The business leaders discuss matters most critical to business with the board members. A five-year vision board is created and many goals are set. They talk about making Millions and discuss numerous ideas to innovate and improvise. The leadership gets motivated and inspired. They are driven to do more work and create great impact.
But this inspiration doesn’t reach the 98 percent of the organization because these discussions never leave the boardroom. As a result, you have a disengaged and lost workforce and a plan which will probably never reach the execution stage because you forgot to include the people who in reality will make it happen.
Here’s what business leaders should do instead:
1. Communicate the Business Expectations
Most business leaders complain that their employees are unable to see the big picture. But they don’t realize that they never really communicate their vision with everyone in the team. Each and every employee, their actions, and their performance determines the speed and effectiveness at which your business moves towards its goals. Make sure you break down these goals and share the business expectations with everyone.
That big number that is only discussed in the boardroom should be shared and reiterated in every weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings with everyone. Let them know that they play a huge part in ensuring the business reaches that number. Appreciate them for actions that may have led them towards reaching those numbers.
2. Discuss the Business Pipeline
The employees must be aware of the state of business affairs over the course of the entire financial year. The communication should not stop at discussing the big numbers only. The leaders should keep updating them with what’s going well with business and where all they need more help. Especially for small businesses and startups owners, you never know where a relevant lead might emerge from.
Take the discussion beyond boardrooms and meeting rooms, share the plan you have in place and you might get a new diverse set of ideas that are helpful.
3. Crowdsource more ideas & strategies to innovate
The business environment is evolving rapidly and customer preferences are changing by the speed of flash. Existing business models are continuously being challenged. Leadership can’t limit themselves to a only defined set of ideas from a few people. They should expand the scope of discussion. Once they have shared their broad vision with their team, they can invite them to come up with ideas that help them reach their ultimate goal.
Once we helped a fintech startup we worked with to conduct an activity for them, where we divided all the employees in groups and asked them to visualize a day five years from now and how and where they imagine their business to be. Many new product ideas and expansion strategies emerged from the discussion. Additionally, employees also felt more involved in helping the business reach greater heights. They felt more inspired.
4.Pay attention to employee needs to define relevant talent strategies
Your own employees can tell you the best about their own needs, what works for them and what keeps them motivated. The ideas you share in the boardroom may or may not work.
The people you have chosen to lead the projects, have you ever shared your plan with them? Have you discussed what we really want to do? Or have you communicated to them why the specific project will be good for them? Further the strategies you have made to enhance their engagement levels and fuel their performance, were employees’ opinions taken into consideration?
Through surveys, dialogues, and an in-depth analysis make more informed talent decisions.
5. Share the challenges and troubles your business may be going through
Let’s take the recent example of the pandemic. Last year, after the COVID-19 outbreak businesses suffered a great loss. Subsequently, many companies had to cut salaries or even lay off employees. The business leaders who were able to be honest and communicate the challenges they faced along the entire phase were appreciated and supported by their employees. While it is important for leaders to be calm and strong in tough times, it is also extremely important for them to be honest. Even if they have to make some critical decisions, how they communicate them and how they make the people feel is what matters at the end.
In some scenarios, sometimes if your business is able to make more revenue, a few of your employees might even introduce you to newer avenues.
Gone are the days when employees were mere means to get your work done. Today they are the very part of your core team, each impacting the business in some way or the other. So break that big wall of hierarchy and take these critical discussions out of the boardroom.
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