A company’s vision statement is its key leadership document. It is an inspirational description of what a company or organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. A vision statement serves as a north-start or compass to your organization. The Vision sets the overall direction to be shared and accomplished by employees, and stakeholders in the company.
Most management teams know all of this, nonetheless, struggle with bridging the gap between their vision statement and the ideals held by employees. A report by Achievers’ Workforce 2018 found that 70 percent of employees didn’t know their company’s vision. This is alarming considering the positive impact that a vision statement has on steering the company and its workforce in the right direction.
There could be a number of reasons why this is true for most organizations. Chief among them is a growing disconnect between what the vision statement steadily implies and what goes on the ground. In order for your vision statement to be effective, your workforce needs to understand how it affects them personally – this could be at work or even outside of work. Sadly most companies miss the mark when communicating their vision statement. This can lead to a growing sense of disconnect and in the long-term employee stagnation.
This article looks at ways you can drive your mission statement that has a real impact on your employees.
Start from Scratch
Organizations usually make the mistake of thinking too big when getting to the bottom of the problem. Although this is not a bad thing, it does make it easy to miss the occasional low hanging fruit. It’s important that you start by looking at your current vision statement. What is it trying to say? Speak to your employees about what they think it means to them. When was the last time they read the vision statement? Remember to ask probing questions to gain insight into how they perceive the vision statement and its impact on their personal goals. Once you have gained significant inputs, go back to the drawing board and analyze your vision statement.
Once you have gained significant inputs from your employees and how they perceive your mission statement, it's important to align their personal goals to your vision statement. It’s important that these goals are achievable and resonate with the larger goal of the company. If your goals are indeed tied in, it should translate to becoming an integral part of their day-to-day experience. In essence, everyone’s personal goals should feed into the larger vision of the company to push the company towards its end goal.
Employees who accomplish goals that are in line with the vision statement should be recognized and rewarded. This way, there is an incentive for all your employees to align their goals with the larger vision.
Make it Simple
An important element of getting your employees involved in working towards the company’s vision is to communicate it clearly. There should not be any room for ambiguity and misinterpretation. Everyone from the company CEO to the last executive should be on the same page about where the company is heading. If you feel that miscommunications may arise in the future, have regular communications within your team to dispel any confusion. You can even go as far as to put in place a strategic plan to communicate values down the chain of command on a periodic basis.
Make It Visible
In addition to making your vision statement simple and clear to understand, it must also be visible at all times. This will ensure that your employees hold steadfast to the larger vision and work towards achieving the end goal. To be visible, your vision statement should be at the center of all work and communications. Put it on your company logo. Display it on a banner. Make it a constant reminder to your employees that they shouldn't lose focus on attaining the larger objective.
Be transparent in all your dealing. It’s one thing to espouse a vision statement for employees to follow, and another to put into practice what you preach. Employees tend to pick up cues that indicate whether you are living up to the standards of the vision statement. When they see you practice what you preach, they’ll be motivated to do the same. Transparency is also another great way to build morale and trust with employees. When others see you working towards achieving the company’s vision, they too will be encouraged to meet their own goals.
An organization is only as good as its employees. This makes it crucial to get them on board with how you want to steer the company. When your employee’s goals are aligned with your vision for your organization, you will begin to see great achievements. This will inadvertently make the journey more meaningful and more fulfilling. Your employees will enjoy a greater sense of value and be happy to contribute towards the growth of the company.