For many organizations, strategy is synonymous with organizational objectives, goals, or even their business plan. It is something organizations spend considerable time and money to produce- whether it is being created by a strategy team inside of the company, or being outsourced to consultants and experts.
The problem, in many cases, is that once this strategy has been approved and launched by upper management, it is quickly shelved and forgotten by the rest of the organization.
After surveying over 150 employees across 10 different organizations, we've compiled a list of the top five issues faced by employees in governmental, non-governmental, and commercial organizations when trying to achieve strategic objectives and goals.
Top 5 Employee Strategy Challenges
1. “What Does Strategy Have To Do With My Job?”
Yes – your organization does have a strategy or a set of annual objectives – but how do the employees fit in? 85% of employees do not know how their activities contribute to achieving organizational objectives and strategy.
Solution: Strategy needs to trickle down the organization. Everyone should know how they fit into the bigger picture, where they contribute to organizational objectives, and how their role will impact goals in a positive or negative way if things don’t get done. The best way to do this is to link employee actions to results.
2. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
If employees can’t see the strategy – continuously – it is difficult to keep it in mind. Many organizations launch their annual strategy at the beginning of the year to much fanfare, only to find that employees cannot remember what it was one month down the line.
Solution: Strategy needs to be available at all times. Employees should be able to access it inside, and outside, of work.
3. Loss Of Interest
When strategic goals or objectives lack a finish line, employees lose interest. A strategic goal like, "Increase employee happiness" can fail to capture the attention of teams because it is so vague and lacks measures that make it subjective.
Solution: Make all strategic goals and objectives clear and measurable so that teams feel like every step they take brings them closer to an obvious result. If you can see the finish line, you won't drop out of the race.
4. "I Never Know How I'm Doing”
Even when their tasks are clear, employees struggle with knowing how well they are getting things done. Beyond emails and meetings, there is often no way to track what is being done and whether it is being done correctly.
Solution: Using a common tool across the organization helps employees track and modify their performance to contribute positively to the team and organizational strategic objectives.
5. "I Don't Know How The Team Is Doing Until It's Too Late"
For some organizations that do reviews, team leaders and managers wait until the end of a certain period of time (usually a quarter, sometimes annually) before checking on the results. By then, it is too late to take any corrective actions if strategy goals have not been achieved.
Solution: The use of an organization-wide tool that allows employees to estimate and check their tasks on a weekly or monthly basis helps keep everyone on track, and allows managers to follow the progress and intervene in a timely manner when efforts are not producing the required results.
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