Does your team match your growth ambitions?

By Sarah Hamilton, People Puzzles.

In business you often hear: ‘It’s all about the people.’ But what does that really mean?

Published in UK Director Magazines Spring 24

Helping Business Thrive:
Sarah Hamilton, People Puzzles

Every business leader knows the importance of people. But knowing their importance and aligning them behind strategies to smash growth targets, unlock potential and create great team cultures are very different things.

Core Phases

At People Puzzles, we use proven methods – pooled from our team of top people directors – to drive growth and hit targets. Many small and medium sized businesses don’t need, or can’t afford, a full-time people director, but accessing one of our team for as little as one day a week really works for them, providing support and expertise in all areas of people strategy to move the business forward.

Typically, we focus on six core phases: communicating priorities, empowering and holding to account your team, managing change and training mid-tier managers to step up, and aligning people behind the business plan. Most businesses need help at each stage.

Strategy in Action

At Camena Bioscience – a pioneering Cambridge biotech scale-up – people director, Liz Allen, has spent the past 18 months working alongside founder and CEO Steve Harvey to identify key barriers to growth. Examples include recruitment and retention, implementing solutions, and developing the employer brand to attract and retain the best talent. Steve says:

“Our talent attraction has been a lot smoother. We haven’t struggled to fill roles this year and can now recruit quickly with the right objectives and understand how to measure success.”

While the overall headcount has trebled, most have been direct hires thereby reducing costs by nearly 20%.

At Stansted-based GT Engine Services, an initial deep dive helped people director, Andrew Johnson, define ambitious business goals over three years and design a people plan to drive engagement, accountability and performance. This included recruitment and retention, leadership development, and even HR Systems. CEO Greg MacLeod has been delighted at the impact, describing Andrew as ‘commercially astute and a pragmatic provider of a strategy that meets our needs’.

Tactical Expertise

Businesses have different needs as they grow. The necessary level of strategic people support will vary greatly for a business with ten employees compared to one with 50+. Understanding where your business is and bringing in the right level of expertise tactically, without incurring the costs and risks of a full-time hire, sets your business apart from the competition and helps you scale sustainably with low risk.

Does your team match your growth ambitions? 1

Get in Touch

Does your team match your growth ambitions? 5Sarah Hamilton is Eastern Regional Director at People Puzzles

See how you’re doing with People Puzzles’ free HR Healthcheck – scan the QR code and schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

T: 0345 646 5201
Or visit  

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