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Wiebke Apitzsch

Connection Failed? How to Sync Your People Strategy and Your Business Strategy


There is no sustainable business success without a sophisticated Business Strategy – it sounds as simple as it is logical. A Business Strategy enables a company to set the course for its ongoing development. It aligns strategic planning with the market situation with regard to competition and trends. What’s more, it determines which measures should be taken to achieve corporate goals. The Business Strategy serves as a basis for the company’s decision making and forms the strategic roadmap for the entire organization.

However, we have noticed time and again that many business leaders disregard a crucial element in their strategic planning: they do not integrate their People Strategy into their Business Strategy. This article explains why it is becoming increasingly important to sync your Business Strategy and your People Strategy and offers tips on how best to do this.

What Does the Business Strategy Have to Do with the People Strategy?

Forming and articulating business goals is a decisive requirement that must not be neglected if a company is going to be managed successfully. Once you have determined the corporate goals you want to achieve in the future, you must carry out the crucial process of analyzing employee needs and the skills required to achieve such goals.

It will only be possible to achieve your business goals if you adopt an effective strategy for recruitment, skills management and talent retention in your company. After all, you cannot implement a Business Strategy if you don’t have employees with the necessary qualifications.

Changing demographic conditions and technological progress are also making it more and more difficult to find and retain highly qualified employees – a challenge that companies will increasingly have to overcome in the future.

The Importance of a People Strategy for Your Company Is Growing

Many companies have difficulties filling vacant positions with qualified employees. This is due to the so-called “skills gap”, a term which refers to the gap between the skills a company needs to fill a vacancy and the skills profile offered by job hunters on the market.

This skills shortage means there is a great demand for highly skilled workers. Many companies are already feeling the effects of this development: The majority of CIOs in the UK (88 %) believe it is more difficult to find skilled workers today than it was five years ago.

However, it’s not just about new employees. The skills profile of current employees and the question as to whether they are sufficiently prepared for future requirements is also of paramount importance. According to a study conducted by the Technical Inspection Association, 54 % of companies in Germany intend to invest heavily in the training and development of their employees.

Read here to find out more about tomorrow’s HR management requirements and to discover how you can use a successful People Strategy to prepare your company for these challenges.

In other words, training your current workforce in the best possible way and ensuring your company is able to attract and retain young talent will have a greater impact on the success of your company.

How to Integrate Your People Strategy into Your Business Strategy

This is where your People Strategy comes into play. Strategic employee management in your organization and the achievement of business goals will be increasingly interdependent. This is because Business Strategy and People Strategy have already been interwoven by external influences.

To ensure that your Business Strategy is achieved, you should continuously align it with the strategies you adopt for recruitment, talent retention and skills development. Who will be involved in implementing this Business Strategy? And what skills do those involved need to lead the company to success?

While formulating your Business Strategy used to be about deciding how to best achieve your business goals, you should now include a “who” in your plan. You can do this by syncing your People Strategy more closely with your Business Strategy.

7 questions to help you link your Business Strategy and People Strategy with each other

No company becomes a people business overnight. To ensure your Business Strategy is successful, however, you should now begin to incorporate your employee requirements as a decisive element. It’s important to ask the right questions:

  1. How do new technologies and changes in society affect my company’s value chain, work practices and skills profiles?
  2. What skills will my employees need in the future that they do not have today? How do I ensure the necessary employee training?
  3. Which jobs with new qualifications will I need in the future? Which jobs with “old” skills profiles will no longer be needed in the future?
  4. What incentives (e.g. flexible working conditions, healthcare benefits and pension schemes) can I offer to attract young talent?
  5. How are the demands placed on the skills of business leaders changing?
  6. How does our corporate culture promote the right skills and attitude to cope with the changes ahead?
  7. What possibilities are there to shape the corporate culture in such a way that my employees can work more productively and with increased levels of motivation?

More on the topic: 4 Steps to a Winning People Strategy for the Future 

A Stronger Focus on the People Strategy – Where Does HR Come In?

Syncing your Business Strategy and your People Strategy does not mean you should bid farewell to your HR department. In fact, the opposite should be the case. All this provides HR departments with the opportunity to tackle one of their typical challenges: struggling with the lack of integration that HR issues have at the managerial level.

Aligning HR with your company’s Business Strategy creates a natural link between business goals and HR tasks. HR also has the opportunity to become a valuable strategy implementer.

In the study “How CEOs and CHROs Can Connect People to Business Strategy”, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed executives and HR staff in 168 companies. Only 24 % of the CEOs surveyed stated that HR supplied the information necessary to link the Business Strategy more closely with the People Strategy.

How does the People Strategy way of thinking differ from the classic HR mindset? Find out more.

For this reason, sync your Business Strategy and your People Strategy in cooperation with your HR staff and thereby give your HR department a strategic component. This is also an opportunity for your HR department to become more involved in your Business Strategy.

This way, you ensure that relevant questions concerning your employees are dealt with. What’s more, your HR department reaps the benefits of having a more strategic function within the company.

Easier said than done? Every company is different. Find out how to link your Business Strategy more closely with your People Strategy. Our experts at TTE will be happy to give you bespoke advice to any queries you may have. Get in touch!



The Team


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