Is your organisation or business unit failing to get traction implementing the business plan? Are you spending a lot of energy setting up, what are no doubt viable strategies and goals, but can’t seem to get your team working in unison?
Perhaps the cause is poor employee engagement. It could even be a lack of relevant experience, knowledge and competencies. Either way, it can result in a lack of ownership, commitment, and importantly, productivity.
So what is the key to getting this traction?
In this blog I would like to share with you two of the most important things managers need to consider to ensure their people are behind them and are working to achieve the goals of their business plan.
1. Engage your employees at the earliest stage in the development of plans
There are many benefits to be gained from engaging your staff in the development of plans, be they strategic, tactical or operational plans. By engaging employees in planning, an organisation:
- benefits from their creativity, innovation and collective knowledge, experience and skill sets
- increases the likelihood of employee ownership of and commitment to the plan, and acceptance of personal responsibility and accountability for performance
- stands a better chance of aligning tactical and operational plans with the organisations strategic goals and objectives
- has an excellent opportunity to better communicate with employees on what has to be done, how, when, by whom, and with what, thereby
- enhances its potential to achieve its goals and objectives
So, how well do you engage and consult staff in the planning process? Have you captured their ‘hearts and minds’ – in other words, are employees engaged and have they taken ownership and given commitment to the organisations values, goals and objectives?
How can managers better engage their staff? Some things to consider:
- Develop your interpersonal skills, particularly your communication skills
- Be approachable, have an open door policy and practice it
- Manage by walking around. Get out on the floor to get a sense of what your employees are thinking
- Regularly and effectively communicate with employees – remember it is a two way street
- Let your behaviour clearly show that you value your employees, their ideas and effort
- Have a clear planning and budgeting process that involves staff
2. Plan the capability development of your employees
Given that it is people who execute the plans and deliver performance, it is obvious then that the planning process must address not only engagement, but also capability development.
Your people are the implementers and enablers of the organisation’s plans. Without access to the necessary knowledge, skills and capability to deliver it, all of your hard planning work will come to nothing.
Unfortunately when developing strategic business plans, many organisations have a primary focus on financials, business processes and more often than not customers and clients – often forgetting that to achieve success in any of these areas, learning and education has a vital role to play.
At TMS our preference in strategic planning is to utilise a tool like the Balance Scorecard (pictured) that considers and aligns all of the key business activities to ensure the vision is realised.
So, if your organisation or business unit is failing to get ‘traction’ implementing the business plan, it might be worthwhile considering, first of all, whether you have engaged your employees early enough in the piece to ensure there is engagement, motivation and a shared vision and secondly, whether you have given your staff the necessary tools to achieve that vision.