How do you get your employees to believe in your vision?

Most business owners have some kind of vision statement for their company – even if it’s just ‘be successful’. But people will have a different view of what success looks like and how to make it happen. It is particularly important that your employees understand and share your vision because they are the people doing the work, interacting with your customers and bringing that vision to life.

So, how do you communicate your vision to staff? A statement that is either written down somewhere or communicated verbally on a regular basis can help get it across. But it needs to be more than just words – so think about unpacking it so it’s meaningful to the tasks that your employees carry out every day.

How to engage your employees in your vision

Make it believable. It’s no good having an ‘out there’ vision that will never happen. Look at all available evidence and carry out some sector and market analysis. See what’s possible and where you want to get to and communicate it. It should be supported by your strategic and operational business plans as these will help you work out what you need to do and by when, to achieve your vision.

Be inclusive. There’s a famous story about when President Kennedy asked a janitor at NASA what he did. The janitor said, ‘I’m helping to put a man on the moon!’. Make sure all of your employees understand what their role is in the vision, whatever role they are doing.

Make sure it’s still relevant. If it’s been a while since your vision statement was created, check that the business is still going in the right direction. There’s been such a paradigm shift in the way we view the world and the workplace over the past year or so, that now could be a good time to revisit your strategy.

Relate it to the day-to-day. People have to be able to engage with the vision on a practical level. Do your employees know how their role/team/function impacts business performance? Discuss with them what changes could be made in their area that could contribute to the business success and create accountability throughout the organisation.

Keep it focused. I always think of the Olympic rowers who famously had the mantra – ‘will it make the boat go faster?’ Having key goals informed by the business strategy and plan can help your employees focus on what’s important. Just make sure you keep your values in the mix, to make sure the goals aren’t achieved at any cost.

Make it visible. Is your business plan communicated to employees? Are their individual and team goals linked to the business plan? Is there a staff engagement strategy? Do you update them on progress? Have you built it into monthly targets? You don’t have to do all of these things but consider which of them would work best for you.

Involve your employees in the process

If there is little or no engagement from employees in the company vision it will be evident to your customers, suppliers etc. So ask your employees what they think about the vision and what needs to be done to achieve it. Decide how often you measure progress and review the process at regular intervals to make sure it still works. If you achieve buy-in to your vision from everyone in the organisation, people will pull together in the same direction, proactively helping you to achieve it.

If you’d like help bringing your company vision to life, a People Puzzles HR Director can help implement a strategy that will bring all of your staff on board. Call us on 020 3633 6830 to find out more about our HR services for businesses.

Jane Burgess, People Director

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