Since the introduction of choice of fund and regulation increasing, industry funds have grown their member and employer bases organically and through merger. However, funds would eventually reach a point where they could not just keep growing unabated without adding more resources. The strategic review process would be vital for funds to determine a realistic growth target and provide a focused direction for all employees.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that strategy drives everything and should inform every decision. This included decisions regarding people. Key elements of a strategic review encompassing a review of a fund’s workforce would include: • People strategy – whom to recruit, how long are they likely to stay, do you “build” or “buy” the expertise you need, should the service be done in-house or would outsourcing produce a better result

• Organisation review – ensuring the internal structure has the right people in the right roles to optimise the successful implementation of the strategy; and • Clearly documented accountabilities for staff and tactical or operational plans for each function that support the strategy. Achieving cultural alignment throughout the organisation by sharing the strategy with employees at all levels was critical to successfully managing growth. A fund that focused on making the strategic plan a living, breathing document that was not just a compliance exercise would effectively build a framework to drive change.  With this in mind, the fund created a strategy document that was shorter, more succinct and shared with all employees.

Regular communication with employees was vital – it could not be assumed that existing employees were revisiting the strategy on their own. Through consistent communication, with employees and new people coming on board, the strategy existed as a constant presence throughout the organisation.  The strategy document also acted as a point of reference for employees and others involved in the fund, such as key service providers, that helped in the decision-making process daily. This included what tasks they prioritised and also helped in understanding their role in delivering and contributing to the bigger picture.  As a result of the process, the fund recognised that it needed to be more focused and targeted in pursuing growth. It realised it could do more to leverage its current niche position of being the fund for the transport industry and grow by targeting different segments of employees and members.

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