When’s the last time you walked around your company’s floor and talked to some of the employees? If you’re like most business owners, it’s probably been way too long. It’s not something most of us think to do – or even have the time for. But it’s a critical aspect of your business. Why? Because talking to your employees is a great way to get a clear idea of what they think of your business.
Let’s face it – your employees are your best aspects. They’re your cheerleaders, your sales team, your own personal walking advertisements. So you want to make sure they have a solid idea of what exactly your business does. Do they? According to an Achievers’ survey, a shocking 61% of employees don’t know their company’s mission statement. But the shock doesn’t stop there. For those who do know the company’s mission statement, more than half (57%0 of people aren’t even motivated by it. The same is likely true for your company’s vision.
Ask around your team
Ask a dozen of your employees what they think your company does or wants to accomplish, and you’ll get a dozen similar answers – but most likely, you won’t get a dozen of the same answer. It’s likely that none of them see your vision exactly as you see it in your head. However, you want to make sure your team has an idea about your vision, so that when they’re networking and talking to people, they can describe your company correctly. It’ll also give them some food for thought, as they can think about what direct the company is headed toward and the overall goals for the company.
Plus, providing a clear vision to your employees will help them with their internal and departmental objections, and make sure every move they make is one that pushes the company forward.
So what exactly is a vivid vision? It’s a detailed description of the future of your company.
Much like an architect building a blueprint for a new restaurant or a football player imagining his success before a big game, the ideal business vision will paint the picture for your employees – they’ll be able to visualize your company’s future for themselves. This way, it’ll get all of your employees on the same path that the company is headed.
So what’s the best way to do this? Come up with a three-page document aiming your vision. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because you likely know the ins and outs of your company’s vision, there’s a good chance you’ll leave out “stuff” you consider basic knowledge. Take your time with this document. In this case, it’s better to include more details than you think necessary. After all, the more details you include, the easier time your employees will have envisioning the future.
Make sure you include all the end-goals you have mapped out and your plan of attack for getting there. Sure, you know where you want your company to end up, but that doesn’t mean your employees do. Communicate this with them. Encourage them to ask questions to clear up any confusion and urge them to continue to send questions your way long after your conversation has ended.
Then, make sure you follow up with them on a regular basis. Don’t just give them the document and hope they’re able to swim, not sink. Rather, meet every few months and make sure everyone’s goals are still aligned with the company’s. Ask for specific examples and statements as evidence of the general understanding of your group.
“When completed, it’s meant to be woven into your company’s culture, guiding your employees decision making and giving all involved clear goals to strive for,” Cameron Herold said.
There’s no stronger force than the one of your best and knowledgeable employees. Make sure they’re familiar on every little detail, no matter how big or small you might consider it. It’s better to let them weed out what they consider to be a given rather than you do it for them.
Done the right way and your vision can be as strong as a magnet. It’ll attract people and employees who want to help you bring life to your vision. It’ll even help keep destructive people out of the company’s path as well.
In this Insivia insight, Patrick explains how creating a vivid vision can help get your entire team on the same page.
Strategic visioning is not only just for leadership, but it is a powerful tool that can help guide the individual members of your organization to make decisions that work in concert with one another. This allows the management team to spend less time on the day-to-day and focus more on growing the business and the big picture.