What does business strategy mean to your team? Was it created collaboratively with them? Or were they simply told what the strategy was? Are the decisions you make as a business aligned with the strategic business plan or is it just buzzwords and graphs printed on glossy paper?
All businesses, no matter the size, need a strategy; whether this is based on growth, succession planning or achieving new projects. However, for the strategy to be successful, your team need to understand it as well.
So how can you engage your team? How can you help them to understand the role they play in a business strategy?
- Involve the Team: Whether it is in the development of your strategy or taking the time to review the strategy with your team, it is important they are involved. Your team are the ones who will help bring your strategy to life so it is crucial that you discuss it with them and explain the role that they play, whilst also seeking feedback.
- Tell them why: Whilst you might not be able to explain the reasons behind every decision, providing your team with insight into why certain decisions are made and how they affect the strategy will help keep them engaged and more open to changes in the future.
- Be clear and consistent: Whether you are the CEO, the board, the managers or even business partners, the strategic plan should not change once it has been set. The way you achieve your strategy might change but everyone should be clear on the goals.
- Review: A strategic plan should have an expiry date. This date should signal a review of what worked or didn’t work, whilst providing your teams with an opportunity to discuss the impact on them and changes for future plans.
- Celebrate: Don’t forget to celebrate success and acknowledge the hard work your team has put in.
What can you do to start communicating your current strategic plan? This is the easy part. Sit down with your team, whether its one on one or in small groups. Start off with the following questions to get people talking. This is an exercise for you, not as a manager or leader, but to help you understand how well informed your team really is on the business strategy.
- Ask your team (without them looking it up) if they know what the business strategic plan is?
- If they know why there is a strategic plan?
- What part do they play in the strategic plan?
- When was the last time anyone discussed the strategic plan with them?
- How can you, as a business, involve them in the strategic plan?
Final tip: when trying to engage or communicate with your team, don’t over complicate it. You don’t need to use the latest buzzwords, refer to employment trends or about how you’re planning on building the most outstanding culture. Communicating with them naturally and openly, as individuals, will help build positive engagement and culture in a more organic way.
Looking for some assistance in creating your business’ strategy or way to manage your team? Accru’s business advisory specialists are here to help. Contact your local office today.