How Communicating Your Company's Vision Impacts Employee Retention
Do your employees understand the vision you've set for your company? If not, you might lose them. Here's why.
Do you have a clearly stated and communicated vision for your organization? Do you believe all your employees know what the vision is for your company? Is it engaging and inspiring and does it drive key decisions that you and your team make daily?
I have asked this question to CEOs and their teams for years and found that often, we get so busy and wrapped in goals and tasks that we forget the vision/purpose for the company. I have also heard some leaders say that their employees don’t need to know the vision, they don’t care about it, they only want to know what they need to do. Well, this is partially true but mostly false.
Yes, your employees need to know what is expected of them, but they also need to understand where (the vision) we are going and why (the purpose/mission) we want to go there. Unless you want drones working for you that only execute tasks and don’t bring their passion, ideas and creativity, you need to do the work of clearly articulating the vision and purpose. And if you care about retention and engagement, here are some interesting statistics:
- Seventy percent of executives say employees’ desire for purpose is impacting HR’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.
- Eighty percent of employees who said they have a good variety of benefits to choose from also said they identified strongly with their organization’s vision and values, as opposed to 40% of those who don’t.
- More than four in 10 (41%) of employees feel personally aligned with their company’s mission and 49% with their values, yet 94% of employees and 98% of employers say those connections are critical.
The need for meaningful work
“He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
The millennial generation is just coming into its own, and its members may not be as entitled and narcissistic as they are commonly portrayed. A study by the career advisory board at DeVry University looked at millennials’ attitudes about employment issues, based on input from hiring managers. The study found that 71% of millennials ranked finding work that is meaningful as one of the top three factors determining their career success, and 30 percent of millennials ranked it as the most important factor.
Millennials are willing to make less money and work longer, nontraditional hours, as long as their work is personally meaningful.” source
3 ways to check on your company’s vision
Great leaders make the picture of the vision and purpose come alive for their teams. I work with executives and their teams to help them clearly identify and define their vision (what), purpose/mission (why) and strategy (how) so that they can focus on the work to achieve their vision. It ranges from half-day vision workshops to multiple day retreats, engaging as much of the leadership and key employees as possible.
Don’t assume they know or they don’t care, here are three things that you can do right now to see how you are doing:
Number 1: Look at your vision/mission/purpose - does it still relate to what you are doing today or does it need to be refreshed? Is it motivating?
Number 2: At your next team meeting, ask your leaders if they can share the vision / mission /purpose (without looking at the wall). If they can all explain it consistently, BRAVO, WELL DONE, make sure it cascades down! If not, consider spending the time to make sure it is not only communicated but understood and embraced by the leadership team.
Number 3: Ask your sales team if they know the vision/mission/purpose. This is the group that has the most contact with your customer. If they are not aligned to it, there is a big missed opportunity.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” Joel A. Barker
Knowing your vision/mission/purpose is the first step. It sounds simple, but it is so critical. When you do this right, all your decisions and strategies are aligned to it and it makes it easier for everyone to make the right decisions, stay focused on the right goals and empower your teams.
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Jill Windelspecht of Talent Specialists Consulting is an executive organizational consultant, coach, trainer and keynote speaker and podcaster - Brain Hacks 4 Leadership and certified John Maxwell Team Member. Leveraging neuroscience and social science to focus on People…Science….Purpose.
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