There are many reasons why your company should be holding quarterly planning sessions. Not only is it a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of the previous quarter, but such sessions also offer a chance to review the annual strategy and plan for the next quarter of the year. Such sessions make you and your team feel more motivated, focused, and in control. You will be all on the same page, know what you need to achieve, and have a plan to achieve it. It’s also a great way to reflect, celebrate and thank the team for all their hard work.
Here are five tips for a powerful quarterly planning session that will take your business to the next level.
1. Create an agenda and stick to it
Whether it’s a half day or a full day, your team will get frustrated if they don’t know the agenda, or if the sessions run over, thereby negating the objective. It’s also important to share the agenda in advance, and be clear about which sections need preparation.
2. Choose a location
It is recommended choosing an off-site location, as opposed to your office boardroom. By providing a new environment, there are less likely to be operational interruptions. If you feel it’s required, feel free to include in the agenda dedicated times to check emails and handle business.
3. Decide on your facilitator
The person leading the meeting can either make or break your session, which is why it’s important to get the right facilitator. Whoever you choose, they need to be engaging, inclusive, and knowledgeable. While it’s tempting to get the CEO to do it to save money, studies show it’s more effective to involve an experienced coach or facilitator. However, the CEO should be present and involved.
4. Document and communicate
Encourage the team to take notes– ideally with pen and paper to avoid other online distractions, and also appoint a team member to document the quarterly plan so that everyone can easily communicate it to their own teams for execution.
5. Encourage a spirit of learning and celebration
As the leader of the company, the team will look to you to set the tone of the session. It’s important to focus on people’s achievements to maintain motivation levels and also give a sense of empowerment. By doing this, people will be more likely to work hard to achieve goals set for the next quarter. Include in your agenda items such as individual recognition and always ensure there’s time for every member to have their say. Encourage them to continue learning by recommending books or courses and make sure you set by example.