Do your employees know what their contribution to your company’s strategy is? And the second question: does every employee have to contribute? It is not enough to communicate a strategic plan throughout the company, it is essential to break it down into pieces and make every employee understand what his role is – individually. And believe it or not, not every employee’s contribution is required for each point of the strategy. The necessity is to make employees feel responsible where they are partly responsible so that they will carry the strategy.
A document with a company’s strategy written on it is definitely not a strategy – it’s a plan at most. Communicating the strategy within a company is still not a strategy, it’s just the communication of a plan. Think of a strategy that states: “Within two years our customer base will have doubled”. An IT specialist whose job it is to guarantee the functioning of the IT infrastructure and to back-up important data will not understand his contribution immediately. Instead the specialist will listen will read and hear about the strategy, but most likely not care any longer. If you tell him that his job is to make sure the computers work smoothly without any problems and data losses in order for sales and marketing to increase the customer base very focused, he will understand his role. He will feel responsible!
Though, not every employee can contribute to everything. Make sure you don’t hold anyone responsible for things he cannot be held responsible for. An archiving employee cannot or only hardly contribute to a greater base of customers for example.
Most of the employees are bored when hearing words like strategy plan, long-term, objectives, mission and values. That’s due to a simple reason: those words have no meaning for them. Whether they understand the strategy or not, the consequences are – in both cases – not existent. In other words there’s no need for them to change their way of working.
Employees will only start to care about the company’s objectives when they know what to do with it. Only employees who feel responsible will start to change their behavior, because with responsibility you become subject to praise and criticism.
They will not only work, but they will contribute. They will carry your strategy.