Annual planning can seem daunting at times. Especially when teams start thinking about the next year at the end of the current year. There’s a lot going on. Deadlines are coming up fast, the holiday season is in full swing, and employees are ready for a much-deserved break. But, at the end of the day teams need to hunker down and focus on the road ahead. And we aren’t just talking about one year. We’re talking about understanding where you’re going long term.
For us, we take the growth of our company very seriously, and thankfully that sentiment is shared throughout the company. So, when we blocked two days off the calendar for the leadership team, as well as some other key team members, there wasn’t much fuss. And the offsite venue didn’t hurt either.
Get out of your head
Or more clearly, get your entire team out of their head. One of the best parts about taking the team off-site to plan is taking them out of their comfort zone. Not only are they out of the office and in a different environment for fresh ideas to flourish— but they are also around colleagues they don’t normally work with.
Get ready for a brainstorm like you’ve never seen because each department sees things differently. We promise, you won’t be disappointed when you see all the passion from so many different minds all working towards one goal. The success of your organization, and the success of every single person involved.
Pick the highest priority goals or objectives
So, we’ve got everyone in the room coming up with ideas and talking about what the top objectives should be. How exactly the company should act to get to the ideal end state. That goal you set for 5 years in the future. As much as every goal an objective is important, there’s going to be a key few that resonate with everyone.
Take a vote, and make it fair. Your design team might be huge and your marketing team may be small — but each of their thoughts counts the same. We gave each department five votes, but that’s up to you to choose what makes sense in your company.
Then have the executive team reconvene to discuss the top choices and pick three. That’s what your planning will be built upon.
Stick to it
It’s easy to make a bunch of plans and let them fall through, so with planning accountability is key. Keep a written record of everything you’ve done for this entire planning session, from the first ideas all the way to the top 3 priorities that are going to shape your next year.
After everything is written down and organized, make sure you’re sharing it with the company at large. They are the ones that need to get behind the mission and live the goals every day. Not to mention, transparency builds loyalty.
We like setting big goals that we know will make our company stronger and our people more desirable. But, we also love partnering with our clients to do the same. We’ve created a guide to outline the steps we take when it comes to annual planning time and included a slide template to help you build our yours. Download your free copy of our Annual Planning guide to get your organization started on the road to organized success.
Written by Jessica Lizza