By Barb Ward

With the “great resignation” in full swing and new challenges of the never-ending pandemic creeping up every day, having a clear direction and a road map to getting there is perhaps more crucial than ever before.

Now, as we examine how to move forward, we realize that many people have redefined where and how they are willing to work, what they are willing to do, and perhaps most importantly to organizations, who they are willing to work for.  It is now not only essential for organizations to continue to move forward, but also imperative to assess how they move forward.

Strategic planning not only helps your organization develop the right goals and targets to drive your business forward, it also grounds employees in something they can count on, a “known” factor in the midst of much that is, and will remain, unknown. Most of the time people like stability, especially in their professional realm.  Re-evaluating and creating a strategic plan to fit our “new normal” gives the organization a fresh way forward, while renewing the focus on vision and values. As employees are looking at new and different opportunities, if done with authenticity, you can pull them back in and renew their vigor when they see that you are dedicated to looking at new ways of doing things. It gives you the opportunity to:

  • Adapt your work environment to provide flexibility that many employees are now looking for
  • Put your employees first in a new way as everyone adjusts to their new way of being
  • Provide clarity about the direction for the organization, laser focus on how you’re planning to get there, and what role each employee plays in getting there
  • Create engagement from your staff by enabling them to “buy in” to the goals of the organization and by giving them actionable ways to help the organization succeed
  • Create a framework for teams that aligns their work with their values, the company’s values and the overall goal, which, in turn, makes employees willing to go the extra mile for their employer, and makes them more productive

Strategic planning takes time, effort, and reassessment. Your organization is continually evolving, perhaps now at a faster rate than you ever remember. That is not likely to change, so it is important to realize that your planning process is not an “event”, it is a process that you need to keep a pulse on continuously as your organization continues to change.

This may sound like a daunting task; however, if leadership is committed to making this shift, it can be done with great success for both the organization and its employees.