The benefits of including staff in strategy development
A good strategy is the foundation of any successful business, but getting that strategy ingrained in your staff’s minds is easier said than done. Better yet – why not include your staff within the strategy development process? They could very well have insights and ideas that strengthen what you have in mind.
Regardless, for your business plan to succeed you will need them to buy into it, take it on board and make it a real part of their day-to-day work.
Taking your strategy off the page and into the mindset of your whole team will require some creative thinking. The first thing to do is to make sure all of your staff are aware of the reasoning behind it and understand what it entails, where it will lead the business and the implications for their work. Call a ‘strategy meeting’ to run through the plan with the staff, and follow up with individual conversations so that each employee is fully across what they need to do.
This will help get everyone on board and thinking about how they can play their part.
The next step is to make sure that the business strategy is something that is constantly referred back to. It’s no good writing the best plan ever created if it’s just going to gather dust in your bottom drawer. Incorporate the strategy into the agendas of your staff or work in progress meetings, to illustrate to your team how what they are doing that day or week (or need to) forms part of the bigger picture. This not only keeps everyone’s eyes on the prize, it’s good for morale because everyone feels they are working together for the same goal.
Don’t be afraid to be creative in the way you remind your staff of your business strategy. Fun office competitions, physical reminders or posters in the office, and even creative incentives and rewards can keen your staff on track and focused on what the company is trying to achieve. A CEO I worked with bought everyone dreamcatchers to hang above their desks as a constant visual reminder of the three-year strategy that was the acronym ‘DREAM’. Even something as simple as a whiteboard in the office with the key points written on it can remind people they are part of a team working to a specific strategy.
Reporting back to your staff on any progress made is a great way to not only recognise achievement but also to reinforce the importance of the strategy. Understanding that the recent spike in sales is not just a win for them but part of expanding your business into a lucrative new market adds to the importance and legitimacy to your strategy. Again, the goal here is to get your staff thinking in terms of the long term good of the whole business.
Your development plan can only succeed if everyone in your organisation is committed to it. Taking the time to get everyone on board, keeping them engaged and then reporting back on progress will help ensure all of your staff are working to make sure your (their) business plan succeeds. So too will rewarding staff who have shown strong commitment to it.