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Ian Ferguson: Securing Employee Buy-In For The Vision

THIS part of the calendar usually finds responsible companies preparing and planning for a new year. Creating and updating various plans and objectives becomes the focus until the end of the calendar year. Successful companies do not leave these things to chance. They bring to the table the external and internal resources required to take the company/department to a healthier place than it was in the year prior.

The 'Strategic Plan' might include: The Vision, The Mission, The Core Values, The Credo, The Goals, The Objectives and The Business Plan.

Our discussion today focuses on providing tips for leaders who desire to see change by communicating these important ideas.

  • Keep the message simple but deep in meaning (ensure the verbiage is commonly-used language that they can connect with. Less corporate talk and more 'real talk').

  • Use a combination of stories, narratives and graphs to appeal to the multiple personalities on the team.

  • Bring into focus other market and customer insights (employees need to know how they line up with others performing similar tasks).

  • Know which messages are to be prioritised and sequence them (identifying those which inspire, educate and reinforce is a start).

  • Ensure the messenger of the strategy is a visible and respected leader on the team.

  • Use a combination of visual, auditory and tactile methods in your delivery to appeal to multiple learning styles.

  • Engage employees at all levels from the start in the creating of many, if not most, of the departmental/organisational planning. This immediately gets you the buy-in you will need.

  • Fight to use every form of current technology available to you. Engage the millennials on the team as much as possible.

  • Make the necessary investment to roll out the communication plan effectively (purchase the branded paraphernalia to complement the new strategy).

  • Do not dismiss the past. Tell the story of the company/department's history. People need to see the progression/evolution.

  • Connect employees to the plan in deep and meaningful ways. Let every employee know that they play an integral role in the successful implementation of the plan.

  • Create a reinforcement, updating an exit strategy for the plan. Treat the vision, mission, objectives, goals documents like the living, breathing documents they are designed to be.

• NB: Ian R. Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com

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