5 Ways to Increase Engagement in Strategy Execution

Engagement is vital to your organization’s health at every level. Here at AchieveIt, we’ve seen many organizations use our platform to increase engagement in planning & execution. And many times, the driving force is to increase the activity, focus, and interest in their most important plans.

Over the years we’ve identified a few ways that successful organizations increase engagement. This article will outline those findings, and hopefully, help your organization execute at a higher level.  

But before we get into these ways, let’s start by exploring a simplified idea of engagement. This will hopefully illustrate some core concepts around engagement before diving deeper into specifics.

What does engagement in Strategy Execution look like?

Let’s take a moment to imagine it’s midday in a vast green park on a perfectly sunny spring day. There’s energetic and constant human activity as far as the eye can see. There’s an ambient noise of dozens of groups socializing and enjoying their day.

These groups of people typically fall roughly into the following segments:

  • Large group activities like soccer, basketball, or maybe even a concert in the park. With these activities, there’s simultaneous participation with fully understood rules of engagement.
  • Small group activities that are more specialized like tennis or chess. With these activities, there’s some simultaneous participation and rules of engagement, but at a much more specialized and individual level.
  • Individual or solitary activities like a casual stroll or reading. With these, there’s more autonomy and likely fewer rules of engagement.

It’s important to note that these activities likely not occurring randomly. Everyone decided to plan their day to be there. Someone had to text/ email details or extend an invitation for all parties to come prepared to engage. And of course, with the appropriate attire and accessories.

Further, there must be a clear understanding of how to perform the activity. When one of the teams score a goal, the whole park knows it. We can hear this group’s celebratory cheers throughout the whole area, and this increases the excitement for all present, even if they are enjoying a different activity nearby.

All these activities occur simultaneously and effortlessly in a seemingly perfect state of flow. But only when the right conditions are present. And in return, you see a collection of people dialed into what they are doing. Either through intense focus or intense enjoyment. They are highly engaged.

Also, in terms of engagement, I would submit that in nearly every park in the world, you will see people entirely dialed into what they are doing with total focus. Looking closer we notice strenuous effort on the faces of participants that exceeds our energy burn behind any desk.

An active park can be a useful metaphor for engagement within your organization. Let’s state the clear overlaps:

  1. Variously sized groups of individuals gathered for predefined purposes or competitive goals.
  2. Roles, and Boundaries that define everyone’s actions.
  3. Agreed upon start times and duration of activity.

When done correctly, these same conditions can be created to increase engagement in your most important activity – accomplishing your strategy and goals. The key difference is that people have chosen to engage in the park, it’s not their job. It’s important to recognize ways to engage people that are beyond “well isn’t that their job?”, and instead is for enjoyment and fun.


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5 ways to increase engagement in Strategy Execution

Now let’s explore how successful organizations create similar conditions to enable greater engagement in their organization. And during this, we will note specifics on how AchieveIt is used.

Define everyone’s role in your plan

Engagement is increased when it’s clear who’s doing what and how that work impacts the rest of the plan. When people clearly know their role in the success of the plan, they are more likely to engage. Ensure that each strategy, goal, initiative, or other items in your plan is assigned to one individual person. This individual’s role is to drive this item to success and provide updates as it progresses.

In AchieveIt, it’s clear who is doing what as each item has an “assigned to” user. This individual is responsible to update progress on their items and is the primary accountable individual. Many organizations then cascade work across and through the organization under top-level goals. This enables all individuals to understand how the work they are doing relates to others and who is doing what.

Create goals and leverage a scoreboard

A key to engagement is understanding the score and how individual actions impact it. By visualizing how each person’s contributions affect goals, you can foster a sense of ownership and motivation to do even better. But this can only be done by creating effective goals and using a scoreboard to visibly display progress and attainment.

In AchieveIt, organizations leverage custom dashboards to display how they are tracking toward a goal. Teams and individuals can view this information publicly to always have a clear understanding of ‘the score’ and how their efforts are contributing to success.

Enable collaboration

Collaboration is the key to unlocking success once a plan is in place. When multiple groups work together in a coordinated and streamlined manner, organizations can enter a state of flow and accelerate toward their goals. With everyone on the same page, collaboration helps effectively achieve objectives.

In AchieveIt, collaboration naturally occurs through groups leveraging the platform for key plans and initiatives that will be using the software and all collaborating in a coordinated and streamlined manner. The automation helps collect updates, compile reports, and enable collaboration. This is a huge relief for most, freeing up time previously spent coordinating activities and collecting data manually.

Set clear start and due dates

Setting clear start and due dates is crucial to increase engagement in any initiative. When individuals understand the timeline and priorities of the organization, they can focus their efforts effectively and make informed decisions about shifting between tasks. It’s important to consider the resources required to achieve a large goal and adjust start and due dates accordingly. By doing so, we can ensure that workloads are manageable, and everyone is empowered to contribute their best work towards achieving our objectives.

In AchieveIt, it’s incredibly easy to define start and due dates. This information can then be easily viewed by individuals across several views to clearly understand progress across time. Organizational leaders can also zoom out to understand resourcing through dashboards, 360-degree organizational views (like the multi-plan view), and more.

Celebrate and recognize success

Plan to celebrate the wins! And plan to celebrate anything that was achieved. Give out a small reward when someone marks an initiative as achieved. Establish rewards for key initiatives ahead of time to ensure progress and completion.

And better yet, ask the group how they would like to celebrate. Identify what motivates them. Most people don’t need a big show, but a little bit of recognition will go a long way to encourage them and others to maintain the course.

Contrast the group celebration with the solo activity. Solo projects have their place, but you don’t really hear cheering from the people reading by themselves. The same thing is true for our plans. If you are the only one working on an item in your plan, it’s difficult to celebrate the successes. Make sure you invite all relevant stakeholders to participate. Remember, people need to be first invited before they show up.

In AchieveIt, organizations leverage dashboards, filtered reports, and more to recognize success. It’s natural to focus on the ‘yellows and reds’ or things that are Off Track and At Risk. But the most effective organizations take time to recognize and celebrate the ‘greens’, initiatives that are progressing well or have been achieved.

Increase engagement in Strategy Execution easily with AchieveIt

You may already be doing several of the above items naturally. However, the hope is that there’s at least one new idea on how to increase engagement in strategy execution.

Organizations across numerous industries leverage the AchieveIt platform to accomplish their most important plans and initiatives. By taking the manual efforts out of planning and execution, AchieveIt enables organizations to increase engagement in strategy execution and achieve more.


Meet the Author  Daniel Griffin

With AchieveIt, Dan partners with organizations to execute on their forward-looking plans. Prior to AchieveIt, he was one of the founding members of a Phoenix Based Consultancy with an emphasis in workshop design and facilitation. While there, he had the opportunity to consult with start ups, SMBs and established organizations in transformation. He has acquired several industry certifications, is a graduate of a small liberal arts college in Santa Cruz, CA and continues to study strategic execution.

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