Attracting people is easier than retaining them when it comes to culture. After all, the people who are part of your team should come to work every day feeling like they are contributing to something bigger. They should feel motivated and passionate about what they are doing. If there is a lack of motivation, there is lack of productivity and overall satisfaction. Part of every leader’s role is to motivate employees. The most powerful way to motivate is by creating a sense of commitment to the organizational vision in each and every employee.
In this blog, I’d like to share with you two reasons why communicating your vision is absolutely essential to keep your employees onboard. As well as three strategies you can use to communicate your vision more effectively.
What does it mean to have a vision
A company’s vision is the ultimate end-goal. It’s the thing that makes you and your team wake up in the morning, feeling energised to rock a new day. It’s all about motivation.
So your vision is the end-goal, and your mission is your battle plan to reach this goal.
While the vision for each business is initially that of the CEO and Co-Founders, a vision cannot be made into reality without a team to back it up. What if your vision just simply does not resonate with anyone else? Then they lose motivation and determination to work together with you towards this shared end-goal. Regardless of the company size, a shared vision is what makes it clear how their work contributes to reaching the broader goals of the company. The effectiveness of a vision statement is dependent on how well it’s communicated to your team. So, these are the 2 reasons why communicating your vision is essential to keep your employees onboard!
A clear vision will allow everyone to feel like they are part of a greater whole, like they are in unity striving towards the same goal. It is not only important to communicate your vision when attracting candidates, but also once they’ve onboarded. Why? Because a team that feels like they have a shared vision will be not only more productive, but also more motivated, organized, focused and will continuously work together to contribute to this vision. Additionally, a shared vision implies that each team member has a greater level of autonomy. This vision is sort of like a compass and the world is a map, in which your company has a destination – the shared goal. Once there is a clear destination on the map – each decision made (even on an individual level) is made with that vision in mind.
A powerful vision is inspiring
Before starting to work at Equalture, as a freshly graduated Masters student I was actively trying to find a job. I got rejected from jobs because my resume was not good enough or my motivation letter was too short. I was not even given a chance to prove myself, to showcase my potential and ambitions. So, when I found out about Equalture – I was baffled (and in the best way possible). The vision statement – “Shaping the world of unbiased hiring” – is what spoke to me the most. It evoked a sense of urgency and a feeling of wanting to be part of changing the status quo.
Once I started working here, it became evident that a powerful mission is what inspires every single team member. A few months later, I wake up knowing that I will be contributing to something I believe in. And together with the whole team, changing the status quo. All of us are so enthusiastic about what we are doing and what we are striving towards. It’s a feeling that simply cannot be put into words. This is precisely what a powerful vision that is well communicated does. Especially if times get stressful like they have during the past year as a result of the pandemic. A powerful vision reminds everyone why they became part of the team in the first place. It keeps them motivated and gives them a sense of purpose that they personally resonate with.
3 Strategies to effectively communicate your vision
I hope that I’ve convinced you about the importance of communicating your vision as means of employee retention. Now, let’s dive into what strategies can be applied to effectively communicate your vision to already onboarded employees.
Effective communication means keeping it simple
There is no more effective way to deliver a message or an idea across than through storytelling. Stories are what evoke emotions, invoke emotional attachment. For example, explain why you started your business in the first place. Once you tell your story, and you tell it in a good way (meaning that employees see that you yourself are passionate about striving towards the end-goal), a sense of trust will be created. Another way to effectively communicate your vision not only with employees but also with potential customers, is by creating a video explaining the why aspect of your business (e.g. why you are doing what you’re doing).
Communicating your vision means living by it
Values should always be attached to behaviours at any company that wants to foster a culture that is sustainable and inclusive. For example, if your value is transparency, and you are not being transparent – that means you are not practicing what you preach. This ruins the overall credibility and your vision is as good as dead. Instead, stand true by your values, translate them into behaviours and show your team that you are excited and proud.
Repetition is key
Lastly, repetition is key. It is not enough to send one email or give one speech when an employee onboards to ensure that the message remains exciting and inspirational over a longer period of time. Try to repeat the core values part of your vision, for example, when congratulating an employee with an achievement. After all, repetition is what makes things memorable (same as anything that involves a deep, meaningful emotional response).