5 Reasons Your Employees Don’t Understand Your Company’s Vision
Employees often complain they don’t understand the vision communicated by their leadership teams. When employees ask for a clear ‘north star’, analyse the reason behind their query before providing an answer, considering there are five common reasons for this complaint:
1. Lack of communication: the further someone is from the top positions, the more often they need to hear the message. Delivering it in a variety of ways helps, as does consistently providing specific examples of how the vision has been brought to life.
2. Different altitudes: some vision statements can be hard to connect to the daily jobs of employees operating lower to the ground. You have to make sure the message is adapted for delivery at all levels of the organization.
3. Low fidelity: individual actions may not be aligned with the commitment communicated. You’ve to develop a clear framework spelling out criteria for the types of work that support the mission. Back up those who say no to work that runs counter to the overall purpose!
4. Distaste: sometimes it’s easier for a member of the team to say they don’t know the vision rather than they disagree with it. Start to investigate the degree to which people are on board. Analysing your constituents’ fears will be a better investment of time than chasing the next catch phrase.
5. Work avoidance: change is disruptive and requires us to reprogram our way of thinking and operating. Aligning to the mission may mean more work, and people may react by abdicating this responsibility. You must look for ways to incentivize adoption of the business program and positively reward wins in the right direction!
Having a vision is paramount for every team. It is thus critical to understand when people are not voicing their true concerns, and problems are not linked to the words of the mission statement itself. Once you are in touch with the real worries of employees, you can connect them to your vision rather than chasing revisions.
[Complete article, “5 Reasons Your Employees Don’t Understand Your Company’s Vision”, available at https://hbr.org/2021/09/5-reasons-your-employees-dont-understand-your-companys-vision]
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