Democratizing strategy planning to improve employee engagement
Democratizing strategy planning refers to the process of involving various stakeholders of all organizational levels in the strategy formulation process. In the traditional approach, strategy planning is a top-down process formulated by selected stakeholders like the senior management and key decision makers. So, to make the process more inclusive and participatory, democratizing strategy planning comes into account.
One of the main advantages of democratizing strategy planning is that it increases employee engagement. Thomas, K. W. (2009) discussed in his paper “Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What drives employee engagement” that when employees feel that their voice is heard within the organization, they are more likely to feel connected and invested in the organizational success, which increases their motivation, commitment, and job satisfaction, and that means a lot for them as they feel more valued in the organization.
Another advantage of democratizing strategy planning is that it enhances ownership and accountability, which will be reflected in improved employee engagement, as employees who participate in the strategy planning feel a stronger sense of ownership and responsibility, which leads to extra accountability and willingness to go the extra mile in achieving the organizational objectives as per the psychological ownership theory, which emphasizes on the role of psychological ownership in influencing employee attitude and behavior which lead them to be more engaged, motivated and committed to their organization.
To implement democratized strategy planning, having and securing the leadership buy-in is crucial to its success, so it is necessary to present the benefits and potential of increasing employee engagement and fostering innovation in the organization.
After getting leadership buy-in, we need to define a clear scope of where employee inputs would be more valuable, which is recommended to be initiative-specific in the beginning to avoid any potential analysis paralysis. In addition, it is vital to develop a precise feedback mechanism to capture different stakeholders’ diverse perspectives and ideas and recognize and reward participation.
This process will take time to be implemented correctly without any issues, so it is essential to mention that continuous improvement is critical to reach a practical approach. A great starting point is attending the Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional course by The KPI Institute. Learn more about it and secure your slot here.