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, and at the very least,  to question what actually works at a cost-effective price.

Human Resources has become over complicated and I think the time has come to bring it back-to-basics.

Let me provide you with a couple of real instances.

1. Employee Engagement

This is a multi-million-dollar business globally. Companies spend thousands / millions on measuring their employee engagement: often asking standardised questions and collating some data to advise what the engagement drivers are across their organisation and how they compare against others.

Is it time for a simple approach?

As things have and continue to change at a rapid pace, 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?
  • Collect the data in real-time, act on this, then measure again in the not-too-distant future?
  • Have this simple process turn into significant business intelligence data, rather than ‘engagement’ data?

Covid has challenged some thinking about benchmarking and what key engagement drivers are – is your current EX strategy actually resonating with your people?

2. Performance Framework

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 us bring it back to basics:

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

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

This is of particular interest and importance to feel connected as we all work from home and have dispersed teams.

3. Foundations – Talent Strategy

Here is an analogy to highlight a back-to-basics approach. It is based on the 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni.

When building a house, the first and most critical thing to get right is the blueprint – the plan of the house and this starts with planning and laying a stable foundation. The foundation of Lencioni’s model is trust, the foundation of my thinking is the talent strategy.

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 would be able to articulate this clearly.

However, the talent strategy is not always as clear…

Add an exceptionally low employment rate where it is harder to attract and secure talent and you may not achieve your business objectives.

Q: When was the last time you checked what skills your current employees actually possess?

Q: Are you crystal clear about the succession plans in place?

Q: Do you have individualistic training and development plans in place for your key / high performers.

If not – your competition may well have the edge on you, and you could experience the ‘great resignation’ scenario first-hand.

The Great Resignation. Why millions of employees could quit their jobs post-pandemic

Let us 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, and more often in this changing environment.

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.

Ensure you have your talent strategy clear to futureproof your business.

If you need advice, please contact us.

General Manager – Consulting

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