Succeed in planning and plan to succeed
The difference between real success and failure in business planning has a lot to do with the commitment your employees have to the final plan. Do they own the plan? Do they feel responsible for its delivery and accountable for its success or failure? Do they believe in the plan and do they believe it’s achievable.
Not that nightmare again
Have I just reminded you about the business plan you raced in before the financial year end, you know the one, it’s filed of course, under the ??? Directory. Anyway don’t worry about that now, you can find it after (you hope).
Every year we go through the planning process and if we’re honest, our enthusiasm for and the relevance of many of the actions seems a million miles from home when we begin to undertake periodic reviews. These are reviews we hope happen during the course of the year and not after all the opportunity has past us by.
Build a culture of review, tweak, action and review
Successful implementation of plans requires disciplined periodic reviews. Think about it – if you don’t need to review outcomes and performance against plans, then why are you wasting precious resources going through the planning process in the first place. It’s that simple. Make it company culture.
Exclude your team at your peril
One of the most important and frankly obvious keys to success in planning is inclusion.
Tips for Engaging your team
- Communicate the big picture
Employees need to be able to connect their effort, their business plan goals and targets to the company strategy, including Mission and Visions. You should be able to articulate the value in the strategy for both the company and for them.
- Inclusion in Discussions and Debates
Bring employees into discussions and debates generating the conclusions that underpin business strategies and planning. Often we feel it’s too costly to get everyone involved, but it’s much more costly to plan and fail.
- Collaborative Goal Setting
Engender a sense of ownership and accountability for success, by collaborating with employees on the setting of goals and targets for their teams and for themselves as individuals.
- Appreciation and recognition
Recognise outcomes achieved by employees as they happen and regularly. Set employees tasks in the business planning process, monitor and support them and demonstrate you value their efforts and are equally committed to the outcomes of their efforts as your own.
- Clear and Transparent Communication
Communication is always one of the most important aspects of Employee Engagement. Keep everyone in the loop through the planning process. Why should it be a surprise to anyone? After all, we are a team, not a bunch of individuals. Listen to hear and ask questions to learn. Demonstrate genuine empathy. If the work your employees are doing is not important to you, then why are they doing it? Good communication is equally important for business planning as it is for everyday activities.
If you feel you need to keep the business planning process and outcomes a secret from your employees, then you should accept you will not have 100% commitment to your plan and you risk it not reaching its full potential. (Just saying – That’s all)
If you’d like to read a little more light hearted detail, check out my earlier post
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Many thanks to my nephew James Westmore for his wonderful artwork.