When our company was an agency of only eight, we decided it was important to always share what was in our heads with everyone at the table. This openness is one of our values, and is still at the heart of everything we do at Willow today. But as we grew to a team of nearly 20, it became harder to make sure everyone was on the same page. With more people came the need for more structure. We knew we needed to be more thoughtful in our communication to our team — especially as it related to the big picture.
According to Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, only 22% of U.S. employees strongly agree that their company’s leaders have a clear direction for their organization. In some instances, it’s not that the company lacks vision — it’s that it hasn’t shared that vision with its most important stakeholders: its employees.
Sharing your company’s vision is important in order to get buy-in from your staff. And it shouldn’t be a top-down initiative or one-way conversation — feedback from your employees is critical in making sure your team is passionate about your shared vision.
Communicating your company’s vision doesn’t just give your employees a feeling of investment — it sets the path for how they will specifically help achieve that end goal. It gives everyone clarity on how they can each contribute to the grander vision of the company, their department, and the team. It helps energize and motivate employees to be a part of bringing that vision to life.
Showing employees that they are vital to the success of the company helps them to feel valued and like a part of the team. It’s just like it is in sports: everyone on the Indianapolis Colts knows that the vision for the year is to win the Superbowl. Every player on that team knows that they add value to the team and can be a part of helping them to achieve success, From the coach to the quarterback to the linebacker. With a clear vision, everyone feels like they can contribute.
Clearly communicating your company vision also helps your team understand the value that others contribute and how each builds off another. If everyone understands the direction you’re headed, they are more likely to contribute new ideas to help you get there, and hold you accountable to following through on the plan you communicated.
Top Five Tips for Communicating Your Vision to Employees
- Involve others in the process — don’t prepare it in a silo. Solicit input from various members of the team and ask them how to best communicate what is in your head.
- Practice communicating the vision to your kid. Is it clear enough that they can understand it? Make it simple and super clear.
- Make it fun. Share your vision at an Annual Vision Meeting. Make it a themed event, include a recap of your previous year’s success, share your big vision for the future, goals for the year, departmental plans, and highlights from your time together.
- After the vision meeting, provide monthly updates using the vision theme, repeating the same language to reinforce the message, and providing updates on progress or changes in direction.
- Make the vision visual. Post updates in the office or extend the vision with graphics for Zoom, t-shirts, fun gear, or other swag.
If you need help figuring out how to get your vision out of your head, let’s talk. We can help bring what you’re thinking to life — and use it to inspire your team.