People make the difference
In the many years I have worked in HR, I have seen first hand how the businesses with an HR plan that is aligned to their business strategy deliver better outcomes. It is also no secret that the companies who put their people first deliver significantly higher performance than those that do not.
However, there are many cases where the plan is not aligned, and this is where you can use our skills to enhance your business performance.
I worked with an organisation that had started a journey to growth with a clear finance, sales and production based plan. They had defined the targets and communicated the plan to their employees. They called me in as they were feeling frustrated as they were not getting the traction they had wanted and had missed their first targets.
I asked them to take me through their strategy and immediately I identified several reasons why there might be a gap between the targets set by the management team and the results.
The business had three avenues for their planned growth:
1.Increase sales by upselling to existing customers
2.Create a ‘standard’ product to sell through distribution networks
3.Segment customers for basic and premium product offerings and target marketing and sales activity appropriately.
All of the above sound sensible, however, there were several barriers to success that they had failed to take into consideration by not looking at their strategy from the people perspective. These included:
- The sales force were nervous to upsell to existing customers as they were not confident in the on-time delivery capability of the business and they didn’t want to damage their hard-earned customer relationships
- The sales force were highly technically skilled and did not possess the knowledge or desire to sell through distribution channels
- The marketing team were not close enough to the product to create the customer segmentation accurately, so the sales force lost trust
- The business was targeted on Gross Profit and Total Sales so there was no incentive to focus on the segmented sales plan
- When asked, the majority of the business had no idea how the plan impacted them and their daily work so they continued to do what they had always done.
I set about addressing the issues through the addition of an HR strategy to support the business strategy. We looked at the interdependencies through departments and created cross-functional working groups to solve issues, reduce silo’s and build confidence. We hired people with the right skills to lead sales through the new channel model. We changed the commission and bonus plans to drive and reward the desired behaviour and activity. We conducted engagement surveys to understand individual and team concerns and addressed issues quickly so there was tangible change. Finally, we relaunched the strategy with a really motivating company session (followed by an amazing lunch and team-building afternoon).
Unsurprisingly, with a motivated and engaged workforce that had the right skills and rewards in place, the business performed better than its target as we increased turnover by 28% within a year and had a positive profit trend, showing the power and benefit of considering the people as well as the financial targets overall.
If you want to see how we can help you achieve your business targets more effectively then get in touch with a member of ViewHR today.