How Your Business Plan Can Motivate Your Staff
Can a business plan really be helpful in motivating your staff? Can a dry, faceless necessity of a document be of any interest at all to anyone but the owner of a business and the top management?
The answer is, no, a dry faceless document probably won’t interest your staff! However, a well-constructed, well-written business plan with the best interests of the business at its heart should be able to motivate the staff because the success of the business will be their success too.
So how can you achieve this?
Involve Your StaffIf you disappear into a lonely room and emerge three days later with your company’s business plan, however well written it is, and however well intentioned it may be, it is highly likely to fall onto stony ground if your staff can’t relate to it. To get their “buy in” to the business plan, it is best to involve them.
If you have a staff of less than ten, then it may truly be possible to involve them all in the whole process. More than and the sheers numbers would make it unwieldy. Nevertheless, if you do run a bigger organisation, it is still possible to seek the views of the lower staff, ask for a volunteer to be involved in the process, tell them what you’re doing and why you are doing it. If you get your people interested in the early stages of the process, then you’re half-way there.
Build in Your Values and Your MissionWhat are your values? What are your personal and business values? Hopefully they will be almost the same, to give you belief in your own business. Seek other people’s values? Do they also coincide with your own? If they do, then you’ve got the right people in your business.
However, if the values of your people are wildly different from your own, you might want to question whether you’ve got the right people in your organisation, or – if everybody disagrees with your values – have you got something wrong? If you can build values into your business (for example, honesty and integrity) that fit with your staff’s values, then it should be easy to move them forward, knowing you’ve got them on your side.
The same goes for the mission of the business. What does the business exist for? Do their staff know; do they understand; do they believe in it too?
What’s Your Vision?The vision of the business will be where you (and your staff) see the business in say, one, three or five years time. Will you be targeting a £1 million turnover? Or an increase in profits of 100 per cent? Do your staff have a vision for the business? Get them to share their views with you, and share your views with them.
The pattern is clear, isn’t it? The idea is to take your staff on the journey of creating a business plan along with you. Even if you don’t get all of their views at all stages, you can involve them to make sure they understand what you are doing and what you are trying to create.
Create Objectives, Strategies and a Living Action PlanPerhaps the nub of the business plan is creating the objectives, the strategies and the action plans that will really affect what you and your staff actually do over the next one to five years. If you’ve taken them with you so far, then they shouldn’t baulk at the actions that come their way, because they should fully understand how what they do fits into the bigger picture of the company.
Live Your DocumentFinally, you must not allow your business plan, once written, to gather proverbial dust by never being used. You – and your staff – have created the plan for the purpose of moving the business forward and achieving your collective vision. Now, you should all use it. What better motivation can there be than creating a plan among the people in the business, and then putting it to the best use of building a better, more successful business for everyone involved.
It’s the key word: involvement. Involve people and you’ll keep them motivated.