Why Leaders Should Communicate Their Company’s Vision, Mission, and Purpose
Are you having problems with your employees? Do you struggle with getting employees to follow directions? Do you have employees who don’t show up for work on time, leave early, and refuse to work a full 40-hour week?
Sadly, you’re not alone.
News Flash: It’s not them; it’s YOU.
I recorded a YouTube video on this very topic. You can view it here:
Before you get yourself all worked up, let me explain what I mean when I say “it’s not THEM, it’s YOU.
As I mentioned in a previous video, you are the CEO, the commander in chief, of your business. You need to set the direction for your company, you need to have a clear and compelling vision for where you’re taking your business, and you have to effectively communicate that vision to your employees.
If there is an issue with your employees, if there is an issue regarding your customers or vendors, it’s more than likey a communication issue. You either haven’t communicated or haven’t adequately communicated your vision or your expectations.
Frustration is little more than the difference between expectation and reality. If you can’t clearly communicate what you want, when and how, you probably won’t get it. People are not mind-readers; they can’t guess at what you want, they can’t follow your script if you haven’t shared your script with them.
Whether you want to use an analogy from the military or from sports or even the children’s play yard, people will naturally follow a leader. And a leader does several things:
• A leader sets the direction; no waffling or wavering. “Here’s where we’re going.”
• A leader sets a compelling vision of the future state; they tell a story or describe what the success will look like and feel like; it’s so clear, their followers can’t wait to get there.
• A leader sets a call to action; “Join me” or “Together we can make it” and the people are compelled to help bring that dream to reality.
When I was an Organizational Change Management consultant, we called that “adoption.” Your employees adopt your vision as their own. That way, they are working to achieve what THEY want as much as what YOU want.
But the only way they can SEE the vision is if you effectively communicate the vision. You have to set clear expectations.
One of my clients was desperate to grow his business into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. The problem was, he couldn’t seem to get his employees to buy into the vision, mainly because he hadn’t shared his vision. His employees wouldn’t do what they needed to do in order to grow the business because they weren’t sure what that looked like.
We came up with a plan. Teaming up with a local real estate agent to find a new, empty commercial space, large enough to fit the future vision and impressive enough to get the employee’s attention.
All the employees met at this commercial space and when they walked in, the lights were off. The business owner turned on the massive overhead lights in the warehouse; boom, boom, boom, boom, just like you’ve seen in the movies.
As the lights went on, everyone took a collective breath. They looked around in awe because this building was 2-3 times the size of their current location. “I want to grow the business,” he told them. “This is where I see us in 3 to 5 years.”
He proceeded to point out where the offices would be, where the shipping desk would be, and all of the workstations and bays. “We are going to be a force to be reckoned with and I need your help to get us there.” He paused: “Are you with me?”
Of course, everyone said yes and started asking what they could do to make that dream a reality. That opened the door to have individual and group conversations where they could talk about the vision, mission, and purpose for the company.
When you share your vision, you give your employees something to look forward to, to strive for and to aspire to. The mission gives your employees a path to follow, a game plan to achieve their vision. And when you share your purpose, you instill a tiny bit of the passion that drives you.
How can that not be beneficial to your business?