How and when to engage your employees in the planning process

As you get started, consider how and when to involve other employees. We know that employees are much more committed to completing action plans they understand and have a hand in creating.

As a general guideline, Steps 1 and 2, the Business Plan Summary and the Values sections, are leadership respon- sibilities and should be written by the CEO with input from other senior staff. There are a couple of ways of doing this. The CEO can prepare a draft document for review and critique by the senior management team, or the executive team can create these documents together.


From a practical perspective, we find the first method works best, with the CEO outlining his/her aspirations for the business and bringing this to the senior team for critique and changes. A colleague of mine, Doug Bouey, who has been coaching CEO’s for many years, put it this way:

Presidents have 3 missions:

  • Set the game
  • Staff the organization
  • Keep the edge on

At the top of the house is where these happen. Nowhere else.

As you get into Steps 3 and 4 we suggest you involve a wider circle of employees. Your company size and how you are structured will affect how and when you engage the others.

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