Back to all stories

VISION 2020: A 5-Step Organizational Audit for the New Year

Prepare your organization to take on 2020 by conducting an audit of your talent, operating environment, and growth opportunities for the coming year. In today’s fast-paced business climate, employees are more agile than ever. Companies must respond by assessing their people strategy and developing a plan to cultivate and retain their workforce for the future. This 5-step audit will set you up for success in 2020 – and beyond.


Plans help us articulate mission, develop goals, and sketch out a pathway to success. This kind of forward strategic thinking is vital for any organization – but too often, we spend a lot of time producing plans that languish in drawers while the daily tasks of running a business take precedence. That’s why it’s vital to include a strategic & business plan review as part of your yearly audit. Assess whether your company’s plan addresses these key factors:

  1. Mission and vision
  2. Company values
  3. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  4. Environmental scan – social, legal/regulatory, environmental, political & technological factors that may influence the business
  5. Long and short-term goals
  6. Milestones, metrics and targets

Don’t have a strategic plan? Make it a priority to develop one in 2020. Without a strategy for your business, growth is often haphazard, reactive, and unsustainable over the long term.


Any long-term manager or executive will tell you – you can’t operate without good people at the helm of the ship. That’s why much of your energy must be spent developing your high-potentials, perfecting succession strategies, and ensuring skill growth across your talent pool.

It’s important to identify high-potentials in the early-career stages – you don’t want to run the risk of losing exceptional employees due to a frustrating lack of growth opportunities. The methodology for identifying these employees is a combination of performance and potential. Are the people in your talent pool performing excellently at their level? What is their capacity to perform in higher-level roles?

Once you have an idea of your bench strength – the depth of your talent pool – you’ll want to create opportunities to assess on competencies related to learning agility, people leadership and strategic agility. Individuals who perform well on tasks they’ve never done before, exhibiting willingness to learn and take risks, are excellent candidates to develop into your organization’s next generation of leadership.

Part of a good people strategy is ensuring that succession & knowledge transfer plans are in place to account for inevitable turnover and retirements. By providing your employees with growth and challenge opportunities, you will cut the risk of a vital role going unfilled. If your audit reveals that operations would be at risk if one key employee were to leave – that’s a sign that your people strategies need a closer look.


Your people strategy must be supported by a commitment to career and leadership development at all levels. This is a good opportunity to assess whether your company currently has development plans in place for key leaders. In today’s market, employees are looking for firms that will develop their skills and give them opportunities to lead. It’s really a win-win: engaging and developing leaders who can effect change and build strong teams will increase organizational impact and capacity.

Creating a leadership development strategy can seem daunting, so begin by assessing your current talent pool. What are the talent gaps? Who are your high-potentials? Where are the biggest opportunities to grow? Using this information will help you identify where to put your efforts first.


Know what your competitors are offering their employees, and strive to establish your organization as an attractive, dynamic place to work – especially for early-career professionals. If your people can easily go elsewhere to get their development, compensation, and growth needs met, it will be difficult to build a culture of long-term success.

Completing this step will give you a better idea of what Millennial and Gen Z employees are looking for in a company – your future leaders. Younger workers have high standards for career and leadership development, and want to be on the front lines of addressing technical transformation in the workplace. This makes them powerful agents for change, and valuable employees to develop. Don’t lose out by losing them to other employers. Stay competitive in the marketplace by giving younger leaders development and growth opportunities, and chances to make real decisions for the organization.


There’s a reason New Year’s Resolutions are so popular – people are motivated by big plans and the possibility of achieving stretch-goals. With your strategic plan, people strategy and leadership development initiatives in place, your 2020 resolutions should fare better than most. Engage your employees by working with them to achieve amazing things in the new year. Teams that are aligned around the same goal have higher morale and better results – producing an atmosphere that everyone wants to be a part of.


Committing to this organizational audit will help you close gaps, increase engagement and retention, develop your talent pool, improve knowledge transfer, and vastly enhance the culture and morale in your workplace. Markets are constantly evolving. People are constantly shifting. Companies that build on their strengths and address their challenges head on will be able to attract fresh talent, develop strong leaders, and establish a robust organization for the future. Contact us today to get proactive about your people strategy for 2020.

Vision 2020 is about examining trends, pointing out gaps, and giving companies a framework for making the most of their top resource – their people. This series will provide a full-spectrum view on what it takes to be competitive on people strategy in 2020.

Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.

We respect your privacy.