What’s Your Human Resources Plan?

A company that fails to recognize the importance of having a strategic human resources plan puts itself at risk.

Having a strong human resources strategy and function in your company is like flossing your teeth – everyone agrees it is a good idea, but many of us just don’t get around to it. Yet, if you ask any executive who leads a sizable enterprise what keeps him up at night, I would bet that 90 percent of these leaders include people or talent in the top five on their list of worries. 

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Related: Distribution Executives’ Top Concern in 2011 – People

They worry about whether they have the right people, enough people, people who will be able to step up into greater responsibility within the company, honest people, creative people – the list goes on and on.

In my 25-plus years of consulting in the human resources arena, I have worked with some companies that make people their top priority and some that invest virtually nothing in talent. And I’ve seen the results of these different strategies. What I know for certain is that a company that fails to recognize the importance of having (and working) a strategic human resources plan puts itself at great risk.

This is the first of what will be many blog posts about human resources. Some will focus on issues faced by any employer. Some will focus on issues particularly vexing to the wholesale distribution sector – an area that makes up a large portion of my firm’s executive search practice. My goal is to get the readers of MDM to think critically about HR issues, to share some of their successes and failures and to gather some new ideas and strategies. I will start some interesting conversations and also present the ideas of some of the sector’s leaders and experts.

So, I will finish this first entry with a question, designed to give me some indication of what might be on people’s minds.

Which of these is most challenging in your business – and why?

1.       Finding great talent

2.       Keeping great talent

Click here to take this one-question survey, or reply in the comments below.

I’ll share some results in a future blog. Until then, let me know what you think.

John Salveson has been a consultant in the field of human resources for more than 25 years. He is Co-Founder and Principal of Salveson Stetson Group, Inc., a retained executive search firm with a specialty practice in the wholesale distribution sector. Contact him at salveson@ssgsearch.com.

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