It’s a new year...if I can still say that in February?!  What will this year bring?

After three years of dealing with the pandemic, I reckon that collectively, we have earned our Bachelor Degrees in ‘Managing Curve Balls & Uncertainty’.

Many of us have adapted to the challenges that were, and still are, being thrown our way. Go us! What has impressed me recently, is that despite pessimistic news coverage and a looming recession, the business owners I’ve been in touch with in these early weeks of 2023 are powering on, unperturbed. Some are even banning the ‘R’ word, instead choosing to remain positive, ploughing on with work, striving to realise their dreams, goals and aspirations with plucky determination.

I love this!

I was recently at a very inspiring meeting with an organisation who have ambitions to be a literal world-class business with their service offering. This business want to lead the way in their industry, and have identified that in order to achieve this bold and audacious goal,  they need a clear plan that supports and builds a strong, positive and resilient culture.

Now I know that we hear the term ‘culture’ thrown around a lot! Perhaps so much that it has almost become generic—and at the same time, may mean different things to different people. And while we all can probably identify some fundamental pillars, there are as many subtle flavours of ‘great culture’ as there are varieties of business in New Zealand.  

During my conversation with leaders in this business, we talked about what having a strong, positive culture meant to them, and identified that the answer was two pronged: firstly, having the ‘right people on the bus’ and  secondly, bolstering retention of their great people.

From my work with The People Place, I know that it’s definitely possible to impact these two factors. We chatted further about where and how they could make changes to deliver those outcomes and I suggested how this would look:

Ten steps to support great culture and business success
  1. Provide clarity, and confirm their organisational structure. This enables the next critical step;
  2. Align organisational roles AND each role’s KPIs to the business mission and goals— then—clearly articulate position descriptions. Following this;
  3. Develop a recruitment strategy and process that ensures that they consistently source and hire the right talent. In tandem, they need to:
  4. Ensure onboarding processes are effective and enjoyable, helping each great new employee to have a positive, affirming experience throughout their induction which includes;
  5. Clarity around policies and procedures. This is often overlooked but so important in making sure new employees know what’s expected of them. They have a few weeks where they are taught the new things they need to know and are supported by friendly staff. Following this, conduct;
  6. 30, 60 and 90 day check-ins to provide managers with quality information to support their new starter with any questions they have. From here:
  7. Build a learning, development and performance review framework for your people. Embed these into the annual working rhythm of the business, using strengths as a foundation to promote motivation and buy-in. This framework also supports the development of:
  8. A strong rewards and recognition program, and the set-up of annual remuneration reviews as well as;
  9. Plans around technical skill development and human skill development centred on communication and feedback, trust and high performing teams (all those incredibly valuable yet intangible ‘soft’ skills that are fundamental to success). Finally, all of this would enable us to confirm their;
  10. ‘People investment’ so they could appropriately budget and spend money in the most effective way in the future.

After hearing these steps, the organisation couldn't ignore the simple truth; they had no culture plan— and they needed one!  They signed up for a Discovery session with us, so we could begin the process of identifying their pain points and putting together an HR plan to support their business vision and strategies. If this sounds like something your organisation also needs, give me a call.

I suspect most business leaders in a similar position to the contacts I’ve been talking with—any Kiwi business with brave aspirations, growth plans and a desire to build a culture that supports performance—will know that having a solid foundation as I’ve outlined above, is important. I’m talking important whether the economy dips as much as some commentators predict, or if instead we manage to skim past  a deep-hold recession.  

I acknowledge that it may sound like a lot of planning, work and effort.  And I guess that it is, when you need to do this on-top of your core business. However, when ‘the people stuff’ is your daily focus it’s possible to get each step completed efficiently, seamlessly integrated in your organisational daily habits and making life easier for everyone in the business.  If you’re looking for this clarity and quality, there’s nothing like having expert consultants come into your organisation, bringing their years of experience from different industries to provide a perspective you simply can not gain on your own.

What’s the opportunity cost and risk of NOT getting it done?  

The People Place can help you develop a People Strategy, and implement projects like I have listed above across a six to 12 month period, depending on size and scope.

When you’re ready to get set up for your people, and your business, to grow and succeed— let's talk. We’d love to help. You can email us at hello@thepeopleplace or phone +64 9 300 7224

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash