Manager's Planning Guide

Planning is essential in business, but who has time?

We need plans for finance, production, sales... but human resources as well, such as, staffing to ensure we have sufficient employees to do the work or deliver services. We want to attract, but also retain those employees.

This could include,

  • Plan A – normally, for the business needs we know and expect
  • Plan B – occasionally, for other possibilities, such as an increase or decrease in workload
  • Rarely do we have Plan C – what happens if a major change (positive or negative) occurs?

Smart business planning includes,

  • Staffing estimating the number and types of employees needed, and when.
  • Orientation initial educating employees on how to act and what you need. (Very few employers effectively exploit this golden opportunity to accelerate their learning.)
  • Training to perform basic job duties, adapt to changes and grow over time. (In employee training as well as productivity, Canada ranks 12th among industrialized nations. Is there a connection?)
  • Performance a plan to clarify expectations, coach, monitor, and build success.
  • Employee Relations strategies to engage employees, to minimize and resolve issues.
  • Safety basic safety practices to meet legal obligations, prevent accidents and time loss.

In some areas, things may be fine. Others may need some thought.

What to do?

  • Challenge yourself to take a “time out”, twenty (20) minutes to think ahead.
  • What additional information do you need? Can others contribute?
  • Set your priorities
    • What is fine just now, what are items to address, now, or later on?
    • What are easier actions you can take that will pay off? When will you address others?
  • Do a “rolling forecast” listing things on the horizon in the next 1, 3, 6 12 months.
  • Plan-feasible steps. What can you or others do to enhance operations?
  • Act-start “working your plan”.
  • Review progress from time to time (i.e. a monthly/quarterly progress snapshot.

Summary – Business owners and managers tend to take on “whatever has to get done”. If we fit in a little “me time” to plan we can save time in the longer term.

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