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Nailing Your Strategic Plan: Include Plans for People, Culture, and Values

By: Miki Ackermann, Culture & Talent Works


It’s almost November. For many businesses, it's the season to dive into the strategic planning process for the upcoming year. It's an exciting time, and while financial, sales, and customer strategies are all crucial to the business, I’d like to remind you about the vital stuff that often gets overlooked: your people, your culture, and your values. Here's why they should be included in your strategic plans.


Your People Drive Your Business


Your team isn't just a bunch of folks on the payroll; they're the heartbeat of your business. They are why you can grow and take on new customers, why you deliver on your business promises to customers, how you innovate, build trust with customers, and so much more. As such, consider how you can attract new employees, keep your current staff involved, and yes, even happy. Take time to think about their strengths, dreams, and potential. Your plan should include their growth, engagement, and happiness. If your people are thriving, your business is too. At the end of the day, it’s the people who will implement your strategic plan.


Cultivate an Awesome Culture


“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We have often heard this quote from Peter Drucker. It

implies the culture of your company will determine success, regardless of how effective your strategy may be. Culture is the vibe that makes your workplace tick. It affects how your team works together, solves problems, and brings new ideas to life – basically, how you function day in and day out. A strong culture boosts productivity, job satisfaction, and retention. Make sure your plan lays out how you'll maintain a culture that's in sync with your long-term goals. It's about promoting attitudes and behaviors that help your business thrive.


Let Values Lead the Way


Values are the differentiator and backbone of your business. Your values guide how you make decisions and interact with everyone – clients, partners, employees, and the whole community. This is also about ensuring everybody in the business understands what behaviours, interactions, and attitudes are expected and “right” for the business. Make sure your strategic plan reflects your core values and that you're walking the talk. When your actions match your values, trust is built, and that trust goes a long way in building strong relationships – with staff, customers, vendors, and investors.

Keep the Conversation Going


Remember, your plan doesn’t need to be set in stone. Share it with your team and

encourage them to speak up. Employees often have great insights. Listen to their feedback and be ready to make tweaks. After all, they're the ones who'll breathe life into the plan and make your business flourish.

So, the punchline is this: be purposeful in your planning. Your strategic plan should be a mix of all elements of your business including people, culture, and values. Define clear goals and targets for each area and think about how they all fit together. Success comes when these elements work in harmony, not in isolation.

For more information and HR and OD support, check out www.cultureandtalentworks.com

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