A 7-Step Plan to Hold onto Your People

In the ongoing uncertainty of our economic climate, the one thing people are seeking is certainty – or at least confidence that the business they are employed by is heading in the right direction.

Act now and ditch the pragmatism of the last three years and get some sound strategic planning back into the business as you invest for the recovery. Time spent on this key leadership activity will yield far greater rewards than trying to breathe fresh life into your redundant remuneration and incentive programmes.

Get cracking on a new strategic plan, adopt the KISS formula – and follow the steps below.

1. Establish where you are now – include an overview on the current numbers along with what worked best – and what did not work over the past 12-18 months.

2. Establish the challenges and opportunities – detail what needs to be addressed and in what priority. Remember that every challenge invariably opens an opportunity and focus on different target zones.

3. Establish goals and objectives  critical to this is pinning down the numbers that must be hit and why

4. Establish three key strategic actions – these are the actions which will have the biggest impact on the business and keep them simple, clear – and to the point. This time last year a What If Forums member’s mid-year strategic plan update focused on:

a)    Securing bigger and more profitable accounts

b)    Increasing turnover and profit per employee

c)    No longer investing time and effort on the small unprofitable accounts

The result of these actions achieved a 20% improvement in business performance.

5. Forecast monthly figures although far from easy, drawing on rolling annual totals of sales, gross profit, operating expenses and net profit will provide a good base from which to work. You then need to add in the impact of the various projects (not processes) you are planning to work on.

6. Talk to your people – spend time with your key people and listen to their reactions and feedback. Revise the plan if necessary and communicate and share it across the business.

7. Keep up the communication momentum – communicate the plan and the figures on a regular basis. Keep motivating your team by reminding your team what they have achieved and what they are seeking to further achieve.

For help in getting your strategic plan off the ground, contact me below, via richard.bosworth@whatifspecialist.com, go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on www.whatifforums.com

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