Creating a vision as a focus for your organization’s efforts is one of the most important things a company can do. This forward-looking statement provides a clear picture of where the organization wants to be in the future and what it will look like when it gets there. However, a vision is more than just a group of words on paper or a poster that hangs in the hallowed halls of the corporate office. A vision gives an organization direction and a metric by which it can monitor achievements and ultimate success.
Furthermore, a vision works best if those who are meant to support it actually do so. To this end, the following steps will help you build a vision your entire organization will want to get behind.
Your first and very crucial step is letting employees know what you are doing. Whether it’s the first time you’re putting together such a statement, or the organization is attempting to rebrand or reposition, the organization needs to receive clear communication on what is happening and why. A clear vision makes it easier to invigorate your team, outline a strategy, and work towards a shared goal.
Ask for Input
Asking for employee input is not only good for allowing everyone to feel valued, but it also brings the real possibility of new ideas or direction that may not otherwise be considered. It’s unrealistic to ask a management team to develop a comprehensive view of the organization’s ability to reach its goals without the help of those working on the front lines. Asking for input will help ensure every angle is taken into consideration. In order for your organization to develop and thrive, you must be open-minded and ready to listen.
Put It into Words
Once the direction has been determined and a clear vision of where the organization will be in the future has been identified, it’s time to put a pen to paper and communicate it to those affected. A clear strategy with definitive goals will help guide your team and motivate them. Your vision can be big and challenging, but remember to make goals specific and measurable by breaking them down into smaller objectives, if necessary. Even if a vision is incredibly ambitious and seemingly impossible, your team members will likely see it as a positive if your strategy is sound. Also, keep in mind that everyone learns differently. Communicate your vision clearly and make it visible everywhere using a number of channels: email, Intranet, breakroom, office lobby, advertising copy, and so on.
Everyone will have a role in keeping the organization on track and headed toward its envisioned state. Creating a clear vision also includes clarifying how every role within the organization will play a part in making this a reality. Keep everyone accountable with regular communication and check-ins on progress. This ensures your team is aligned and still on course.
Tie Performance to Reward
Annual objectives for any employee should always support a organization’s mission, vision and core values, and should be identified as such. Define what winning looks like, as an individual reaching a goal and how that goal is a win for the overall company. Tying organization goals into the reward system employees receive for reaching their own personal goals will help enforce the overall initiative and ensure success.
Former CEO of KPMG Jon Madonna said that “nothing stops an organization faster than people who believe that the way you worked yesterday is the best way to work tomorrow.” So, plan for tomorrow by effectively using the people you have today.