1. THE PEOPLE STUFF: WHY IT MATTERS
Who wouldn’t want and need their organisation to be as successful as possible? Put simply nobody. We believe that business success is truly dependent upon three key ‘I’s:
1. Ideas: compelling innovations around which you can create an easily marketable brand.
2. Investment: capital for start-up and growth plus cashflow; the life-blood of every organisation.
3. Individuals: the right talented people, in the right roles, delivering innovations and high levels of service, working to their potential – in a happy and inspired way.
These three are of equal importance yet the third ‘I’ is rarely given the attention, time, resources and investment it needs. There is a clear gap between recognising the power of people and delivering a robust people strategy in our fast-moving ever more demanding and diverse world.
Becoming people-centric is the way to go
We love the courageous, determined and high-impact human resource director (HRD) who positions him/herself in a triangular relationship with the chief executive officer (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO). This is the way to get things done, secure the necessary investment and create commitment from the top.
But this book is not just for organisations that are large enough to justify an HR resource. Great people-centricity can still be achieved if you know how to make it joined-up and simple – that’s what this book is all about. One of our most successful SME (small and medium enterprise) clients, turning over in excess of £25m and winning many prestigious people awards along the way, has no internal HR resource at all.
Why does the people stuff, despite the best intentions, fall by the wayside so often? Because many business leaders and owners are often so busy dealing with the day-to-day stuff and fighting to survive and thrive that the subject of people just falls off the bottom of the list. Consequently people drop in and out of the organisation at an alarming rate costing time hassle and money. Most organisations don’t measure the cost of replacing a leaver – it’s just too difficult, too scary or both.
For a start there are the direct costs of recruiting a replacement, such as recruiting fees, time, interim cover, induction and so forth. The big impact, though, is made by the indirect costs – the expenditure people often don’t even pause to consider.
· Knowledge loss
· General instability
· Service disruption/quality
· Customer relationships/loss
· Increased threat of competition
· People leaving as a result
· Drop in productivity
· Effect on morale
· Disruption to team dynamics
· Effects on reputation
You can probably come up with some more if you really think about it . . .
There’s a great (true) story about a managing director who pitched the idea of recruiting a global HRD, for his board of directors, only to discover the thought they already had one! This shows that (a) the board weren’t giving much boardroom time to the third ‘I’ and (b) the expectations of said HRD must have been pretty low. We heard this from the person who was ultimately appointed to the role and then went on to take the organisation by storm. The board certainly knows it has a group HRD now.
So why isn’t everyone doing something about it?