Five innovative ways to communicate your 2019 strategy to your team

The new year is here and for many of us, that means ‘new year, new you’. Resolutions made, gym membership paid for and you’re raring to go.

But how about plans for your business? You’ve probably been putting together a brand-new strategy for success for 2019. But your company isn’t just you, it’s the company you keep – from the most junior member of your team right through every level.

So, how do you get everyone else enthusiastic about your plans? We’ve put together five innovative but easy-to-achieve ways to effectively communicate your strategy to the whole team. It’s time to get everyone on board and excited about your next stage of growth.

1. Start with why

Every business has their ‘WHY’ – the reason they exist. This should be one of the biggest influencers to how you communicate your strategy. It’s the perfect way to establish how relevant what you’re doing is to your employees, in a way that makes them care about the company and their role in it. It should be at the very centre of all your communications.

If your team is bought into the ‘why’ at the centre of your business, they can more clearly see how they fit into your 2019 strategy. If people can visualise the difference they’re making, the more motivated they will be to achieve their goals.

2. Keep it simple

‘If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.’ – Albert Einstein

Deliver a simple message and do it clearly. The Einstein quote above bears remembering, because people overcomplicate strategy. Especially if you’re immersed in writing it. On the flip side, your wider team will assume it’s complicated, simply because ‘strategy’ can be quite an intimidating word.

Dedicate some time to boiling your strategy down to its simplest, basic points. Try to contain that to three ideas, and certainly no more than five. There’s a limit on how much information people can actually retain and remember.

3. Think outside of PowerPoint

The delivery is as important as the content. Let’s face it, no-one enjoys death by PowerPoint. You can really think outside the box when it comes to delivering your core strategy message.

If you’ve got a bigger team of managers, try pulling together a team to serve as ‘strategy ambassadors’. Different people presenting in different ways appeals to a greater number of learning styles and helps the message stick.

An approach we tried to great success at Citation HQ was creating a dedicated strategy event. The heads of each department were tasked with explaining how their team will contribute to the year’s overall targets. This involved everyone moving from one speaker to the next, with each department presenting their own way, with their own activity.

Linda Jodrell, HR Director at Citation commented;

“The energy of moving around the room and having different visuals to associate with each distinct department made the day really dynamic.”

“We played to different strengths and learning styles and saw an amazing amount of engagement and positivity.”

4. Use technology to your advantage

Where your strategy message shows up says a lot and has a significant impact on how your team engages with it. Consider all the ways in which you and your people communicate with each other.

  • Do your team use chat software such as Slack or Chatter?
  • Is there a company intranet that’s actively engaged with?
  • Do you circulate an internal news email?

Whatever the medium, you need to put your message in front of people where they are. Taking in all forms of communication helps to integrate that.

5. Reinforce and remember

Are there opportunities for reinforcement? Probably the worst thing you can do is deliver your yearly strategy and disappear for the next 11 months.

Much like habit forming, people typically need to hear a message 21 times before they fully commit it to memory. Reinforcing messages can come in a variety of tactics, but can you think of 21 different ways your team can hear your strategy message throughout the year?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Visual reminders – posters can become like wallpaper but what can you do to be surprising? Whether it’s by the kettle or the back of the bathroom door, make sure you provide plenty of visual cues.
  • Incentivise goals – if people have a fantastic summer party to look forward to, or you treat them to Christmas Eve off, they’re more likely to engage and keep track of their progress towards strategic goals.
  • Align with performance reviews – regular check-ins and performance reviews will help your employees to see how they fit into the business’ journey. Remember to reward smart suggestions or positive change. Pride is an ideal positive motivator.

Your strategic partner in business

Whether it’s helping communicate core ideas, keeping your employees motivated or leading effective performance reviews – Citation is here for our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you’re a Citation client, remember, we’re available around the clock on our advice line. And if you’re not yet, simply get in touch with us on 0345 844 1111 or use our Contact Us page.

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