Action Planning
Org & Culture - Org & Culture

A Work Effects Trust & CapacityTM survey has been completed. You've given feedback to employees. People are motivated. They're getting on the same page. Everyone is starting to trust the process, the organization and you. You've hashed out the issues and gotten to the root causes.

Work Effects has created seven steps that should be followed to move from actionable issue to real actionable change. The take-away will be an action plan that can be implemented and measured.

Step 1: Confirm the Root Cause
This is about setting ground rules and the beginnings of establishing trust within the workgroup. There should be a strict process to sharing data, what information from the survey is made available, and who has access to it. At this point be prepared to deal with any conflicts that may arise because these workgroups will be addressing sensitive issues.

Step 2: Define the Goal
Before beginning your plan or action, your goal(s) must be defined. If you don’t know what your destination is, it will be very hard to get there. Where do you want to be when the process is over? What would be a satisfactory resolution to the issue look like?  Work Effects recommends using the SMART strategy of goal-setting: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Step 3: Brainstorm Solutions
To come up with solutions to achieving your goal requires brainstorming (def: a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem). Brainstorming has been shown to boost morale, enhance work enjoyment, improve teamwork as well as generate creative ideas.  A list of the best and most appropriate ideas should come as a result of this effort.

Step 4: Select a Solution
Out of the list of potential solutions that were generated from the brainstorming session, the group will need to determine which one(s) to try. The group can discuss each option at length and vote yes/no, someone in the group can act as an advocate for the idea and argue its merits, or the group can do a needs/wants analysis.  Ultimately, a vote of some kind should be taken to determine the consensus of the group and the idea(s) should be included as part of an implementation plan.

Step 5: Develop the Plan
Once it has been decided which ideas should be implemented, a plan must be created.  This plan addresses who will be responsible, what are they expected to do, and when does it need to be done.  Setting mini-milestones along the way will help keep everyone on track and meet the target date.

Step 6: Implement the Plan
Once the plan has been developed: IMPLEMENT! As you proceed along the path, you may discover obstacles that many alter the plan.  This is completely normal.  Action plans are “living” documents and reflect the realities of the market.  If changes need to be made, you may need to re-think the plan or move on to a Plan B.

Step 7: Evaluate the Plan
There are few truisms in business, but one is “what gets measured gets done”. It is important to set up a method of measurement and evaluation of the action plan to ensure that it is on the right track.  Organization may choose to measure different things; from quality to safety to productivity. Some organizations require regular status updates to management or include successful outcomes as part of performance goals.  Each may look at different things to measure, but ultimately, these measurements will help determine if your action plan was successful.

If you've made it this far then you've done a great job at action planning. Armed with data from your Trust & Capacity survey, a well-managed feedback process and a measurable action plan, your organization will see impressive results and achieve the goals your set for yourself by resolving issues that could stymie your efforts. Congratulations!!

Read our article on "Discover the Missing Link in Action Planning - Feedback".

About Work Effects
Work Effects, located in downtown Minneapolis, is a consulting firm with over twenty years of experience.  We help our clients deliver strategic results by developing more trusted leaders and organizations through training, coaching, and assessment programs.  With innovative solutions in the areas of leadership development, culture management, and performance management we have become an industry leader in building trust from the inside out.  We construct programs that are as unique as the client’s organization.  Our modular solutions use scientific tools such as our Revolution 360TM which assesses a leader's transformational capabilities, our Trust & CapacityTM survey, which identifies the root culture drivers of an organization,  our Performance Sum TM, which measures and tracks individual and organizational performance, and our Conflict Lens TM, which identifies constructive outcomes to conflict in the work-place.  We work with clients ranging from mid-cap to Fortune 100 companies.  Our highly experienced team of employees and consultants is very passionate about our work and the impact we have on others.

For more information on Trust & Capacity, please click HERE.

Contact Work Effects at 612-333-4272 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

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