As a Business Consultant working with CEOs and Executive Management, I know of the importance of the “buy in” to strategic initiatives. Without complete support of the top, a strategic consulting engagement cannot be successful.
I am going to tweak this concept a bit and discuss how a “buy in” is important for the CEO and Executive Management in relationship to their staff. How can a company become truly the best it can be and achieve its strategic goals without the complete “buy in” of its employees? And I am referring to employees at all levels, not just management level.
Why is employee “buy in” important for strategic success? 5 chief reasons:
1 Teamwork: If strategic initiatives do not have complete support of the company as a whole, the level of its success will be diminished. It takes teamwork for strategic goals to be fully realized, just like it takes a cohesive team to win a football game. You can have an all-star or two, but if the team does not gel, it will struggle to win.
2 Empowerment: If you involve your employees company-wide in your strategic planning, you empower them to: a) share their ideas, b) take more responsibility for their job, and c) have more accountability for their role in the company. An empowered workforce reaches (and often exceeds) strategic goals.
3 Advancement: There is no better way to offer the opportunity of advancement within a company than to secure complete “buy in” for your strategic vision and goals. Employees who not just “feel” important but know they are important, will strive to be the best they can be. They will push to share ideas and concerns with management and climb the ladder as a result. Thereby, a company has the best people coming into its key and vital positions to support its strategic growth and success.
4 Trust: One way a company can destroy itself from within is for its management and staff to not trust one another. If people are always trying to back stab one another and don’t believe the words out of each other’s mouths, not only does the quality of work significantly reduce, but most importantly, conflicting agendas reduce the effectiveness of any strategic initiative. “Buy ins” foster trust throughout a company.
5 Passion: Employees who are passionate about their work, coming to work and being at work, well, are very productive employees. Company-wide “buy in” brings people together to do their best work, to share their best ideas. It inspires creativity and drives passion throughout an organization. Passion inspires people to succeed and flourish, making it easier for them to get behind and drive strategic vision.
So as a CEO, VP, or Exec Manager, think about how you can foster complete “buy in” of your employees and staff for your strategic plan going forward. It will be transformative and often will be the missing link to truly successful strategic planning and implementation.