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HOW TO COMMUNICATE BUSINESS STRATEGY TO EMPLOYEES<br />
INTRODUCTION<br />Top management may write the business plan and frame strategies to execute the plan. To proceed with the strategy, the rest of the employees in the organization need to be engaged<br />So the question with strategy is how to communicate it, so that employees truly understand and feel engaged with, rather than considering it as just an another information from the top management<br />
WHY DO WE NEED TO COMMUNICATE STRATEGY TO EMPLOYEES<br />Employees want to know, that the company they work for has a clear strategy, and that management can articulate the company direction. <br /> It tells employees number of important things:<br />Where the business is heading towards<br />What their important priorities and challenges are <br />How their jobs fit into that strategy <br />How it is going to help them grow up the organizational ladder <br />
WHAT IF I DON’T COMMUNICATE STRATEGY<br />Companies that don't communicate strategy to employees are actually signaling a lack of clear direction, or a disregard for employees, or both. <br />
EXPLAIN WHY<br />Tell the employees "why" in addition to "what" and "how". If you don't provide the why, people will make up their own reasons why, and those reasons will be cynical and it will affect their moral in the working place. <br />Conduct a training session or meeting. Explain what each of the business strategies are for the business and why these particular strategies are set for the business.<br />
LINKING STRATEGY WITH VISION AND MISSION OF THE ORGANIZATION<br />It is essential to communicate how the strategy execution is aligned with the enterprise wide vision and mission of the organization. <br />This way employees and managers will understand how individual works are linked and how the organizational strategy is depended on them.<br />
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT<br />Find out how to convey the same strategy in different ways to different levels of employees in the same organization. So that, it is relevant, exciting, fresh and meaningful.<br />It will make them to think, talk, discuss and argue. <br />Unless employees truly understand the strategy and make a meaningful connection between their jobs and strategy, their attitudes and behaviors will not change. <br />
STORY TELLING AS A MEDIUM TO REACH EMPLOYEES<br />People cannot remember facts and figures but stories and experience will make an impact. <br />Use story telling as a means to understand the relevance of the strategy along with real-life examples of progress and shortfalls against it.<br />Collectively these stories and conversations will be a strong influence on positive culture-building behavior that relates to strategic goals. <br />Nothing engages people more than feeling like they are part of the story.<br />
USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL TO GET CLOSE WITH THE EMPLOYEES <br />The way people communicate has changed tremendously. Consider the roles of social media [Face book, Twitter etc], networking, blogs, and games to get engaged with the employees<br />However, for any strategy to be successful it is very important to ensure it has a reliable feedback mechanism. This can be achieved by using internal communication systems like emails, internal corporate blogs etc..<br />
REPEAT AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN<br />Just informing the strategy to the employees is not the end but it is just the beginning<br />Human Beings initially retain only about 25% of what they hear, and it will also start fading as time passes.<br /> <br />A good rule of thumb: By the time you're sick and tired of saying the same thing, you're beginning to get through. So communicate, communicate and communicate again. <br />Make it happen by planning the strategy in such a way that it is part of their daily work<br />
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH<br />People want to hear from the top, rather than from colleagues or immediate supervisor. <br /> It will be more effective if they receive strategic messages from CEO or from VPs, than hearing it from a local manager. <br />
WALK THE TALK<br />Top management should inspire people by showing commitment and direction towards executing the strategy<br />Ensure that appropriate resources both in terms of human as well as finance is available<br />Identify members of the leadership team most likely to be committed and design a specific role for them to influence their peers and their management teams<br />Recognize and reward individuals and teams who come up with smart solutions and positive change<br />
ESTABLISH SYNERGY AMONG THE DEPARTMENTS<br />Companies generally fail at implementing a strategy because they function as silos <br />Perfect strategy execution requires a system, not a series of diverse projects performed in different parts of the organization. <br />Create a strategy management team which should comprise people from different departments like Marketing, Finance, and Human Resources etc..<br />
KEEPING EMPLOYEES INFORMED <br />Company should keep updating the employees about the progress towards carrying out the strategy.<br />All managers should make strategy reviews and update their team members regarding the same during team huddles and inform any apprehensions from employees to the top management<br />
LOOKING BACK<br />At the end of the year or the beginning of the following year, Successes and failures of carrying out the strategies should be discussed and reviewed<br />
CONCLUSION<br />Employees often communicate directly with customers. They single-handedly control most perceptions that consumers or clients have about the brand. If you choose not to invest in them be certain of the risk. <br />If you don't win over employees first, you certainly won't succeed in winning with customers, as they ultimately hold that relationship in their hands.<br />
CASE STUDY<br />Tesco’s ‘Steering Wheel’: A tool for strategic Value Creation and Business Transformation<br />In early 90’s Tesco faced a stiff competition from various other retailers in the industry and thus its revenues showed a downfall.<br />They have the challenges of delivering a distinctive and consistent buying experience to consumers in more than 5000 stores having more than 470,000 employees working in multiple countries. <br />How can you keep frontline employees engaged with and acting on the company's central strategy? <br />
The Tesco Way<br />“Tesco doesn’t want one leader. We want thousands of leaders who take initiative to execute the strategy.” This is the statement made by Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco <br />To make this goal a reality , Tesco communicated its new strategy to its employees via a "steering wheel". <br />The Tesco steering wheel has four 90 degree arcs, representing the four areas of focus: finance, customer, operations, and people. <br />
Every store gets a monthly steering wheel update, a summary of its metrics within each of the four arcs, so that all employees in Tesco's multiple regions and formats get feedback on their performance. <br />Tesco supplements its steering wheel report with "shopping lists" that capture key elements of the strategy in simple forms that employees can follow in their everyday activities. <br />
Recently, Tesco added a fifth dimension, community, to the steering wheel report to encourage employees to be excellent citizens in the communities where they work and live.<br />
Tesco’s values and priorities (concerning customers, staff, business, and compliance issues) are instrumental in securing staff commitment to the steering wheel.<br />Thus the steering wheel of Tesco acted as a strategic communication medium and helped the company stay focused on its strategy even as it experienced rapid growth over the past two decades. <br />