As the year draws rapidly to a close, employers are faced with the critical task of ensuring that their workforce remains focused on current objectives and the fulfilment of their organisation’s strategy while also looking ahead and aligning employees and goals for the upcoming year. This dual challenge is essential for the long-term success of any organisation.

Maintaining employee focus as the year comes to an end is crucial in achieving short-term goals and organisational strategies, as well as setting the stage for long-term success. Since this time of the year can be tumultuous and often beset by unexpected challenges and dwindling motivation, it is essential that employers keep employees on track. Some of the ways employers can do this are through:

  • Communicating effectively as this is fundamental in keeping employees focused. Employers should communicate the goals of the organisation clearly and emphasise their importance in achieving success for the organisation. Regular and relevant team meetings, one-on-one discussions, and transparent updates can help in this regard.
  • Employers should be deliberate about setting attainable goals and targets that come with clear deadlines. Feedback is essential to ensure employees stay on track and make necessary adjustments if needed.
  • Since time flies during this time of year, employers should prioritise the goals and targets that still need to be achieved. It may play out that not all the goals or expectations identified at the beginning of the year or when identifying strategy are practically still achievable. Thus, employers should prioritise those goals that are most essential and strive to achieve those before the end of the year. Assisting employees in identifying these important tasks is a must for employers.

While ensuring that the year draws to a productive and fulfilling end in line with the current organisational strategy, it is also time, if not done already, to start looking towards the year(s) to come and begin identifying the organisational strategy. Organisational strategy and the crucial role human capital plays in achieving the identified goals cannot be understated. It is imperative that employers, once the organisational strategy is determined, engage their employees to ensure alignment with the organisational strategy. This can be achieved through:

  • Involving employees in the strategic planning process can significantly benefit organisational success. Not only through creating a feeling of ownership of the plan, but employees on the ground level have valuable insights. They can provide a unique perspective on what will work best to achieve organisational goals.
  • Employers identifying skill gaps within their teams and providing the relevant training and development opportunities that align with the upcoming strategic focus. Not only does upskilling assist in equipping employees to contribute effectively to the organisation’s strategy, but it also bolsters employee motivation.
  • A plan is only as good as its efficacy. Employers should regularly evaluate the performance of the strategy in relation to employees’ performance and vice versa. Where adjustments, upskilling or support is needed, employers should act swiftly to ensure the organisational strategy is effectively achieved.

It is well known that employees are the critical component in executing organisational strategy. Employees’ roles, expertise, experience, and dedication to attaining the organisational goals are crucial to ensure the achievement of the organisational strategy. It is, therefore, imperative that employers keep their employees motivated, included, and equipped so that they may be the driving force in achieving the organisational strategy of the organisation.

Consequently, as the holidays approach, employers have a dual responsibility, that of maintaining employee focus on current objectives as well as aligning their employees with the organisational strategy for the upcoming year. This delicate balance ensures not only the organisation’s short-term success but, consequently, long-term success.

By utilising effective communication, goal setting, and regular monitoring and feedback, as well as involving employees in strategic planning, employers will stand in good stead to lead their teams to success and contribute to the organisation’s overall strategic goals. By adopting this synergistic approach to organisational strategy, employers will be well on their way to a successful year ahead.

Article by Daniel van der Merwe

National Collective Bargaining Coordinator at Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO SA)