Communicating the vision for your team or organization is one of the most important things that you can do as a leader. Without a focused vision, employees can become lost in the meaning of their work, become unproductive, and have a higher chance of leaving to work for someone else.
In a Gallup poll, only 41% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they know what their company stands for, and only 27% strongly agree that they believe in their organization’s values.
If so few people connect to the company’s values, then how can they connect to the vision? Here are a few tips to help you communicate your personal and organizational vision to others.
Start with your values and purpose
Your people want to know that you have a clear plan for everything that is going on around them.
If you currently do have established Values and a purpose statement, reinforce and reintroduce those to your team. Begin tieing in your projects and work to that purpose, understanding, and set of values that your group holds.
If you don’t have established values, or if they need to be updated, spend time with key stakeholders in your organization or group to establish those. Avoid working through this process alone, as you’ll miss opportunities due to blind spots that we all have in our professional lives.
Build a good foundation that you can build your personal and company’s vision off of.
Say it again
The same Gallup poll also said only 23% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work every day.
It’s not like 77% of leaders and companies have never said a word about their values or vision for where they want to be. It’s likely that they said something early on, felt like it was communicated, or understood and moved on from it. Here are a few reasons why you need to keep communicating the vision to your team on a consistent basis.
They forget: Even if you put your values on posters in the office and make everyone use your vision statement in their email signature, they will forget about the overall vision of the organization. Think about all the distractions that happen to you on a daily basis. Those same types of distractions happen to everyone else on a regular basis and they need to be drawn in and refilled with purpose and vision to keep it top of mind.
The team changes: Perhaps you do a big visionary push a few months ago that was well received. That unified consensus quickly fades away as new people come on. Without that consistent cadence of vision casting, the team will eventually be filled with a majority of people that never heard your message.
The environment changes: Things change constantly. Look no further than 2020 to see how we can start with great intentions only to be thrown a curveball that no one saw coming. When shifts happen around us, we can sometimes question if the vision or purpose still applies. Communicate to your team during challenging times to solidify that vision for them.
We pay attention to what our leaders say. Communicate often about vision so that others have a clear understanding of what it is and that it is important to you and for them to be successful in their roles.
Always show them the why and the WIIFM
Help your team understand the why behind the decisions that you make as a leader. It will help them with understanding the need to change and will increase their buy-in to a change.
When communicating your vision for others, tie the action into the WIIFM (What’s in it for me). Show the person what benefits will happen for them as you work together to fulfill your mission and vision both on small scale and large scale goals.
Communicating vision is a constant process with your team. Just like a rudder on a ship, a proper vision may seem small in the big scheme of things, but it can steer you to your destination and without it, it doesn’t matter how big of an engine you have.
Make a better tomorrow.