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Strategic and Operational Planning

Engaging Employees to Contribute to the Plans

Strategic PlanIt’s business planning time again – especially if your fiscal year follows the calendar. Many organizations leave planning to the executives and other high level management. This year, get your employees involved in planning. When employees are involved, the organization achieves many benefits:

  • Engaged employees are committed to the strategy
  • Diversity in ideas and opinions enable for a more robust, effective strategic plan
  • An improved understanding of the challenges employees face in their jobs
  • Employees’ perspectives of customers and, in particular, what’s working and what’s not for customers
  • Increased insight into the completion

You can utilize surveys or cross-functional focus groups to gather data around questions asked of employees, such as:

  • What challenges do you experience fulfilling the organization’s mission and goals?
  • Based on your interactions with customers, what is the perception of the organization’s services/products in the marketplace?
  • Who do you perceive to be competitors we should “keep an eye on?”
  • What processes, procedures and/or policies are not as effective as they could be to enable you to perform your role and get work done?

This data from employees enables for a better understanding of the organization, and where business problems/challenges exist, from the perspective of those doing the day-to-day work to achieve business objectives. Employees will often have insight into customers, competition and how well processes are working that leaders may not have.

Once the strategic plan is developed, share components of it with employees to get their thoughts/feedback. Are they excited about the organization’s strategy? Do they understand the strategy? Do they feel they have the skills and knowledge to help the organization achieve the goals?

One of my clients complained that employees never seemed focus on achieving the organization’s goals. However, the organization never shared those goals via the strategic plan. Therefore, many employees, when asked, couldn’t really tell you what the goals were that needed to be achieved. They didn’t understand what the organization wanted to accomplish over the long term. The next planning cycle, the organization partnered with Abudi Consulting Group and made a concerted effort to get employees involved. What a difference according to the CEO. The CEO and his senior staff noticed that employees were more engaged and offered up suggestions on innovative ways to reach strategic goals. In this upcoming planning cycle, kicking off in early November, Abudi Consulting Group will again be working with the client to engage employees via surveys and focus groups.

How can you engage your employees in strategic and operational planning?

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