It's that time of year again when we promise ourselves to do those things that we know we should, but just haven't quite gotten around to them yet. The infamous New Year's resolutions.

Losing weight and exercising always seem to be on the top of my list. Cleaning out the garage also comes to mind.

But I would really like you to consider one related to the employees in your business - developing a People Plan.

Your management team conducts market studies before you launch new products. You do return-on-investment analyses when buying new equipment. So why is it so hard to develop a People Plan when, for many employers, labor costs are hugely significant and the shortage of employee talent is often a restriction?

In talking with some of my Capstone clients, I hear that they don't know what a People Plan is and how to do one. But that's such an easy fix.

A People Plan is simply a presentation made to the head of your organization by each person who reports to that individual about the employees within their departmental area.

What's included in this presentation? It starts by telling the chief executive who the high-potential employees currently are and why. It should then go on to discuss how these HI-POs can best be used to advance the company's objectives and what is being done to protect these people from leaving the business.

And that's just about it. Ah, if it were only that simple.

Because, when you think of it, you will need to justify to the CEO how you determined who's on your list and who is not, which begs for an objective performance appraisal system to make sure you didn't miss anyone's talents.

You will also have to review your organizational structure and present options for how your staff might allow for quicker responses to the needs of the marketplace, assuming you are astute enough to know them.

You will certainly have to touch upon your employee development plans for your staff. And that usually leads to a discussion of compensation and how to better link changes in compensation to job performance that supports the company's objectives.

So, it will take some effort. But I can assure you, just like losing weight, the end result will be worth it.

Your list of 2020 New Year's resolutions needs to include developing a People Plan within your organization.

Randy Fox, SHRM, SCP, SPHR, is founder and senior partner of Capstone HR Services, Inc.

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