When it comes to building a business and taking steps to ensure its success, there’s a lot to think about – from doing extensive market research and offering a quality product, through to managing risk and even making sure you have a suitable location.
One thing that certainly cannot be neglected when it comes to developing a winning strategy for your company is taking care of your employees. They say that a chain is only as good as its weakest link, and this is certainly true when it comes to your staff and how their work, qualifications and happiness can affect the overall success of your organisation.
So how do you deal with your employees in order to get the best results? For one thing, you need to take a good approach to human resources (HR). A strong HR team will put policies and procedures into place that help to ensure a fair workplace and content staff, and they will also be able to offer advice during the hiring process to make sure that the right candidate joins the company.
In addition, good communication is a must. Carrying out regular staff meetings will help to ensure that everyone feels like part of the team – and even if somebody isn’t based in your office, you can use conference call providers to let them join in the conversation. Other tools can also be used to improve communication, including emails, monthly newsletters and even noticeboards on the company intranet.
Below, we take a look at some case studies to see how some of the UK’s big names developed their HR strategies.
Established in 1903, Tarmac is a leading supplier of building materials and aggregates.
Tarmac created an integrated plan that required all of its employees to contribute to the company in different ways, while focusing on its five main goals – they can be easily remembered with the acronym DREAM: develop markets, reduce costs, engage employees, act responsibly and manage assets.
The company makes a point to motivate employees and provide regular opportunities to develop their professional skills through both internal and external courses. Tarmac has also taken steps to improve communications and senior managers make a point to clearly share corporate objectives so that employees know what they need to achieve to help the company meet its targets.
Another company that specialises in building materials, Travis Perkins has a history that dates back to the late 18th century – but it was just in 1988 when it gained its current name after two building merchants merged.
The company’s business strategy is built around growth, and it sees strong human resources as a foundation for that. As such, Travis Perkins has invested heavily in training and developing its team, as well as carrying out routine performance monitoring.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Also known as the FCO, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the government department that is responsible for promoting British interests overseas. It has around 2,700 people working within the UK, as well as 1,800 British employees overseas.
Constant change is a major challenge for the FCO, and the department deals with this via a dynamic and adaptable workforce and good resource planning to ensure that objectives are met both now and in the future.
The FCO actively seeks out employees from a wide range of backgrounds and who have transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different tasks. As part of its workforce planning, the HR team must think ahead to fit people with the right skills into the best jobs and recruitment activities can then be focused on skills shortages.