In our last post, we looked at the kinds of things that are usually included in a robust business strategy. Writing this strategy is, of course, incredibly important to the continued success, and prospective growth, of your business. But, regardless of how awesome your strategy may be, having this stored securely in your most senior director’s grey matter, or in the dark recesses of your SLTs’ laptops, doesn’t count for much if your people don’t know it. If your employees are not aware of, and on board with your visions and goals, then there’s not much chance of you achieving them.
"Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment."
- Jim Collins & Jerry Porras, authors:
"Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies"
In fact, effectively communicating your business strategy to your employees is crucial for several reasons. Here is a Guru Top Ten of reasons why you should effectively communicate your business strategy:
Alignment of Goals: When our employees understand our overall business strategy, they can align their individual goals and tasks with the larger objectives of the organisation. This alignment helps create a cohesive and focused workforce, all working towards common goals.
Motivation and Engagement: Knowing how their contributions fit into the bigger picture is motivational to most employees. Understanding the purpose and direction of the company can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher levels of engagement, and a sense of purpose in their work. This seems to be getting more important with each successive generation of workers.
Improved Decision-Making: Employees who are aware of the company's strategic priorities are obviously better equipped to make decisions that are in line with those priorities. This reduces the likelihood of conflicting actions or projects that may divert resources away from strategic goals.
Adaptability and Agility: It’s fair to say that we all now operate in a more rapidly changing business environment than ever before. A well-communicated strategy allows our employees to adapt quickly to new challenges. When they understand the company's overarching strategy, they can more readily adjust their approach to meet the (ever-)evolving market conditions.
Risk Response: Similarly, when our employees are well-informed about the company's strategy, they are better equipped to identify potential risks and challenges. This collective awareness enables the organisation to proactively address issues before they become significant problems.
Enhanced Team Collaboration: Clear communication of business strategy fosters a shared understanding among team members. This shared understanding can enhance collaboration and teamwork, as employees are more likely to work together efficiently when they comprehend the broader organisational goals.
Customer Satisfaction: Employees who understand the business strategy are better positioned to deliver products and services that align with their customers’ needs and expectations. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction and, therefore, loyalty.
Cultural Alignment: The communication of business strategy helps reinforce the company's values and culture. When employees understand the strategic direction, they can embody and promote the values that are essential to achieving the company's goals.
Employee Retention: Employees who feel connected to the company's mission and understand how their role contributes to its success are more likely to stay with the organisation. This can contribute to lower turnover rates and the retention of valuable talent.
Continuous Improvement: An informed workforce is more likely to provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. Open communication channels encourage employees to share their insights, leading to a culture of continuous improvement.
In other words, failing to effectively communicate your business strategy can result in a damaging lack of direction across the business, with misaligned efforts and people working in silos, pursuing individual goals. Motivation is reduced and opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and improvement are missed. Decision-making is weakened and overall performance may be suboptimal. The lack of communication can breed uncertainty, leading to increased resistance to organisational changes and more resistance to adapting to new strategies or approaches. Employees who feel disconnected from the organisation's purpose and goals are also more likely to seek employment elsewhere.
In the final blog of this trilogy, we’ll share your tips on how to effectively share your business strategy with the whole of your population.