Smart Leaders Connect Employees to the Big Picture Strategy
Do you know how to connect employees to the big picture strategy? Based upon working with high growth companies for decades, we believe that the business strategy and plans to grow should not be confined to the executive suite. Why? Because more often than not, high performance employees want and need to know how they connect to and fit into the overall direction and plans of the organization.
Smart Leaders Use Clarity to Connect Employees to the Big Picture Strategy
Experienced leaders understand the importance of having a clear, believable and implementable growth strategy. In fact, our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing companies. Savvy leaders do what it takes to set a clear direction and devise a doable plan that will propel the organization forward.
Four Attributes of a Clear Strategic Plan
In order to connect employees to the big picture strategy, the strategy must first be:
These are not surprising concepts; yet few business strategies are designed in a way that they are truly implementable in the eyes of those who are responsible for executing it.
Actively Sharing and Cascading Your Strategy
The piece that so many executive teams skip or short-change is the step that actively shares the plan with (or more substantially includes) all key stakeholders. Their definition of those who “need to know” and “care to know” is typically far too narrow and far too late in the process.
Our organizational alignment research and our employee engagement survey results tell us that the majority of employees want more information about and input into their organization’s plans for the short- and the long-term. They not only want a clear explanation of where the organization is headed; they want to know how what they do day-to-day contributes to the organization’s success.
Two Steps to Better Cascade Your Strategy
So how do you cascade the strategy throughout the organization?
1. Actively Spread the Net
Include some employees from every layer of the organization as much as you can as you build the strategic direction and plans to make it happen. Just as with wise change management, invite more than the top executives to actively give their input and ideas. Remember, the rank-and-file who will actually implement the plan.
The more employees buy into and believe in the strategic direction, the more engaged and committed they will be to strategy execution.
2. Make Sure All Line Managers Are Fully Aboard
Typically, mid-level managers are the ones who will be on the front lines faced with communicating, executing and adjusting the strategy each and every day. Management commitment, enthusiasm and alignment for the strategy must cascade down to their teams. If your strategy is clear enough, accepted enough, believable enough and implementable enough, your plan is set up to succeed.
The Bottom Line
When you put together your business strategy, don’t forget that your employees want a better understanding of how their efforts impact the bottom line and create meaning for them in their current and future careers. Actively involve all key stakeholders from the get-go and have a smart plan to communicate and cascade your strategic, plans, goals, roles and success metrics throughout the organization.
To begin to connect employees to the big picture strategy, Stress Test Your Strategic Now
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