Business plans are a critical part of every business to ensure that every activity you undertake moves you closer to achieving your goals. But how well do you align your business planning activity and your appraisal process?

Often, when clients start to experience performance related issues within their team, they will revisit the most recent appraisals as a point of reference. Providing the process has been carried out effectively, there will be records to support what is expected of each member of the team.

However, if the business plan, and therefore the day to day activities of the organisation, aren’t aligned with the targets and objectives set for your team, people are likely to become disengaged.

Help your team see how they make a difference

For the most part, people want to do a good job. It’s linked to positive levels of job satisfaction, self-esteem and contribution. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule but that’s another topic entirely.

With that in mind, it is incredibly valuable to involve your team in the business planning process. Allowing people to understand your overarching goals and ambitions makes it much easier for them to come on board. What’s more, you will often find that your team will come up with great ideas and suggestions that could mean you reach your goals far more quickly than you thought possible.

Golden Thread

The concept of a ‘Golden Thread’ that runs from the objectives of the business plan right the way through to the targets and objectives of every individual within the business isn’t new. But it is easy to lose sight of!

The size and structure of your business will impact exactly how this theory is implemented, but the intention always remains the same. Each and every activity, at every level of the business, should play an active part of contributing to the overarching goals set out in your business plan.

Let’s look at an example:

Business Plan Target – to attract 10 new customers every month.

In order to achieve this, you will need to, amongst other things:

  • Allocate financial budgets to allow the necessary activities to take place.
  • Set marketing priorities that talk to the right audience in a way that makes them convert and buy.
  • Set sales targets that tell your staff how many leads they need to follow up in order to achieve the required level of conversion.
  • Have adequate resources in place to meet the needs of the new customers – stock, staff, space etc.
  • Ensure your staff are trained in how to deliver your product or services to new customers.
  • Implement ‘after-sales’ processes that allow you to retain and maintain an ongoing relationship with new customers.
  • Develop management processes that measure success, failure and opportunities for improvement.
  • Maintain your business premises in a fit and proper way.

As you can now see, the ‘Golden Thread’ is the series of activities across the whole business that contribute to the overarching aim of attracting new customers.

By defining the targets and objectives in a way that everyone can clearly see how their contribution matters, your team will stay engaged and focused.

Success breeds success

Ultimately, the success of your business is dependent on the success of everyone in it – and vice versa. So, it makes sense to ask the people who will be delivering your vision to play a part in planning how to do that.

For more information about managing your business planning processes, implementing a robust appraisal system or how to manage performance in your business, as well as the full range of HR Support available, please book a call or email [email protected]

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