The Importance Of Communicating Business Strategy
By Guest Blogger Willy Stewart, co-creator of i2. Integrated Intelligence, Inc.
All companies want to be successful, but many organizations’ leaders fail to fully plan and implement a business strategy that will produce their desired level of achievement. While every business will have different strategies due to varying industries, company sizes and goals, what they all have in common is the need to thoroughly communicate their business strategy to their employees.
Effectively communicating the company business strategy to employees is vital to ensuring that each member of your staff is involved and understands the company goals, where your long-term plans will lead you in the future, and how you intend to get there. One of the most common weaknesses plaguing businesses is a lack of a good understanding by employees of their company’s strategy. The best employees are those who are motivated, self-managed and properly trained, but this cannot be accomplished unless employees are kept in the know as much as possible. Beyond communicating the overall business strategy to employees, it is equally important to communicate to them how their work will play a vital role in the overall success of the company.
From entry level positions to managers and company leaders, employees need to see that their efforts and hard work matter. This leads to a more motivated workforce where people are willing to continue to work on behalf of the company for a successful outcome. With a greater understanding of the company’s mission in place, employees develop a much stronger commitment to actually fulfilling that mission.
Beyond verbally communicating the business strategy to employees, business leaders must dive into the set plan, using their actions to demonstrate to employers that he or she can be trusted to follow through with promises made.
To increase customer satisfaction, as well as help employees stay motivated for effective and efficient results, company leaders must consistently work to achieve the goals that they have advertised. It is difficult for employees to feel excited about working hard for their employer when they do not see their efforts mirrored by the company’s leadership. In general, commitments should always be kept, but this is especially true if those commitments are part of an organization’s overall strategy. Employees will look to the articulated business strategy as their motivator and guideline, but if the business strategy is unreliable, it will have negative effects on employee morale and success.
After the business strategy is implemented, executive leadership needs to set aside time to evaluate the company’s efforts and communicate their findings and feedback to the rest of the organization. Note that employees need more than just general comments – they will be most successful in the future when leaders clearly explain the specific efforts that are working and those practices that are not, with a detailed and clear explanation of why and how the overall strategy will proceed as a result. In an effort to continue to tie employees’ work back to their support of the overall business strategy, leaders need to be careful to give these explanations in the context of the strategy to keep everyone motivated and productive.
After consistently implementing effective practices, business leaders will begin to notice that the company’s strategy and vision, as well as effective communication practices, become a natural and integral part of workplace culture and practices. Positive communication drives high results and employee loyalty, which strengthens organizations and will encourage the growth and progress of a company.
More than any other incentive, when employees understand their value and contributions to the greater business goal their work is supporting, they are going to be motivated to work hard toward their organization’s success. The most effective way of accomplishing this is through clearly and consistently communicating all aspects of the business strategy to everyone involved, resulting in a higher level of performance among teams companywide that is able to reach new and exciting levels of success.
Willy Stewart is the co-creator of i2. Integrated Intelligence, Inc., a Raleigh-based consulting firm that advises and equips CEOs and senior leaders with the leadership, passion and tools to optimize the integration of human capital and business intelligence. For more information about Integrated Intelligence, visit www.i2TrustedAdvisors.com.