organisations both big and small get it a little wrong.

The business plan or strategy is usually in place across a business – ask what success would look like in 12 months and most business owners and executives will be able to articulate this clearly. However, the talent strategy is not always as clear…

Let’s again bring it back to basics.

Optimum believe that if an organisation is clear on its’ business goals the simplest way to achieve those goals is through its’ biggest asset: its people.

But you need to plan this through as carefully as the business strategy – as carefully as building a house, after all:

Without a clear plan or blueprint across the business for both business and talent objectives, the foundations cannot be laid: without solid foundations the house or business will not be stable and will be in more danger of failing as it builds.

So are you making things more complicated?

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