Effectively communicating a new vision and gaining commitment across the organization can be a monumental task, especially in large organizations. Managers and leaders too often under-communicate a great vision, or they over-communicate a weak vision. Sometimes messaging is misaligned. The result is the same in any of those cases. Mission failure.
Creating a company vision is not about creating aspirational words. They must be meaningful and specific to the organization for which they are created. More importantly, a company vision must be communicated clearly and often in order for a team to adapt to what it means. It’s the role of every person in an organization to communicate effectively.
Unfortunately, assumptions often trump actual communications within organizations because executive team members think their senior leaders know exactly what is expected under the company vision. As a result, these assumptions are passed down to each level of employee and results in a culture when there are more questions than answers and more problems than solutions.
Communicating the vision takes buy-in from the leadership team before implementing company-wide. Why? If the leadership team doesn’t demonstrate or embody what the vision is, no one else can feel confident about the message. It results in words strung together without a driving force.
When Leadership Changes
For many companies, employee turnover isn’t uncommon. Due to this, it’s important that the vision is communicated consistently. Even for those employees who have been with the company for several years or understand the vision already, the reminder is important for everyone to hear. It’s all too easy for employees to become complacent and put less value on the purpose of the vision.
At a leadership level, team members can feel unstable when there are big changes. This is an opportunity to reset expectations as guided by the common vision. There is not one workplace that can avoid some kind of conflict or change; it’s inevitable. However, what is avoidable is a lost sense of direction within the organization.
As long as the vision is clear and there are initiatives to support it, companies are more easily able to weather the ups and downs of business. They can see that change, and in some cases conflict, can be a positive.
When Morale Is Low
Companies go through highs and lows with new challenges every day, many of which cannot necessarily be planned for ahead of time. Morale sinks when there is no accountability, no guiding force, and no culture present. It may seem like the lofty ideal of a company vision isn’t useful at times like this when, in truth, it’s the complete opposite.
Low morale is a reflection of a company that has lost its way. A company vision can be a guide to follow, but it cannot stand alone. Leadership teams can’t continuously repeat the vision as a mantra without any action to back it up. Both words and actions must be aligned to create a base of trust and dependability.
When You’re Ready to Evolve
As companies evolve so do their goals, employees, and industry. The “why” of the work at any stage should be reflected in the company vision. It’s where people can turn to when they are feeling uninspired or unmotivated. The vision is the theme of what everything is built upon and the thread that holds everything together.