If you took a walk through your facility and asked your employees one simple question, “What is our Vision?”, what do you think their answers would be? Would you get a common answer among the team members? Would you get several different answers? Would you get a “deer in the headlights” look and a lot of head scratching?
The fact is that most organizations of any size have created “Vision Statements”. Unfortunately, many of these Vision Statements are just nice fodder for framing and hanging in the lobby of the office. Vision Statements are often used for external marketing when their best use is to generate internal focus of purpose and effort.
So, how do we take that nicely framed “Vision Statement” and convert it to a truly shared organizational vision?
Start at the Top
Start by challenging the senior leadership within your organization. Ask them if your stated vision clearly communicates the organization’s desired destination. Is it challenging enough? Does it provide clarity of purpose? Is the vision clearly communicated in a consistent manner throughout your organization? Are your business strategies and goals in alignment with achievement of the vision? If the answers to any of these questions are “No”, then work with senior leadership to resolve the issues.
Get Everyone Involved
Having an organizational vision and having a shared vision may be two different things! Do your employees know the organizational vision and do they understand it? Do they understand the connection between their individual and team roles and accomplishment of the vision? Are your organizational rewards and recognition processes in alignment with accomplishment of the goals that will achieve the vision?
If the answers to any of these questions are “No”, then start with small employee focus groups to discuss and better understand the discrepancies. The more employees feel involved in the process, the more commitment they will have in ensuring the success of the process.
Remember, you want your employees to be inspired by your vision. The first step in providing inspiration to is to ensure understanding and provide “connection” to achievement of the vision.