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Annie Hayes

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People planning triggers biggest headache

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Getting people strategy right is the hardest business challenge.

This is according to a new survey by Barclays Commercial Bank which reveals that people strategy beats off marketing and sales, financial forecasts, risk management and environmental and corporate responsibility policy as the most difficult part of a business plan to get right.

This challenge is compounded for many companies by the issue of skills shortages, with 42 per cent saying this represents a significant threat to their business.

A third admit that new blood in the form of fresh talent would have the single greatest impact on their competitiveness over the coming year. This was considered even more important than business expansion via merger/acquisition (27 per cent), additional cash flow (21 per cent) or trading overseas (13 per cent).

People planning is included in 79 per cent of business plans and 42 per cent of businesses have already invested more in recruitment and employee development over the last 12 months.

Simon Jones, acting chief executive of standard setters, Investors in People, said that the emphasis that businesses are placing on their employees is encouraging.

“However, if businesses are to remain competitive, they must factor all elements of their people requirements into their business planning. Failure to employ the right people, with the right skills set, can have a real impact on the bottom line and prospects for future growth of a business.”

The research highlights that it’s is still the day-to-day issues that get in the way of effective long-term planning, with 80 per cent of respondents citing this as an issue. Shockingly one in seven businesses in the UK has no business plan in place at all.

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Annie Hayes

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