Getting employees on board with your company vision
Every company has a mission, a company vision, a dream of how to best meet the consumer and change the world. But getting everyone on the same page can be challenging, especially as your company grows. How do you get an entry level staffer to understand the company vision and care about it as much as a senior executive, or heck, the founder?
To find out, we asked Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks to explain, and boy did he. In his own words below, he explains the shift in the workplace, and offers five tips for aligning the entire team with your company vision:
A shift in the workplace
Today’s workplaces look much different than a decade ago. Instead of a top down reporting structure, many high-growth companies are split into teams of people based on their particular expertise. It’s also increasingly common for businesses to rely on freelancers or contract workers. Now 34% of the entire workforce, or some 53 million Americans, are working as freelancers. Employees are working in places other than their desk and companies around the globe are revamping the way work gets done.
Recent research showed that when asked to identify the single greatest challenge to executing their company’s strategy, 30% cite failure to coordinate across units, making that a close second to failure to align (40%). No matter how your organization is structured, it’s a challenge to keep managers, employees and contract workers aligned on the company vision. Here are five hacks for getting—and keeping—employees aligned.
5 hacks for getting (and keeping) employees aligned
1. Make your vision part of the hiring and onboarding process. For an employee to truly become aligned with your vision, they must be passionate about it from day one, which takes root during the first interview, not on their first day of work. The vision should be discussed during the hiring process, and incorporated into the onboarding process. At BetterWorks, I personally sit down monthly with new employees to go over my vision for growth and the culture we’re building. Each team lead builds out 30-day ramp up goals with the employee to make sure their immediate goals are aligned with their role and our expectations. Putting extra time into your new employees on the front end can prevent future alignment and retention issues down the road.
2. Set quarterly goals. In today’s quick-paced business environments, setting goals quarterly allows employees to undertake short-term projects that are aligned with company objectives. Team leads should understand how each unit of the business—including engineering, sales, marketing, product, etc.—should be contributing towards company-wide goals.
3. Check in frequently. “Once-a-year or every six-months feedback is not frequent enough to meet the ever-changing pace of business” according to Paul D. Hamerman and Claire Schooley of Forrester Research. It’s no secret that employees crave frequent feedback, but what managers need to know is that feedback shouldn’t always be a long-form review. Check in weekly or monthly on big projects, and support employees’ progression towards their goals that align with the company vision.
4. Create trust with transparency. It’s one thing to state your vision, it’s another to act upon it. When employees see you working hard, they’ll be apt to do the same. Leaders and managers should remain transparent— and accountable—for meeting their own quarterly goals. Transparency will also build trust across teams. The best managers encourage coordination and collaboration between team members, up and down managerial levels. If your employees are passionate and driven, give them the space and resources they need to succeed.
5. Drink your own champagne. If you are preaching your company vision, but aren’t personally using your product or service, do you really believe in it? But even beyond using your product or service, make sure employees understand the pain points of your industry and how you are solving for them. Don’t get too involved drinking your own champagne that you lose sight of your relevance.