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You can almost hear the collective sigh that comes from a company-wide meeting on strategy. Strategic planning. Strategic alignment. Strategic goals. Leadership may get excited about building a vision and goals, but employees often feel disengaged nearly from the start. But why? 

From an employee standpoint, strategic goals have traditionally been formed behind closed doors at the beginning of a year or a quarter, announced to the team, and then filed away and forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until time for annual performance evaluations. 

During these evaluations, employees are often asked to evaluate how well their day-to-day actions and overall performance is linked to company strategies. They may even be asked to explain how their jobs roll up to overall strategic goals. 

It’s rare that employees can honestly answer these questions. In fact, studies show that only about half of organizations have a formal strategic process. And of those organizations, research indicates that 90% of employees don’t understand their company’s strategy. 

Strategic planning that is conceptualized in a small group then recorded on a spreadsheet on a CEO’s desktop (or even with pen and paper) is simply ineffective. Relying on meetings that run once a quarter or once a year will not forward a company’s strategic goals or keep up team momentum.

It Doesn’t Have to be this Way.

Rather, there is a way to implement a strategic plan such that every employee is aware of guiding initiatives, understands how they are progressing towards goals, and performs with a high level of productivity, accountability, and consistency. 

Goal setting and strategic planning doesn’t have to be painful or complicated. It can actually be inspiring, motivating, approachable, and woven into the fabric of the day-to-day. It’s time to go digital with company strategy, and it’s time to show employees that “strategy” isn’t something to sigh (or curse) about.