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How to humanize your strategic plan to support the employee experience

If there’s anything we’ve learned so far in 2021, employees need connection and personal affirmation, not isolation. 

The need for leaders to create meaningful employee experiences is a top priority today, and your strategic plan can play a vital supporting role.

Employees are hungry for a rewarding employee experiences as well as leaders who connect, inspire and provide answers during what seems like a long, isolated marathon filled with job pressures and added responsibilities such as home schooling.

Your strategic plan can help engage employees and help them see the important role they play in their organization. Here’s how.

  1. Effective strategic plans have become multimedia. An engaging strategic plan is visual, visibleand accessible… produced in both written and digital formats.
  • According to a recent report, visual news and data placed a bigger role in employees’ lives. While online media is up and print media continues to decline, there’s renewed interest in trusted media sources.[1]
  • Build upon your written plan. Your strategic plan communication can be humanized through innovative storytelling and digital media. Produce a brief, compelling executive summary enhanced by strategic plan infographics and videos. This creates visual interest.
  • Post easy-to-access strategic plan highlights on the organization’s website in plain view – not buried or hidden. Many companies post strategic plan summaries in the investor section of the website, which may be missed by broader audiences.
  • Use your organization’s intranet and a variety of internal communication channels to post strategic plan employee updates and company goal tracking.
  1. Create a discussion guide to help your leaders connect with employees and create shared understanding about your organization’s strategic plan.
  • Help leaders communicate strategic priorities and key themes, such as resilience, innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion – messages that can be applied to a variety of work group situations.
  • Provide a strategic plan webinar to teach leaders managers how to help employees align their personal goals with the organization’s strategic goals.
  • Help employees understand how their day-to-day and month-to-month activities and achievements contribute to their organization’s mission.
  • This sense of purposeful work is critical right now, and helps employees to connect strategic direction with the ability to pivot, be flexible, as well as find work-life balance by focusing on what’s important.
  • One leader encourages her work team members to text their work goals at the beginning of the week, and follow up by texting their outcomes and any hurdles overcome at the end of the week. She has added fun incentives for celebrating, such as a subscription to online mastermind classes.
  1. Empower your employees to become strategic plan influencers – both internally within your organization, and externally with customers and constituents. 
  • On average, only two percent of employees regularly and effectively share employer-related brand content.
  • More than 33 percent of employees are unclear what messages or story they would post, and how this could benefit their company.[2]
  • With key messaging and a bit of training, your employees can share the strategic impact your organization is making in our world.

Carol A. Poore, Ph.D., MBA, is President of Poore and Associates Strategic Planning and author of Strategic Impact: A Leader’s Three-Step Framework for the Customized Vital Strategic Plan, published by Fast Company Press in January 2021. See more articles at