Flipping the Script to Multiply Your Productivity

Strategic Planning for Results

By: Dr. Valerie D.W. James

January 8, 2020

Creating an organizational strategic plan that balances revenue and productivity initiatives is a skill that every successful leader must cultivate. Without strategic planning, businesses find themselves merely reacting to momentary pressures and trends, rather than implementing changes that will ensure their success in the long-term future.

Strategic planning can be implemented under a wide array of circumstances. You might need a strategic plan to respond to competitors, upgrade your organization’s operation system and workflows, handle requests from your consumer base, or rethink the vision and mission of your organization. You may even use strategic planning tactics to improve employee morale and productivity, which is something we don’t often think about when we are so focused on numbers.

Planning for productivity improvement is one of the most important assets of business success.

You, as the leader of the company, are not only responsible for creating and inspiring a shared vision and trust with the people you are leading, but to also ask questions, listen, and observe.

Here are 3 steps to ensure that the strategic plan that you formulated will be effective enough to multiply productivity. Consider these important aspects of your plan to help with building your clientele and enhancing your employment work experience...

1. Create a culture code.

The culture code of a business is the core of your company. This code outlines the company’s vision, mission, and purpose. It quickly highlights established procedures to reach goals and is a blueprint detailing “how” to achieve success. This is important to develop, not just for the company, but also for employees. This is the guideline that informs employees what you expect from them in their role in the company. With this as your first step in your strategic plan, you will be able to determine the needs of the company and its goals.

2. Perform a SWOT analysis.

The purpose of the next phase is to gather information that describes the current circumstances and context of your department or organization. This is often referred to as a SWOT Analysis. SWOT analysis may sound familiar and can ultimately be redundant in any industry. However, a SWOT analysis provides the company with the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for a business.

Strengths are elements of the business that create a company’s competitive advantage; weaknesses are elements that place a business at a disadvantage compared to a rival business. It is important to consider and strategize to improve employee morale and the workplace environment in both these aspects. An unpleasant environment or unappreciated workforce can contribute greatly to low productivity in your team and make a rival company more appealing to work for. Opportunities are aspects in the community or environment that can be exploited to create an advantage; threats are factors that can potentially cause harm. It is important to discover issues in this analysis that include not just potential for financial loss or gain, but also the perceptions that your personnel may have relating to the workplace. Some of your employees may have completely different perceptions of what works and what doesn’t within the company and this could create a severe detriment in productivity and morale overall. It is important that your analysis include ways to recognize and reward staff excellence and compensate where employees may feel a lack of support or direction.

3. Action plans:

Action plans are tactics for each strategic goal, detailing how the unit will accomplish the goals set forth in the form of action planning. Each action step translates your strategic plan into steps for implementation. This is where each objective you and your team have identified is broken down into smaller action steps. At this phase, you will want to specify who is in charge of doing what, and by when. You will also want to build in time on this calendar for regular reviews of the status of implementation.

The plan’s goals and objectives should also be integrated into performance reviews. As such, it is important to create clear roles for each member on the team, the metrics for each of these goals and how the success or progress of each will be measured, and the timeline for achievement of each stated goal.

Lastly, evaluating plans helps you determine whether or not you have successfully implemented your plan. This is where you integrate your team’s objectives into the action planning phase. Evaluating your plan helps determine whether or not you and your organization want to change course and also sets the groundwork for a more formal evaluation between strategic planning periods to help you celebrate milestones and harvest wins.

In essence, the strategic planning process is a business growth process. It lights the way by offering you an honest appraisal of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. It enables you and your team to see what’s important, relevant, and actionable in your environment. It also has the power to engage employees at all levels of your organization by uniting them in a common set of goals and objectives. Maximize efficiency and lead brilliantly. Have you ever done a SWOT analysis on your company? How often are you revisiting and updating a SWOT analysis for your company? Your employees are part of something bigger than themselves, take every opportunity to let them know it! Identify relevant ways to raise the bar on productivity in your organization or department.

Download a free SWOT Analysis template to get you jumpstarted!

FREE SWOT ANALYSIS

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