Effectively communicating your strategy

Lee Harris Managing Director  LHM Consultancy Ltd                                                    Local Growth Hub advisor Lee Harris, Managing Director of LHM Consultancy Ltd  on the importance of talking about your plans with staff                                                

Most leaders know the importance of a well-researched and thought out strategic plan. However, a good communications plan ensures that your employees feel good about their workplace and you. Learning to effectively communicate your strategic plan can mean the difference between an engaged and happy workforce and a disgruntled staff.

Consider these top four tips for communicating your plan:

1. Use only a few well-defined categories. For most people, strategic plans top their list of “most boring documents to read.” If you hand your employees 20 pages of text, they are unlikely to read it. If they do, they are not likely to retain it. Instead, clearly define a small number of categories to provide a framework that is easily remembered and relevant to your employees’ daily activities.

2. Make a clear differentiation between you and your competition. Your strategic plan should set you apart from your competitors, and your employees should understand that difference. They are your cheerleaders. You need them on your side, especially your sales team.

3. Less is more. Do not feel you need to include everything you do in your strategic plan. Have a simple vision and limit your number of objectives. Companies with a huge list of objectives score lower on implementation, mostly because there’s less employee buy-in. Your real objectives get lost in the sea of words.

4. Make objectives measurable. Draft concrete, measurable objectives that clearly define what is expected and who is responsible. Doing this gives employees a feeling of ownership. People tend to go beyond the norm when they know they are responsible for achievement in a certain area. Take it one step further by outlining a rewards system for achieving objectives, adding further incentive.

There’s no doubt companies need their employees in order to reach objectives outlined in their plan. It only makes sense that you work on effectively communicating that plan so that everyone is on board and working as a team.

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