How to share your organisation’s vision with your team
Whatever you’re doing, it’s important to have a sense of purpose. Here’s how to help your team click.
President John F. Kennedy was paying his first visit to NASA’s headquarters. During his tour, he noticed a caretaker mopping the floor in one of the main corridors. The President stopped, shook his hand, and asked what he did at NASA. The caretaker proudly addressed the young President by saying, “Sir, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”
This story sums up what employee engagement is all about. The caretaker understood what NASA was aspiring to achieve and why this was so important to the American people. Like everyone else involved in that project, he felt that his contribution, regardless of how large or visible, had a direct connection with the moment that Neil Armstrong took that first step on the moon.
Whether you’re a manager in NASA or any other company, your role is to help your team members see the bigger picture (your organisation’s vision), how the organisation plans to achieve this (the strategy) and how they can contribute to it.
When you’ve communicated this to your team, invite them to share their thoughts and have a discussion. The following five questions can be extremely useful in helping to frame the discussion.
- Is the organisation on track to realising its vision?
- What are the main challenges?
- What benefits will our customers/employees/investors see?
- How do our roles contribute to our vision and objectives?
- If we are great at what we do, what difference does this make?
These conversations don’t necessarily have definite answers – but they should encourage debate and the discussion of different perspectives.
It’s important to be transparent and open, so continue talking about the vision with your team and reinforcing the connection between the organisation’s vision, strategy and values, as well as what is happening in your day-to-day environment. A great way to do this can be by sharing:
– Progress updates
– Individual/team performance targets being met
– Awards and local recognition
Engagement vs Alignment
Engaged employees, who are committed to going the extra mile, will only be fully effective if their actions are aligned with your organisation’s goals and strategy. Think about your team’s alignment and engagement by using the below model:
Ideally, every employee should be a Champion of their organisation. They should know the business strategy and exactly how they contribute to delivering results in line with the organisation’s vision. Consider your own team and where individuals would sit on this axis. Could you help them to better understand the vision?
Helping your employees connect with your organisation’s purpose and values
It’s likely that your organisation will have already communicated its vision, strategy and corporate values via your website, intranet and internal communications channels. Whatever language your organisation uses, the strategy should provide you with a clear direction of where your organisation is going and how it intends to get there, including plans to adapt, grow or change in the future. It’s up to you, however, to ensure that your team understands and connects with this vision.