Deep breath! We’re almost half way through the year and although it might feel that you have no time to step back from the day to day running of your business, now’s a great time to do just that and consider the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up with the issues going on right in front of you - the urgent emails, the latest operational crisis - but great leaders know that regular strategic planning is essential and is something which can't wait...

When it comes to your people and their management and growth, most leaders are just thrilled when there's little 'noise' going on with them. There might be a few niggles that they've noticed - perhaps some have been less responsive or engaged recently or perhaps there have been a few issues with leavers/ joiners - but to smash your goals, people management is a key part of your plan for success, so here are some tips on where you need to focus on.

Check your Objectives are still relevant and recommit 

When we’re six months into a year, it can feel like the writing is already on the wall for the year. In fact, the goals that you set back in January can seem like a distant memory if you haven't been regularly assessing them. So check-in with them as you would anyone else in your team: what's your progress is against them so far? Are they still relevant (if not, then change now)? What else can you do to make sure you achieve them?

And don't forget to share with the team: let them know how you're doing and what else they can all do to contribute. Being involved and informed is hugely motivating for your team and could be a great time to celebrate success in a few key areas. 

Make sure you're people are happy 

Happy employees = happy customers (something we've written about before here) = happier you! So chat to your team and find out how they're doing: in their work and in their general lives. You will have a better chance of your team opening up about their challenges at work if they trust you and so spending some time building relationships with them as well as checking on on their progress against their goals will pay dividends.

Make sure you have your HR brilliant-basics sorted

We don’t like to talk about HR in terms of box ticking. It’s deeper than that. When you get it right, it’s about driving your strategic objectives. It’s about nurturing folks. It’s about adding real value to your bottom line. But we’re also realistic, and there are some basics which you should make sure you've covered to ensure that you're compliant with legislation, with your duties as an employer and that they have everything they need to do a great job. This can be anything from making sure all your policies and procedures are up to date in light of legislative changes (as well as relevant to your own culture - don't over egg them), reviewing your salaries to make sure you are within market rates (remember, salary can be a de-motivator if not paid along the lines of peers and the wider market) or making sure they have the right tools and technology to actually achieve what they needed to do. In one business where I worked, a quick conversation with the team over 'what do you need' resulted in a few extra keys being cut for the office so that people could actually access the office before the office manager arrived!  

Start planning for a successful year end

Even if you think you haven't been as 'on-it' as you should have been to date, there is more than enough time to focus everyone on what is needed to achieve what you need to. So when the weather’s warm and summer holidays are the current topic of discussion, talking about Christmas almost seems unnatural. Some forward planning can help to avoid a whole world of problems though. If your business experiences a rush around the fourth quarter, then consider exactly how that will map out and if you need to start thinking about recruiting/training/promoting individuals now. As well, consider your practical people issues. You might experience an influx of leave requests, for example, and you need to be prepared for keeping up and keeping track.

If you’ve taken your eye off the ball and you feel like 2017 is just happening to you, then we can help. We offer an HR audit service, and we can make sure that you’re in a position to make this year a resounding success for your business. Drop us a line at or call us on 0203 627 7048 to arrange your initial no-obligation consultation.

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