For employees to be happy and engaged, there are “spheres” of job satisfaction. Free beer doesn’t matter if your work is mundane and your manager’s a moron. When addressing engagement, start from the inside and work outward
At Intertech, we’ve just completed our annual planning to set our strategies, goals, and projects for the coming year. All planning participants complete an exhaustive survey in advance. Employees not participating in the retreat take part in a half-day working session we call a town hall. They share ideas and provide feedback in a confidential format. We use all this information in a SWOT analysis, which is reviewed, analyzed, and defines next year’s plan. Here’s the SWOT template we use at our retreat.
With firms planning out 2021, here’s a reminder that for strategies to be meaningful, you must align everything in your organization to match the strategy. McKinsey & Company consultants Tom Peters and Robert Waterman created a useful alignment tool known as the 7-S Model.
It recommends that structure, systems, skills, shared values, staff, and leadership style all be in alignment in support of the strategy.
Here’s a summary of the 7-S Model, an example, and a template for your own 7s model
Every fall, we gather at an annual offsite meeting to set goals, no more than three per year, for the upcoming year. We also include time for socializing with each other (though, this year, it’s all remote meetings and a virtual happy hour).
Not only does it give us a clear focus for the next 12 months, but it also reminds us of why we are choosing to build a business together.
Here are the guidelines we follow:
- Limit goals to no more than three, with one identified as the top goal.
- Make goals measurable so you know when your goals have been met.
- Assign ultimate responsibility for each goal to someone with the proper authority.
- Have frequent updates to “shine a light” on progress toward each goal.
- Create a theme that ties everyone in the company to the top goal for the year.
- Hold quarterly meetings to review what’s been done and what’s next.
At Intertech, we improve communication in the leadership team through personality cheat sheets, which are personality profiles that remind us who hates long-winded descriptions and who struggles to make a decision that involves something unpleasant. This is to keep us from driving each other crazy in those little annoying everyday ways that creep up when people work closely together for a long time. The cheat sheets are the result of a personality inventory similar to a Myers–Briggs test. I highly recommend it for any group of partners or managers who work closely together.
Also, we are intentional about building strong, trusting relationships among the leadership team. Pre-COVID, a weekly lunch at a local restaurant took us away from the daily press of business and helped us reconnect on a more fundamental level.