There are a lot of steps in the strategic planning process for credit unions, so it’s logical that some tend to get more attention than others.

But there is one step that is more important than the rest, and unfortunately it often gets overlooked: Communicating the credit union’s strategic plan to the entire team.

Think about it and answer the question honestly:  Does your team know your credit union’s strategic plan?

It’s tempting to think that you don’t need to share the plan with frontline staff and mid-level managers.  After all, it’s not easy to connect their day-to-day activities to the longer term strategy.

But if that’s really the case, then chances are you have the wrong strategy and you have little chance of achieving it.  Because like everything else in life, the journey begins with a single step and the destination is achieved through the combination of many steps.

The people who will be taking those steps need to know the destination and the milestones along the way.  They need to understand the vision and believe it can be achieved, and they need to be reminded how the little things that they do every day contribute to the fulfillment of that vision.

ACTION ADVICE: Implement an action plan for updating your team regarding your strategic plan and your vision for your credit union in the next 3-5-7 years.  Find ways to keep the topic on the top of everyone’s mind.  Work to help people see how the work they do contributes to the success of the credit union in pursuing the plan.

You might try:

  • setting up an internal blog to share regular updates,
  • holding an all-staff session to bring everyone up-to-speed,
  • forming discussion groups led by members of the planning team to share the strategy and seek input for future planning efforts, or
  • holding departmental meetings where the leadership team invites staff input.

Whatever you decide to do, make it a critical step in your planning process to inform the entire team and regularly reinforce the message to maximize your chances of arriving at your future destination!

It’s Your Turn: What does your credit union do to share the outcome of your strategic planning process with the team?  How is it reinforced throughout the year?  How is the plan linked to day-to-day performance and individual performance goals?  Please post a comment and share what is working for you or what you think you need to do to improve in this area.