Think HBR

People strategy for the growing business

Adam Loong
Workplace HQ
In almost all situations, business growth generally requires an increase in personnel. Achieving this outcome might sound straight forward however, history shows that mismanagement of this crucial aspect of your growth plan can be the make or break of the business.
Unplanned personnel growth can have significant impact on workforce morale, efficiency and longer-term business profitability. The most common causes are:
Poor Organisational Structure.
As an organisation grows, deliberate structural planning must be undertaken. Too few leaders will likely lead to reduced quality, inconsistent performance and a lack of compliance. Too many leaders (or an overly complicated structure) can hamper decision making and innovation, stifle communication and lead to an excessive wages bill.
• Poor succession and leadership development.
A consistent pattern across SMEs is the promotion of individuals from the floor into leadership roles because, ‘he is loyal … or she's the best salesperson’ etc. Leadership is the critical difference between you and your competition.
It is, therefore critical that people are selected for leadership roles for the right reasons and that they receive the required development and training.
• Inconsistent Policies and Procedures.
Most SMEs have little in terms of process when the team is small and closely managed by the owner/founder of the business. However, as the team grows, so too does the need to implement a more reliable framework to support the company’s values, goals and compliance, and to ensure there are tools available to manage and maximise the potential of the growing workforce.
Would you renovate your home without a plan and the right people to do the job? For obvious reasons the answer is no. Growing your business is no different. It requires a deliberate plan, a focussed and phased approach to ensure the foundations are solid for years to come! This involves developing and implementing a People Strategy aligned to the Business Plan. A fully developed People Strategy includes:
• A clear depiction of the future organisational structure to include identified skill sets and attributes of each role along with a well-thought out phased approach on how the business will move from current structure to the future structure;
• A plan that considers the current workforce vs the future workforce and identifies realistic opportunities for the business to achieve its goals with respect to internal vs external recruitment, development of greater internal procedures to ensure workflow and best practice process is achieved and maintained;
• A thorough review on the current policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the company’s values and support the planned growth and direction of the business; and
• A structured performance improvement system that promotes the company values, recognises and rewards strong performers and quickly identifies personnel that require improvement. The system should also support the growth of the leadership team to improve their communication and maintain transparency across the workforce.
Workplace HQ is a collaboration of three of the Hunter’s leading workplace experts – Skildare, Osborn Law and peoplefusion. The directors of these three businesses work strategically to provide a unique blend of expertise to their clients in the development of a tailor-made People and Business Strategy.
For more information visit
Adam loong Adam Loong

Adam's skills in leadership and strategic decision making, perfected over more than 17 years as a Fighter Pilot has enabled him to successfully apply these proven principles in the Human Resources field.
As a passionate leader of high performance teams, Adam expertly applies simple, effective and proven measures that promote innovation, employee engagement and performance across teams from the executive level to the coal face.