What is a people consultancy and should you work with one?

We often get asked about the benefits of working with a people consultancy and how this is different to a traditional outsourced HR company.

In this blog, we’re exploring whether working with a people consultancy is right for your business and why many are turning to people consultancies over more traditional HR companies or payroll specialists.

What is a people consultancy?

People consultancies specialise in all people-focused aspects of a business. Businesses that partner with them are focused on the business’s future strategy, and the consultancy’s role is to look at the overarching challenges and objectives rather than focusing purely on the transactional and operational aspects of the business.

They form an external leadership role within the business and allow the organisation to explore things from new angles through the consultancy’s wide-ranging expertise.

By exploring things outside of the day-to-day functions of the business the consultancy can provide strategies to build team performance, transform company culture and expand employee engagement.

Some organisations partner with consultancies with experience in their sector, for example those who have worked with manufacturing companies before, but often consultancies are versatile enough in their experience to support companies of different sizes and from different industries without first-hand experience.

Why go to a people consultancy?

People consultancies allows your business to focus on evolving your company culture and building powerful teams that succeeds. Crucially with a people-focused approach.

Organisations with a people-oriented approach are roughly 1.5 times more likely to remain high performers over time, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute.

The focus becomes an active investment in your people and company culture, rather than the more transactional elements of HR, payroll or development.

This allows you to start a process of business evolution which steers you towards greater success. By focusing on your people this takes you past merely managing teams and instead upskilling the entire organisation

In addition, people consultancies look beyond the business needs of ‘right now’ and ask the bigger questions like these:

  • “What is needed for your future growth as you expand?”
  • “Are there underlying problems hindering the success of your business that you aren’t even aware of?”

diverse team representing the benefits of using a people consultancy

People Consultancy and the Power of People

At Talk Staff’s people consultancy we believe that people are your greatest asset and it has been shown that people-focused businesses are the ones getting ahead.

The world of HR is still going through a pivotal evolutionary stage as businesses tap into the power of investing in their people.

You can either:

  • Lead the way and show yourself as a progressive organisation
  • Stay in the middle and play catch up
  • Linger at the back and risk losing opportunities and see your reputation dented.

Developing people has also been found to lead to a 218% higher revenue per employee according to a Deloitte report.

Do People Consultancies have More Collective Experience than Specialists?

Another reason organisations are choosing people consultancies rather than specialists is due to their collective experience.

Knowledgeable people consultancies hold more collective experience in areas of your business such as pay and rewards, HR support and strategy, and in some cases organisational development and design, than specialists who focus on one area. Here’s why?

More Joined Up Approach- Whereas if you use a specialist in just one area – payroll bureau services, for example, this can lead to a fragmented approach to your wider business needs and opportunities.

  • Greater ROI – A people consultancy allows you to join the dots in a way that leads to substantial growth both in lucrative returns and top talent.
  • Wider Picture – Tunnel vision can lead to costly mistakes when you’re evolving your business so looking at the wider picture is key.

When you look at payroll or HR in isolation it’s hard to link this to ROI, when you use a people consultancy, you’re able to prove ROI in a much more targeted way rather than focuses on the transactional pieces of the puzzle such as:

  • “I need to pay my staff”
  • “I need to keep my HR policies up to date”

Instead asking more powerful questions such as

  • “How can I keep my team rewarded and motivated?”
  • “How can my HR policies grow inclusive environments and build psychological safety?”
  • How do I develop my leaders and teams to generate long-term business success.

What’s the difference between a people consultancy and a HR Consultancy?

People consultancies align businesses by helping you to:

  • Actively involving people in the company culture
  • Understanding the wider opportunities within the business
  • Utilise market trends & cutting-edge advances in team development.

Most businesses use HR merely as an admin tool for necessary items such as disciplinaries, contracts of employment and HR policies.

And whilst having the right outsourced HR partner, or an experienced in-house team, for support is crucial your people need a more consolidated approach focused on them.

Being proactive with company culture

What’s more many businesses are reactive rather than proactive regarding company culture and wellbeing, only dealing with problems once the horse has bolted and they start seeing negative results.

Improving company culture works best with external OD experts, here’s why:

  • Message in a Bottle – Looking at the cracks in your own culture can be like reading a message from inside a bottle. Bringing in an expert from outside the business allows them to use powerful insights and ask the right questions.
  • Multi-Layered Approach – With a 360 people consultancy this means you’re able to fully invest in the wellbeing of your people within the wider company culture and with Talk Staff’s people consultancy this approach is multi-layered.
  • Removing the Inside Bias – Equally a people consultancy will have less ‘bias’ towards their area of specialism as they will have more knowledge in different areas and a greater understanding of your companies’ limitations and opportunities.

It’s clear that even with advances in AI in the workplace people remain key to implementing positive changes in business.

The effect on customers

The knock-on effect of working with a people consultancy stretches beyond the effect on your internal team. This is because hiring and retaining the right people and equipping them with skills to succeed and motivate others allows them to build stronger relationships not only with each other but with customers too.

The role of People in business success

People and teams are much more pivotal to the success and performance of the company than they may feel, or leadership teams may think.

Organisations often make the mistake of looking at the KPIs and the technical side of these, rather than fully understanding the way people, and people skills, can influence these same metrics and the long-term results of the business.

Hiring the right people

So, before you start to hire people who need to ask yourself what technical, and crucially people skills, ask yourself – do I need in this individual to mould the right future for my company?

And then to integrate these people successfully. People won’t stay around if you don’t inspire them and show them an ambitious vision of their future and that of the company.

Advice for new managers

Getting employee exit interviews right

But it’s also about the 360-employee lifecycle. When people leave the company what do you learn from them in the exit interviews? There’s so much going on when people leave, and some employees may even come back.

If you can hold candid exit interviews this allows you to significantly improve your company culture and reduce employee turnover too.

As a people-focused business we have the right tools in place to support your people and business at every stage. Companies who don’t invest in their people are the most likely to miss out. In fact, a staggering 74% of employees say the lack of professional development opportunities they have is preventing them from reaching their full working potential.

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Talk Staff Support for Organisations

Whilst we partner with companies on a strategic basis, we also support them on a more day-to-day level. Here’s a look at some of the things we help companies with:

Why work with Talk Staff’s People Consultancy?

We’re an award-winning people consultancy working with employers throughout the UK to inspire people and deliver results.

Grab a virtual coffee with us to explore how we can help your organisation, and crucially… help your people reach their full potential together.

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