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Develop an Integrated People Strategy

An integrated people strategy not only supports but also drives organizational goals, maximizing the human capital contribution to the bottom line.

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  • Alfonsina Chang, Professor, Seneca College
  • Andrew Mayo, Human Capital Management Professor, Middlesex University London
  • Courtney Harrison, Consultant
  • Jennifer Riel, Adjunct Professor, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Michael Hoseus, Executive Director, Center for Quality People & Organizations (CQPO)
  • Nan Oldroyd, HR Executive
  • Robert Carlyle, Director, Strategic Workforce Management, Royal Bank of Canada
  • Sonya Kunkel, Chief Inclusion Officer and Vice-President, Talent Strategies, BMO
  • Additional interviewees preferred to remain anonymous

Your Challenge

  • Designing and implementing an integrated people strategy is a sizeable commitment requiring thoughtful attention and time.
  • Truly understanding organizational goals, challenges, and opportunities requires a different skill set and approach than HR may be accustomed to.
  • Organizational cadence and goals are constantly changing and evolving, requiring strategies to be flexible and adaptable to a number of possibilities.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • It’s not just about aligning your people strategy to organizational goals. Organizational and people strategies need to be integrated – a robust organizational strategy not only considers, but adjusts for and incorporates relevant people implications.
  • An integrated people strategy not only supports, but eventually drives organizational goals to create and sustain a competitive human capital advantage.
  • HR is well positioned to provide valuable data and strategy-strengthening insights to the organization. Developing a people strategy that is effectively integrated with broader organizational strategy empowers HR with more influence as a strategic organizational partner.

Impact and Result

  • HR needs to fully immerse within the organization to truly understand how and where it competes, and to identify any challenges and opportunities.
  • HR must prioritize its efforts and resources aggressively to deliver the most impactful initiatives.
  • People strategies need to be flexible and adaptable to the ever-evolving world we live in. People strategies should not be static and need to be revisited frequently and modified accordingly.

Research & Tools

1. Identify the organizational strategy and determine the people strategy

Identify organizational goals, scan environments, and conduct a PESTLE analysis; engage in stakeholder discussions and create a people strategy.

2. Detail the people strategy and conduct a gap analysis

Understand current state, define desired future state, complete a SWOT analysis, and identify priority functions.

3. Assess HR’s capability to deliver the people strategy

Assess people strategy requirements of HR, determine HR capabilities, capacities, and competencies, and analyze gaps.

4. Develop an action plan to implement the people strategy

Establish impact and effort levels and develop a communication and action plan.

5. Evaluate, maintain, and adjust the people action plan

Determine a plan to monitor and re-evaluate people strategy and identify data to collect and analyze people insights.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify the organizational strategy and determine the people strategy

Call #1 - Discuss organizational goals and potential people implications.
Call #2 - Determine people strategy and relevant measures of success.

Guided Implementation #2 - Detail the people strategy and conduct a gap analysis

Call #1 - Outline the people strategy in further detail.
Call #2 - Analyze stakeholder management feedback and any additional employee data and assess current state.
Call #3 - Identify and analyze gaps between the current state and the people strategy’s future state descriptions.

Guided Implementation #3 - Assess HR’s capability to deliver the people strategy

Call #1 - Outline the required future state of the HR department.
Call #2 - Analyze gaps within the HR department’s current and future state.

Guided Implementation #4 - Develop an action plan to implement the people strategy

Call #1 - Assess people strategy initiatives’ impact and required effort.
Call #2 - Prioritize people initiatives and create an action plan.

Guided Implementation #5 - Evaluate, maintain, and adjust the people action plan

Call #1 - Develop a plan to monitor and measure people strategy progress.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite 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 onsite 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: Understand Organizational Goals and Determine People Strategy

The Purpose

  • Determine goals across the organization.
  • Create a people strategy specific to the organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Goals are set.
  • People strategy is developed.
  • Future state descriptions are determined.




Determine top organizational goals.

  • Organizational goals set.

Conduct a PESTLE analysis.

  • PESTLE analysis conducted.

Create a people strategy.

  • People strategy determined.

Establish your people strategy’s desired future state in greater detail.

  • Future state descriptions created.

Module 2: Conduct People Strategy Gap Analysis

The Purpose

  • Evaluate the current state of the organization regarding people strategy.
  • Understand where stakeholder management stands.
  • Identify and analyze gaps.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Current state is identified and understood.
  • Stakeholder management feedback is collected.
  • Gaps are analyzed.




Analyze stakeholder management feedback and additional employee data.

  • Gathered and understood stakeholder management feedback and data.

Complete a SWOT analysis.

  • SWOT analysis conducted.

Evaluate people strategy current state.

  • Current state identified.

Identify what is needed to sustain the current state.

  • Approaches for maintenance of current state are determined.

Analyze gaps and identify areas of growth within your people strategy.

  • Gaps are analyzed and areas of growth are pinpointed.

Module 3: Evaluate HR Departmental Capabilities

The Purpose

  • Communicate the desired HR future state.
  • Determine where the HR department currently is.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Future state is outlined.
  • HR department’s current state is realized and gaps are determined.




Describe the HR department’s future state you are striving to be.

  • Outline of required future state of HR department completed.

Assess your HR department’s current state and analyze gaps.

  • HR department’s gap analysis determined.

Module 4: Develop an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Assess the impact of the people strategy initiatives.
  • Determine the effort required for initiatives.
  • Create an action and communication plan and follow-up measures.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Impact of initiatives is understood.
  • Effort for initiatives is ranked.
  • Action and communication plans are created.
  • A monitoring process for people strategy is created.




Assess your people strategy initiatives’ impact.

  • Level of impact of initiatives and metrics assessed.

Assess the required effort for people strategy initiatives.

  • Initiatives determined on a scale of low, medium, and high effort.

Chart and prioritize people initiatives.

  • Prioritized list of people initiatives.

Create a people action plan.

  • Action plan for prioritized initiatives created.

Complete your people strategy communications plan.

  • Communication plan determined.

Set plan to revisit and measure progress.

  • Process/plan to monitor and update the people strategy created.