One of the most common reasons I’m asked to help alter an organisational culture is that it no longer supports the business strategy, which ultimately impacts on the success of the company. Here are some key actions you can take to ensure everything your employees do supports your goals.
1) Engage your employees
To be robust and effective corporate strategy needs to be developed in conjunction with employees from across the organisation (as well as a strategy expert who will take the external environment into consideration). Carrying out consultation sessions with groups of employees including peers and departmental teams can be invaluable in creating a strategy which takes into account the existing organisation. In addition, when you involve influential employees in this process they become much more engaged with the strategy and are more likely to act on it and persuade others to do the same.
2) Create inspirational communications
Communicating the strategy in a way your employees understand how it impacts them is essential for it to have any kind of impact. Often the employees who bother to read the multiple pages of print published can’t make any link between the words in the document and their job. Using stories, visuals and emotive language can all help with this. These also need to be aligned with the corporate brand and values which could be one of the first things to be refreshed.
3) Measure progress
Having an idea of how successful the strategy is being is essential to its success. You can achieve this by spending time to help the organisations leaders to create useful measures for each department and team. This enables them to measure effectiveness as well as communicate it. One of the best ways to achieve this is to have a balanced scorecard for each team with the results displayed somewhere prominent so all employees can recognise their achievements and how valued they are. The results can also be used to produce a report so the board can understand the achievement across the organisation as well as what might not be working and therefore needs adjusting.
4) Incorporate the strategy into all of your people processes
Individual performance management is managed through your people processes. It therefore follows that your organisational development can be achieved through incorporating your strategy into these processes. These include;
• Overall people strategy
• Behavioural competency framework
• Job descriptions / role profiles
• Performance appraisal process
• Recruitment processes
• Succession planning and talent management
• Learning and development programme
5) Maintain momentum
Creating, embedding, adjusting and measuring progress against the organisational strategy is an ongoing process. Any organisation however fast or slow paced the business needs to keep this cycle of activity going with people energised to achieve. This might include;
• Involving new people on the project team
• Engaging external consultants to provide a fresh perspective
• Looking into what competitors/clients/suppliers are doing
• Refreshing and changing how the strategy is communicated
• Ensuring that the strategy is always adjusting to take into account changes in the external environment