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Create a People Strategy

Focus HR resources where they will have the greatest organizational impact. Download McLean & Company's research to develop a people strategy.

  • Truly understanding organizational goals, sources of competitive advantage, and critical capabilities requires a different skill set and approach than HR may be accustomed to.
  • Limited resources for strategic initiatives and an ongoing commitment to deliver core HR services restrict HR’s ability to create value for organizations.

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  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

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Critical Insight

  • Senior leaders are demanding more strategic value from their HR departments, but are not changing the level of resources available to them.
  • This means that while there are myriad effective HR programs and processes that will benefit organizations, there are not enough resources to execute even half of them well.
  • HR leaders must prioritize aspects of the workforce that are critical to executing a people strategy and identify HR initiatives that will best support them.

Impact and Result

  • Identifying the key talent implications required to achieve the organization’s goals enables the creation of targeted HR initiatives.
  • Reviewing existing initiatives and reallocating resources to strategically aligned activities will make the most out of limited resources, while helping to build the case for additional resources.

Create a People Strategy Research & Tools

2. Establish the future state

Prioritize talent implications, create strategic pillars, and identify HR outcomes.

3. Pinpoint gaps

Understand the current state compared to the desired future state to determine gaps that HR initiatives will address.

4. Create a roadmap

Develop an action plan and communicate this strategy to the organization.

Talent Strategy

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How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Lead the HR function through a process that will create a talent strategy that targets the specific talent attributes needed to achieve the strategic aims of the organization.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the critical aspects of an organization’s direction needed to create a talent strategy.
  • Create strategic pillars and HR outcomes that will help the organization achieve its goals.
  • Prioritize HR initiatives that will have the greatest impact on the organization.
  • Communicate effectively throughout the process so all major stakeholders are aware of and informed about the talent strategy.

Course Modules

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Module 1

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Module 2

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Module 3

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Module 4

Workshop: Create a People Strategy

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Review Organizational Strategy and Identify HR Implications

The Purpose

  • Gain an understanding of the organization’s strategy and objectives.
  • Determine the importance of aligning the people strategy to the overall organizational strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A thorough review of the organization’s current state.
  • A deep dive into overall organizational strategy and objectives.




Review organizational strategy

  • Strategic review summary

Conduct a SWOT analysis.

  • SWOT summary

Understand HR implications

  • Talent themes

Module 2: Debrief Stakeholder Feedback and Identify Talent Implications

The Purpose

  • Identify talent implications that holistically cover the organization’s overall requirements, effects, and consequences on talent.
  • Derive high-level themes which will steer the HR strategic pillars forward.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the talent implications on talent segments, competencies, culture, compliance, data, core processes, talent sources.
  • The involvement of key stakeholders in the identification of talent implications will support leadership buy-in.




Debrief HR Stakeholder Management Survey

  • HRSM survey results

Identify talent implications

  • Talent implications

Determine themes from implications

Module 3: Validate Priorities and Define Strategic Pillars

The Purpose

Define the overarching prioritized themes that will become the strategic pillars for the people strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

Identification of the strategic pillars that will allow HR to focus on key prioritized areas.




Prioritize talent implication themes

  • Prioritized talent implication themes

Create strategic pillars

  • Strategic pillars

Module 4: Define HR Outcomes and Assess HR’s Ability to Support Outcomes

The Purpose

  • Determine the outcome and impact the strategic pillars can have on the organization.
  • Identify specific HR deliverables and initiatives required to achieve the outcomes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • The identification of the ideal state of HR that would support each strategic pillar.
  • The determination of current state gaps that need to be addressed.
  • The understanding of how HR initiatives can drive the people strategy.




Create HR outcomes

  • HR outcomes

Assess HR’s ability to support HR outcomes


Identify initiatives to deliver HR outcomes

Module 5: Create Initiatives and an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Identify the accountabilities of responsibilities of HR initiatives.
  • Finalize the people strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A detailed profile for each HR initiative.
  • An action plan to integrate and communicate the people strategy.




Finalize initiatives

  • HR initiatives

Develop action plan

  • Action plan

Create a people strategy timeline

  • People strategy presentation

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Identify talent implications
  • Call 1: Discuss analysis and activities to understand organizational direction.
  • Call 2: Determine strategy scope and proper communication plan.

Guided Implementation 2: Establish the future state
  • Call 1: Review talent implications and discuss potential omissions.
  • Call 2: Review strategy pillars and HR outcomes for alignment and clarity.

Guided Implementation 3: Pinpoint gaps
  • Call 1: Review HR Stakeholder Management results and discuss communication strategy with stakeholders.
  • Call 2: Discuss gaps and identify appropriate initiatives and related McLean & Company resources.

Guided Implementation 4: Create a roadmap
  • Call 1: Discuss prioritization of initiatives to help identify critical tasks.
  • Call 2: Review completed talent strategy prior to distribution and discuss key messaging.


  • Carol Beatty, Director of the Industrial Relations Center, Queens University, President, Warp Speed Training Enterprises
  • Robert Carlyle, Director, Strategic Workforce Management, Royal Bank of Canada
  • Alfonsina Chang, Professor, Seneca College
  • Courtney Harrison, Consultant
  • Michael Hoseus, Executive Director, Center for Quality People & Organizations (CQPO)
  • Lisa Jenkins, Process Optimization and Change Management Consultant
  • Sonya Kunkel, Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice-President, Talent Strategies, BMO
  • Danielle Mandell, VP, People, Habitat for Humanity GTA
  • Andrew Mayo, Human Capital Management Professor, Middlesex University London
  • Jackie Meagher, VP of HR, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Dennis Miller, Speaker, Author, and Leadership Coach, The Power of Strategic Alignment: A Guide to Energizing Leadership and Maximizing Potential in Today’s Nonprofit Organizations
  • Nan Oldroyd, HR Executive
  • Tracey Pope, Chief People Officer, Canadian Red Cross
  • Jennifer Riel, Managing Director, Knowledge Infrastructure Project, Co- Author of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business
  • Brenda Rigney, Vice President of People Operations, Hootsuite Blog
  • Harleen Smith, CHRO, Houston Airport System
  • Dave Ulrich, Professor and Author, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Jeanne Wisniewski, Chief People Officer, Vitals