Team Buy-In Will Make 2017 Planning Better Than You Can Imagine

In my advice to leaders for end of year reflection, I included a simple but profound question to ask your team members: “what are you good at that we’re not using?”

HRM America reported that 85% of workers felt underutilized in 2015, and that equated to at least $23,500 in lost productivity per employee. While this report has yet to be updated for 2016, this ballpark figure shows how pressing it is to make the most of your workforce.

As you look ahead and begin planning for 2017, here are some key steps that will help you make the most of your talent assets:

1.    Assess strengths: the data gathered from year-end reflections makes a good starting point, and there are a number of excellent management tools that can help you evaluate your team’s valuable skills. Executive coach Glenn Llopis once observed in his Forbes column that “employees often have unique skill-sets beyond their job descriptions – skills that if given the opportunity to showcase they could perhaps use to improve their job function and deliver better results.”

2.    Include everyone in goal-setting: the very process of inviting team members to take ownership for their success and that of the team will create a ripple effect of benefits. This invitation to provide counsel will win team members’ loyalty by making them feel like a trusted and valued member of the organization. This provides an opportunity for employees to chime in with areas where they can add more beyond the scope of their existing roles and responsibilities.

3.    Build in feedback: when setting goals in collaboration with your team, transparency about how feedback will work and when it will be scheduled will keep everyone happy. This is true for everyone from trusted advisors to the most recent front-line hires. Scheduling these conversations in advance shows that the leaders trust and value all team members and are making them a priority. This gives the employee freedom to focus on the work in front of them and managers the freedom to relax and avoid micro-managing. Everyone will feel more confident and trust their role within the team.

Careful planning and inviting employee buy-in can help even the most experienced managers recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in improved productivity through employee engagement. While some may consider goal setting and planning a chore, you can set your team up for success and a fiscally vibrant 2017 with these tips, and reap the rewards all year long.

Some of this advice we’ve included here is not new. If you have questions about how to tactically apply these best practices within your organization, Options4Growth can speak with you about planning, resources, and implementation for your team.