So you’ve got your business plan in place, you know your strategy and your raring to go. Nothing is going to hold you back…..apart from maybe your employee’s?
Strategy and business plans count for nothing if frontline employees don’t know the plan or aren’t committed to it. And you want them committed to it because you want it to work. Many SMEs operate with the plan in the MD’s head or shared between the directors but not going further which often means that little actually changes on the shop floor, the staff do what they’re told and keep their heads down – not the sign of an innovative growing business.
Employee’s are at the forefront of your business and they will often see the business differently to how the management perceive it. Their insights, information and buy in to your business plans and strategies are absolutely critical for them to succeed.
According to Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the founders of the Balanced Scorecard only 5% of employees understand their company’s strategy. This makes successful execution nearly impossible.
So what could an MD start doing to engage employees & make their business plans work?
· Prepare the story before telling it;
· Discuss the business plan or strategy and involve them in it;
· Use visual aids to help tell the story;
· Include some measures to show how the strategy is working;
· Ask employees what measures would help them see how their job helps the business;
These pieces of advice might sound trivial or just common sense but when you’re a business owner it’s very easy to just concentrate on the day-to-day tasks which often leads to lack of focus or direction resulting in the business not growing in the way you want it to.
Also it’s easy to assume that everybody knows how their job helps the business and that if everybody did their job then the business would be fine. But like anything you need to communicate & have regular progress meetings to ensure that the plan is being followed and everyone is still focused.
Use these tips to increase your chances of the business growing as you would like. If you want to see how your business is performing then take our assessment & see how you could become an outstanding business.