Communicating Your Strategic Plan with Employees – Surprising Research

Communicating Your Strategic Plan with Employees

Communicating Your Strategic Plan with Employees Matters
Communicating your strategic plan with employees is about creating understanding, belief and cohesion.  Being clear and consistent with strategy communications pays big dividends to the people AND to the business.

Why Strategic Understanding Matters to the Business
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of:

  • Revenue growth
  • Profitability
  • Customer loyalty
  • Employee engagement

Why Strategic Understanding Matters to Employees
Our employee engagement data over the last three years shows that “employees trusting that leaders have set the right strategic course” has the second highest correlation to employee engagement right after leadership’s perceived “commitment to making it a great place to work.”

Additionally, employees tell us that it is difficult and frustrating to be expected to help move a strategic plan forward unless they fully understand and buy-into the:

  • Unique role that they play
  • Specific contribution that they make
  • Critical few reasons why the strategy will make them, their team and the company successful

Research about Communicating Your Strategic Plan with Employees
Research reported by Harvard turned up some rather surprising data about communicating your strategic plan with employees.  After analyzing over 60,000 survey responses, they expected to find that strategy was best understood and accepted by:

  • Higher-level employees
  • Those who were generally content with their compensation
  • Employees who had a positive view of their organization

And the results bore out those anticipated results.

It makes sense to us that those who are more involved in creating the strategy would better understand and accept it.  It also makes sense that more engaged employees tend to feel more connected to the company goals.

The Surprising Part about Communicating Your Strategic Plan with Employees
But what was surprising about communicating your strategic plan with employees was that top leadership had a far greater impact and much greater direct role on how well employees “got” the strategy than their immediate supervisors.

While employees still want their direct supervisors to help them to translate the overall strategy for their team and for their job, they want to hear more directly from top leaders about overall strategies, perspectives and trends first to set the stage.

Most leaders assume that employees want to hear about strategies from their direct boss instead of a “corporate executive” who is not “in the trenches.” These findings have significant implications for leaders who want to successfully cascade their strategy across an organization.

The Implications on Cascading Your Strategy
What does this mean to companies embarking on a new strategy that requires focus, commitment and perseverance? It means that leadership communication strategies probably need to be adjusted.

Instead of having:

Leaders should investigate playing a more active role across all levels and functions.

How Important Is Your Strategy?
While this seems like a significant investment of a leader’s time, what could be more important than making sure your company understands, believes in and is fully committed to your critical few strategic plans and priorities? If you want to outperform your peers, invest the time to ensure your employees:

  • Clearly understand the strategic priorities and the rationale behind them
  • Can articulate how their work directly contributes to the overall success of the strategy
  • Believe the strategy will lead to successful results
  • Are committed to implementing the strategy successfully across the company

The Bottom Line
When you are thinking about communicating your strategic plan with employees, see that you bring senior leadership in more direct contact with employees to provide a broader and more seasoned message to the table.  Then use people managers to help translate the overall corporate strategies into reality at business unit, team and individual levels in a way that makes sense with your unique corporate culture.

To learn more about communicating your strategic plan with employees, download 5 Expert Tips to Better Communicate Your Strategy

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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

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