Do I hear groans? Yes, I know. “Plan” is not the sexiest word in business but it’s crucial to ensure your business is moving forward and you have a way to measure success.
The beginning of the year (financial or calendar) is the best time to formulate your Strategic Plan. This can feel overwhelming, but keep it simple. It can be a very effective way to set goals for the year and the actions that you will take to get there and reach those goals.
This is also a great opportunity to get your employees involved in a real way. As an HR professional, with more years experience then I am willing to admit, the biggest issue I often hear from employees is that they don’t feel ‘heard’ by management or feel connected or attuned to the business goals.
Remember – employee engagement = productivity
A quick way to get the process rolling is to schedule a half-day session with your senior team. For small businesses this may just be the owner(s). If you have a larger workforce consisting of several levels or departments within your business, I recommend you invite a trusted representative from each level or department. Believe me, this is a great way to show your employees you value them.
The purpose of the session is to introduce the 2 ‘Rs’ as I like to call them – Reflect and Reignite. Reflect on the last year – the good, bad and sometimes the ugly – (we tend to learn the most from the ugly). Then use the reflection to reignite excitement for the coming year by putting a plan together for the business and setting actions for each level and/or department.
When setting goals for success, I recommend you use ‘SMART’ goals – see below:
S – Specific (be clear with what the goal is so everyone knows what they need to do)
M – Measured (how are we going to measure the progress towards the goal?)
A – Achievable (is this goal reasonable or are we setting people up to fail?)
R – Relevant (be sure this goal truly supports the vision of the Business)
T – Time Frame (when do we want to achieve this by?)
Example of a SMART goal:
‘To improve customer service feedback by 15% by December 2017, each customer is to be greeted by a Team Member upon entry to the store, within 2 minutes of entry’
Of course, if you would like assistance with this process, Employee Matters can certainly provide advice on how to run a session like this or even help you directly by coming in and running it with you.
Hopefully this gets you started on the right foot. Happy planning and make 2017 your year to excel.
By Stacy Gershberg