January 29, 2019
Engaging Employees with Your Strategy
I remember my first ‘All-Hands meeting’ at a new company. As we crowded into the conference room, I was excited to hear about what the future held. The executive team gathered at the front and gave us a standard update: how we’re doing, what our product roadmap looks like, and what our strategic priorities are. I left the room excited and invigorated. We were on a mission, and I was ready to help.
And then… nothing. I went back to my daily work, where we focused on the same projects, worked on the same issues, and never even thought about our mission. In fact, we didn’t discuss our strategy for another twelve months, at another All-Hands. It was uninspiring and un-engaging, to say the least.
A few years later, I was in a management role when the strategic plan was announced. This time, I handled it a little differently. I thought about our strategic objectives and how the work my team did could support them. Improve customer satisfaction? We interacted with customers every day. What could we do to make customers happier?
We developed our own strategic plan, with objectives that directly supported our company’s overarching plan. We checked in on our progress once a week, and we talked about ideas to accelerate our progress and remove roadblocks.
I could start throwing around impressive statistics about how well we executed (90% increase in customer satisfaction!), but the most exciting result was in the atmosphere. Literally – morale and engagement dramatically increased as everyone could see what our objectives were and how their work supported it.
As we start creating our rhythm for 2019, I challenge you to engage your team with your strategic vision. Share your goals regularly, and be transparent with progress updates. Help colleagues understand how their daily activities, even the most mundane, are driving your mission forward. And if you’re not sure where to start, let us help.
If your team is engaged, I bet you’ll see huge impacts. And if you don’t believe me, listen to Gallup. In 2017 they found that employees who strongly agree that they can link their goals to the organization’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged.