How to Engage Employees in Your New Business Plan
When your company is ready for a slight change in direction, or you, as owner/manager, decide the current business plan isn’t producing the desired results, you might need to create and institute a new business plan. Some company owners and executives decide it’s time for a change, then put the plan in motion without engaging employees or seeking input from the company’s most important asset – the people who perform their work daily.
But, you should heed this note of warning: This method may produce change in the short term. You may even see some improvement in productivity or profitability, again in the short term. But, as time goes on, you will probably find the new plan isn’t all you hoped it would be. The reason? People who work for you should also feel they work with you. They’ll respond to your requests for input and will deliver more effort when they feel they were part of the process that created the new plan.
Owners and managers find one of the real difficulties in implementing a new plan is that the employees don’t make it happen as quickly as the leaders would like. Delays are often due to a lot of planning time and discussion time. But the success of a new direction for your business is measured by actually putting the plan in motion – implementation. If these leaders insist on following the method mentioned earlier, which pushes a new plan on employees who are not engaged, they will continue to see a slow rate of implementation.
They might continue to press for action, working with the misconception that the employees simply don’t grasp the urgency and perhaps don’t want to make things happen quickly. But, this way of thinking is a true misconception. The problem lies in the fact that the new plan, the new strategy, was developed in the “board room” or during an executive retreat. Carrying this plan to the employees and presenting it as a completed road map for success is a good way to guarantee failure in the long run.
A Better Way
In business, productivity and profit are the better way. To ensure that profit and productivity are the results of a new plan, and not just a goal set by the manager, it’s essential to begin creating a new plan with employee input from the start. Don’t simplify the individual employee by treating them as “pegs” to be fitted into certain places in the plan. People are complex, so you should allow their passion to drive your business strategy toward success. When they are able to express their passion and find an outlet for it, the results can be remarkable.
One of the best examples of this method of engagement can be seen at SneakySmurfs, where the interest in competitive online gaming is evident from the moment you encounter the website. You’d be making a safe bet if you wagered that the business plan and the implementation strategy making League of Legends and the lol-smurfs.com account store a rousing success was driven by passion from the creators and leaders, as well as the employees who are active in the daily operation.