January can be the time when companies develop their plans for the coming year. So many times we have seen businesses setting business goals for the year, but forgetting about planning for the people activities. It’s very easy, isn’t it, to get consumed within the business and forget to plan ahead with activities affecting your people.

I have found it useful to have a calendar drawn up which identifies the key people-based activities throughout the year. It will help you plan ahead with your resources and time, and make sure you are properly prepared for some important activities affecting the people within your business.

Some of the actions affecting your people are tied into cyclical employee lifecycle activities that are process driven and linked into your company’s financial cycle. But others will relate to any change you want to introduce to your business.

A sample calendar is shown here. It captures most of the cyclical people activities we would expect to see during the year. If you would like to download a free copy of this calendar for you to amend and use as you wish, please click here to head over to our resource library.

One question to ask yourself is in which people-related activities should I invest my energy and resources to get maximum benefit for the business?

I would identify the following three areas where actions affecting your people can be harnessed to make a real difference to your business goals, your bottom line and your success this year:

  • Recruitment – identifying the right people with the right talent that will fit well into your businesses and contribute to its success
  • Helping managers coach and provide feedback to their people – up-skilling you and your managers to manage people effectively to avoid sweeping things under the carpet or allowing negative attitudes and behaviour to perpetuate
  • Identifying your key business goals and understanding how this will impact on your people, now and in the future, and planning how to address this.

Other people actions which you need to plan for will be more tailored to your business. Successful businesses are developing, growing, changing and adapting all of the time and this change will inevitably have an effect on the workforce in one way or another. Whether you want to reorganise and streamline how you want things to operate, restructure to grow your business or take on new technology, the people element of that change will often determine how successful the implementation is.

Whatever your key business goals are this year, don’t let the people element be side-lined or become an ancillary consideration or afterthought. Ensuring you have a people plan to support your key goals will enable you to implement change more effectively, bring your workforce with you and cement your success in the long run.

Because at the end of the day, your business is about the quality of your people, and how effective and engaged they are. At the beginning of a new year, why not take some time to map out what you want to achieve with your people.