Use Rhythms and Rituals To Keep Teams Energized

How does your team keep Strategic Planning on track?

Your organization has set strategic priorities and you’re ready to roll into the new year. The team is clear on goals, strategies and the tactics they need to implement. You’ve outlined KPIs and metrics to track progress. Next: how do you keep the plan alive so you don’t get sidetracked and pulled in every direction?

Even the best laid plans can get shelved unless the foundation is built upon a process of accountabilities, rhythms, and rituals. Here are some ideas to get into your calendar. 

Create a Culture of Accountability

First and foremost, leaders need to foster a culture of accountability.  Does your plan have tactics assigned to a champion? Is there a timeframe or by-when date to aim for completion? Follow through and check on progress. Find out where things are stuck and get support for project champions when needed. Make sure they know you have their back. Lead by example so your team see that you are committed to acheiving plan goals.

Map Out Manageable Steps

Are major milestones looming or causing overwhelm? Break down large tasks into manageable steps in priority and sequence.  Then add these micro tasks into your project champion’s calendar. Give them confidence to get started and take small steps toward big tasks. Don’t let the calendar reminders slip by; keep them on to-do lists until they are accomplished.

Schedule Consistent Check-ins

Is your Strategic Plan currently managed with a casual approach? Instead, set time aside for formal and informal check ins: open up set times in your calendar each month to troubleshoot. Get your team aligned by picking one focus or theme each month. Book time and set the agenda for a quarterly meeting that measures progress on milestones. Leave time aside each quarter to make adjustments and build contingency plans. Wherever possible, make these check-ins non-negotiable.

Measure and Track Progress

I recently shared these definitions of KPIs with a client who’s team are feeling buried in numbers. Their board of directors were hungry for  numbers, but it became tough for staff and managers to consistently deliver in a meaningful way.  Facing burnout and being stretched to the limit, we considered new KPIs. A fresh way to look at measurement, these ideas about people could become the leadership team’s measurement mantra. The metrics are about people. Not bottom line numbers or sales results, but people.  

“What matters is not finding the perfect indicator, but settling upon a consistent and intelligent method of assessing your output results, and then tracking your trajectory with rigor.” Good to Great for the Social Sectors

Acknowledge and Celebrate

At each check-in, acknowledge effort, in addition to outcomes. Make it a big deal, visible to the whole team when milestones are reached and goals are achieved. Take a pause to celebrate and reward team members. Use visual tools in staff rooms or common areas to celebrate and show progress toward goals.

I wrote this post as I’m a big believer in feedback and follow through. The best laid plans are only effective if they move an organization toward a specific direction and ultimately, achieve results. No matter how much time is invested in creating a strategic plan, schedule a considerable amount of time to rally your team and help keep them team on track. If your strategic plans are falling flat or collecting dust, it’s time for a refresh. Let’s create the right rhythms and rituals to see it through. 

Ready to reset? Contact me today and get your strategic plan back on track.