Companies have no shortage of strategic initiatives. It seems like the c-suite is continually drawing up new blueprints for the operation. But as any astute business executive will tell you, the biggest challenge they have is not formulating the strategic direction; it’s translating the vision into a working reality. In other words, the most difficult aspect of strategy lies in its execution.
A survey of global CEO’s found that 75% of them struggle to implement their strategic initiatives. In fact, “executional excellence” in the face of shifting business priorities registered as their top concern (higher than promoting innovation, dealing with geopolitical instability or driving top-line revenue growth).
There are several reasons why strategy often fails to materialize into an operational advantage. But two of the top includes a lack of a focus (and the leadership attention that goes with it), along with systems and tools that can motivate employees. Here are two ways that social recognition can bridge those gaps and help make organizational strategy a reality.
1/ By informing and inspiring employees
When it comes to grasping the fine points of corporate strategy, most employees fall into three categories; they ignore it, they are indifferent to it, or they become fearful that it will negatively impact their job. Left unchecked each outcome can have negative consequences, both in real dollars or opportunity costs.
Getting employees to buy into the plan (to become committed to it early on) is essential to strategic success. But it’s not enough to make sure employees know about the organization's vision. You also need to make certain they understand how the plan impacts them. They need to know what to do and what’s at stake for them when they deliver as required.
Specifying employee roles helps everyone contribute more effectively. That’s where social recognition comes in. Its configurable communications can breakdown the plan in terms employees can grasp; it can define what each employee needs to do and it can provide the mechanism to reward them when they excel.
With our system, employee communication, goal setting and recognition can be initiated at the corporate level, or can be set up by local managers (or done by both). Either way, Maestro provides the type of flexibility that allows companies to inform and inspire; two ingredients that make the execution of any strategic plan a priority.
2/ By making execution a priority
There are recurring issues with flawed plans. For instance, the same numbers of companies who reported disappointing results provided no meaningful incentives for meeting the strategic plan’s benchmarks and goals. They also failed to give managers the tools they needed to position incentives in line with results. The oversights combine to give employees (as well as their managers) the feeling that implementing the strategy was no longer important.
Executives need their strategic plans to take root within the company. And that means taking proactive steps to align it with the efforts of employees. Sixty one percent of all senior leaders acknowledge that their firms struggle to bridge the gap between strategic planning and day-to-day execution at the employee level. A properly designed recognition or incentive contest changes that.
Such programs can prioritize new methods, outcomes or behaviors; they can increase the alignment of employees and focus them on execution. Maestro gives companies (and their managers) the ability to make carrying out the plan a priority across the entire workforce. It allows the business to direct the efforts of all personnel through metric-based incentive or observational recognition programs. And that makes organizational strategy a reality.