It’s sad but true, even the best strategic planners are at the mercy of snags that can send your hopes for team success careening down the wrong path. No one is immune. What’s more, in the world of People Operations and HR, some strategic plan snags are completely out of your control, like sudden shifts in market dynamics or an economic downturn (or upturn). Fortunately, there are ways to streamline your approach to important initiatives that can help put you in the best position possible to achieve departmental and organizational success.
Snakes! Always always always watch out for snakes. Once you’ve established a lack of proximity to snakes, you can move on to identifying the factors that could potentially muck up your strategic plan mojo. Reducing the risk of your plan going sideways is critical to having a streamlined strategic plan that’ll make you and your team thrive.
Avoid these pitfalls and your strategic plan will be (figuratively) bulletproof.
A lack of clarity: This one has a bit of a life-lesson feel, but being clear and concise in your vision is going to make it easier for others to understand and execute on. As you build out a strategic plan, have a colleague look it over. A common mistake we all make is to assume that if it makes sense to us it will make sense to everyone. If your strategic plan lacks clear objectives, goals, or a well-defined vision, it becomes difficult for your team to align on efforts and work towards a common purpose.
Inadequate resource allocation: There are a lot of reasons why we might want to overachieve in our job, but if you’re staring at an insufficient amount of resources (financial, human, or technological, etc…), it can doom your strategic plan before it gets out of the gate. For an example that we’re picking for absolutely no reason whatsoever, your plan might include implementing a better leave of absence management experience because it’s critical to maintain organizational productivity, but if you don’t have the right resources (like this one) allocated to the objective it’s going to be challenging to achieve the desired outcomes.
Unrealistic timelines: It’s unfortunately not enough that your strategic plan is clear and you have the right resources in place to get the jobs done, unrealistic timelines are a fantastic way to frustrate and demotivate your team. It is important to ensure that your objectives are clear and your timelines are reasonable based on available resources.
Lack of adaptability: As poet laureate Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It’s impossible to predict where exactly a strategic plan haymaker will come from, the more prepared and willing you are to adjust to changing circumstances the easier you’ll be able to roll with the punches. For an in-house example, we approach all strategic plans and day-to-day operations with the mindset of being Fearlessly Flexible. Supercharge your success by adjusting your strategic plan when needed. There’s nothing more frustrating than executing a plan for a scenario that no longer is relevant.
Haphazard monitoring and evaluation: Properly monitoring and evaluating the progress of your strategic plan is a vital component to ensuring your streamlined processes are staying on track. Without it, it’ll be a nightmare to identify when unintentional deviations from the original plan occur, or to determine when timely adjustments need to occur. A regular assessment of your plan’s performance is essential for team success.
A lack of accountability: To be clear, we aren’t talking about micromanaging here, but if your plan doesn’t have clear, established accountability measures in place, you’re asking to get bit. This also pertains to having too many people accountable for the same thing. As the old adage goes, when everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. If there is a lack of clarity around ownership and responsibilities among your team, the execution of your plan may suffer.
For starters, there should be no snakes nearby (unless you’re in People Ops for a snake sanctuary, of course). A streamlined strategic plan should be a concise and focused roadmap that outlines your vision, goals, and actions required to achieve them. It should effectively communicate the direction of your People Ops team and provide a framework for decision-making and resource allocation. By developing a concise, actionable and flexible plan, you can significantly improve your chances to supercharge the overall performance of your team and successfully accomplish your departmental goals.
Tilt is leading the charge in all things leave of absence management through easy-to-use tech and human touch. Since 2017, our proprietary platform and Empathy Warriors have been helping customers make leave not suck by eliminating administrative burdens, keeping companies compliant, and providing a truly positive and supportive leave of absence experience for their people.
© 2022 Tilt