Most human beings have a deep-seated need to win, especially when it comes to their career aspirations. However, as any manager knows, winning means different things to different people. To come up with a strategic plan for your organization, it’s imperative to meet with employees regularly and determine how each person defines winning in a business sense. As the manager, it’s your job to pull all of this information together to see how well it gels with the actual strategic plan for your company.
Let Employees Know How Important They Are to the Organization
Even when you make the expectation clear that everyone should participate in these group sessions, some people may feel hesitant or shy because they are uncertain that their contribution matters. The first thing you need to do is squelch this idea. Emphasize that everyone who is part of the strategic planning session has insights about the company that no one else has. Knowing that management desires and values their opinion is a confidence-booster that will lead to even greater sharing of ideas in the future.
Decide Together What Makes Your Company Different
You should always do what your competitors are doing in terms of what each one does better or worse than your organization. This gives you the incentive to improve what you already do and come up with new and innovative products and services that your competitors have not even considered.
This step is extremely important as every business must differentiate itself if it expects to achieve long-term survival and growth. Be sure to ask for input from employees during the strategic planning session about ways for your company to stand out. If nothing makes your products and services special other than low price, it will be a race to the bottom with your competitors. Customers will win, but your organization will lose.
Expect Challenges as You Implement Change
Simply identifying opportunities for change does not go nearly far enough in improving the corporate culture. However, you should make expectations clear once you have heard everyone’s feedback and decided which changes you want to implement. Expect that it will be hard and some employees aren’t going to like it. That is normal when they must adopt a different way of doing things, whether it is ultimately effective or not. Be sure that employees know you are available to help them through any challenges but that making the changes is their responsibility in the end.
We Are Here to Support You as You Support Your Employees
Making a strategic plan is significantly more challenging for leadership than simply drawing up a broad overview. It gets specific and holds people accountable for results.
As always, Lowcountry Business Advisors in Greater Charleston, SC is available to meet with you to help create and define your company’s strategic plan. We are small business consultants who strive to use our experience and passion to help business owners achieve their goals. Let’s meet for coffee and see how we can work together.