Tag Archives: Strategy

Engagement Process: Communicate the Plan

Step 3 in our Engagement Process Series is all about Communication, Communication, Communication!

3. Communicate the Plan to Address the Identified Major Business Improvements

Many organizations spend a lot of time creating complex communication strategies.  Instead of going down that path, think of ways to paint the full picture for your employees.

 

Communication only works when your managers and employees are communicating with each other. Communicating is a two way street. Let us look at some communication techniques that will have communication operating at a higher level in your organization.

 

Communicate in context

 

When you communicate to your employees, make sure you are looking at the communication from their perspective.  Be sure to answer the subliminal question in employees’ minds, “What is in it for me?”  For example, if I am a line worker at a manufacturing facility, I want to know how change impacts me.  How many more people are we adding?  Will I have to work more overtime?  Do I need additional training? 

 

Forums of understanding

 

Make sure people receive communication in the way you intend it to be.  Remember, it is not enough to push the message out – people need to understand it.  For example, if people are feeling uneasy about change, there needs to be a forum or a conduit for them to express their concerns and then a time and place to address those concerns.  Real connection comes from both expression and actions that say loudly:  “They heard me!”

 

Sustaining communication

 

How do you know when your communication plan takes flight?  It  is when people begin trading stories and ideas.  That is when you know they are “internalizing the message.”

 

This can happen in focus groups, work teams or individual conversations.  When the communication grows organically, it becomes a participative plan that is sustainable in your organization.

   

When developing your communication,

follow the Native American adage and

“Walk a mile in their moccasins.”

 

Up next in the Engagement Process: Build Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions.

Engagement Process: Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

Up next in our deeper look at the Engagement Process:

2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement

Now comes a critical step.  It is great to listen; now it is time to take action on what you heard and learned.  Compiling the information, categorizing it, analyzing it and putting a focused plan into action is imperative.

 

Prioritization is a key success factor.  If you try to do everything, nothing will get done properly.  Step 2 is all about laser-focusing on the key areas for improvement and developing a strategy to address them.

 

Throughout my work with hundreds of clients, I have found that in addition to operational enhancements, there are three things I hear employees say throughout Step 1:
 

1.   “What is our vision and strategy for the future?”

 

2.   “Communications from the manager to employee and from department to department are far too poor.”

 

3.   “Appreciation is non-existent.  We rarely receive positive feedback, and yet if something is wrong, we know it instantly.”

 

Think about these comments in connection with the primary motivators for people in the work environment as highlighted in Zig Ziglar’s statement,

 

 “Workers have three primary needs:
interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and
being let in on things that are going on in the company.”

 

People want to “feel in on things.”  They want a clear vision, purpose and strategy. And, in order to ensure everyone understands it, it must be communicated in a clear, concise and consistent manner.

 

The message to senior management is obvious: Clearly articulate your vision and strategy and help individuals understand how their work contributes to achieving it.  Simplicity for understanding is key.  Make sure your purpose and vision are simple and accessible and your employees can identify with it.  A meaningful purpose can go a long way in connecting and motivating people.

 

See how the simplicity shines through in these two purpose statements from Ritz-Carlton and Disney.

 
“Ladies and gentlemen
serving ladies and gentlemen.”

 

 

 

“To use our imagination to 
   bring
happiness to millions.”

 

 

 

If you engage your employees in developing the purpose, vision and values, and creating the future, you have the foundation for improvement and growth.

 

When employees are involved, they will live the values, after all, they developed them and they will strive to achieve the vision. People generally like to set their destiny and strive to achieve it.

 

In Step 2, you have to share the vision and values with the same people who helped you shape it:  your employees.  That is what leads us to Step 3 for our next installment.

  

If employees do not know where you are going
and what their role is in getting you there,
why do they care?