Since employees are focused on the operational day-to-day activities required to keep revenues flowing, they may not always understand the distinction between the two. It is the responsibility of those in leadership roles to recognize these definitions, and to encourage employees to carve out some time for strategic work or thinking in addition to performing their jobs.
To keep the work team moving forward with an appropriate mix of strategy and tactics, Stack suggests implementing the MEET Formula: Mastermind, Engage, Empower, Tools.
1..Mastermind. Stack suggests a separate meeting to make all staff members aware of big organizational goals, and allow the team time to plan precisely what they need to do to move in the right direction.
“Publish those objectives in a shared space where everyone can access them, and then publically keep track of your group’s progress in future emails and meetings,” Stack says. “Communicate, communicate, and communicate again.”
2. Engage. When team members are excited about their work, Stacks says that those in leadership roles will have an easier time keeping them on track.
“Incentivize them in some way with time off, gift certificates, prizes, trips, or monetary bonuses if certain metrics are achieved,” Stack says. “If they know rewards will come down the line, most will make extra daily efforts to ensure those numbers are hit.”
3. Empower. When team members have the power to make life easier for themselves and for other team members, they’re going to take the initiative to improve group efficiency in ways that pave the way for long term success.
“If there’s no big impact, let them make the changes, additions, and deletions in their time that will achieve the strategic goals,” Stack says. “Stop doing things that no longer add value.”
4. Tools. Make sure staff members have the right tools to accomplish their tasks, so they can build a framework for future success. Providing the right tools and resources improves your team’s engagement and empowerment quotients.
“If you need to pound in a nail and all you have is a wrench, you can do it—but not efficiently,”
“If someone needs a new computer, supply it. If someone requests training, invest in it. If someone wants a smartphone to do work in the evening, get it—even if this person ‘isn’t the right level.’”
Stack reminds her readers of the electronics giant Circuit City that went belly-up by allowing its tactics to overwhelm its strategy, working so hard to make money right away, it forgot to ensure its long-term survival.
Upper management, for example, laid off experienced floor employees en masse, replacing them with cheaper, inexperienced staff. Suddenly, Stack says, the stores were filled with untrained salespeople who didn’t know their own departments, had no idea what they were doing, and had no vision of where the company was going. Long-time employees who survived the purge rapidly disengaged, knowing their jobs remained at risk any time the company wanted to save money.
“Why bother trying anymore?” Stack says.
Circuit City’s profits surged briefly, but customers fled after experiencing the unhelpful sales staff and the general sense that nobody at Circuit City cared. Circuit City landed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ruined by its own inept tactics with no connected to a long-term strategy.
Stack reminds readers to maintain a firm grasp on the strategy and the tactics and educate employees on the distinction, and apply the MEET Formula ensure communications are incessant.
“Allowing creative decision making, and provide the tools needed to do their jobs right,” Stack says. “Your employees will keep an eye on the horizon, not just on the task in front of them.”
For information on technology and workplace productivity, visit http://www.theproductivitypro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”