An engaging vision has to involve more than dollar amounts. At Tribe, our highest goal is to engage employees in the vision of their company’s leadership. Often, our clients have a vision that includes some element of making the world a better place, from building sustainable transit solutions to offering cleaner beauty products. Or the vision might be about being the industry leader, or helping clients succeed, or providing more innovative solutions. But occasionally we’ll have a client tell us that their leadership vision is to be a $10 billion company, or some other revenue milestone.
That’s a fine goal, but it’s not a vision. Or at least not a vision that will excite many employees. Very few people are going to wake up in the morning fired up about getting to work in order to meet a revenue goal. They’re not going to tell their friends that their company is a really interesting place to work because of the revenue goal. The revenue goal is not something they’ll ponder in the shower, where they get their best ideas.
AN ENGAGING VISION INSPIRES PRIDE IN THE COMPANY
An engaging vision is one that provides some emotional hook or human element, something that’s worthy of employees’ collective efforts. What is the company doing that is solving some problem or filling a real need? What element of life will be improved by this company’s success? What is the better future the company is trying to build?
To engage employees around the vision, the first step is to develop a vision that can create a sense of pride in what the company is doing. Ideally, the leadership team will be aligned in this vision, and be able to communicate it simply and clearly. That vision leads to business strategies for how the company will make that vision a reality, which then feed into objectives and goals for various functions and departments.
HELP THEM SEE THEIR ROLE IN THAT VISION
The second major step is to help employees understand how their individual jobs support the success of that vision. Whether they’re an engineer developing the product, a marketing person working on trade shows, or an accounting working in AP, they want to know their contributions are important — and why what they do is so important to the company’s overall success in attaining that vision. An engaging vision includes everyone in the company, in some way, as an essential element of success. It may be an easier connection to make for employees who are customer-facing, or in engaged in product development, but everyone plays a role. The talent acquisition team is recruiting the right job candidates to help achieve that vision. The procurement specialists are sourcing the right products and services to enable that vision. (For more on helping employees see how they fit into the vision, try this Best Practices one-pager.)
MAKE EMPLOYEES CONTRIBUTIONS VISIBLE
A steady stream of communications that features employee contributions and team successes can sustain an engaging vision and bring it to life for employees. According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, poor communication is one reason employees may say they’re not aware of their company’s vision. If you have an engaging vision, make communicated that vision to employees an ongoing priority. Leadership can take time in town halls to recognize groups or individuals who’ve reached some success or achievement related tot he vision. Managers can help their teams see how their efforts fit into the big picture, and they can structure team goals and performance objectives around the vision. Recognition can reinforce the values that support that vision. And internal communications can celebrate and make heroes of employees at all levels of the organization. When employees see that their hard work day after day is part of something bigger, that gives them a reason to be proud of what they do and a sense of satisfaction in what they’re able to contribute.
Interested in communicating your engaging vision? Tribe can help.