You Should Foster Your Employees’ Strategic Thinking Skills. Here’s Why (and How to Do It)

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To be a leading organisation, you must develop leaders and individuals who possess strategic thinking skills. However, many employees don’t realise how important it is to step up and demonstrate these skills to their wider teams.

So, how can you encourage your employees to show off their strategic thinking skills?

Encouraging them to get out of their comfort zone to voice their opinion

Often employees underestimate how much their managers do want to hear their opinions. However they lack the courage to speak up due to feared repercussions. Therefore, managers should be confident that they have created an environment where employees feel:

  • That their peers will appreciate their opinions
  • That there is a safe environment to express their opinions
  • That their opinions will actually be acted upon and not just placed in a dusty suggestion box.

The following tips will help leaders to foster their employees’ strategic thinking skills.

1. Share all relevent information

To elevate employees thought processes above their basic day-to-day contribution.

Leaders should provide their employees with valuable information of the business. Share information about the company’s market, industry, competitors and the issues they face, instead of just the aspirational highlights real. Employees must be aware of emerging industry trends, technical advancements and the challenges that the organisation is facing as a result. With all this knowledge and information, employees can produce the best ideas that will genuinely benefit the business.

2. Reward and Recognise Suggestions

Let your employees know that No Idea is a Bad Idea

No-one wants to raise their voice with a suggestion only to be told, “That’s not a very good idea, anyone else has something to add?”

Encourage any idea, consider what they have proposed and provide guidance if you feel they might not understand the issue at hand. However, they should never feel punished for doing so. Employees will get a boost of morale when they know they have been heard. Unfortunately, many great ideas have been faced with a ‘No that wont work’ level of resistance. Therefore, use this as an opportunity to pry deeper into what specifically made them feel that was a suggestion worth sharing.

As a result, you’ll benefit from an engaged team as well as some powerful business solutions that can have a significant short, and long-term impact on the organisation.

“Strategy Execution is the responsibility that makes or breaks executives” — Alan Branche and Sam Bodley-Scott, Implementation.

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