Employee engagement continues to be a hot topic in the business environment. Day in and day out, organizations are trying to find that key ingredient that makes employees happy and work hard. Along with positive motivation and great work being produced, organizations need employees that believe and are engaged in their mission and more specifically, their vision statement.
Before creating an engaging vision, companies need to know what a vision statement should contain. Dr. Jason Brooks explains, “The vision of the company spells out in crystal clarity what we look like when we are achieving our mission. Vision clarifies concepts such as: who will we be serving, what will we be doing, where will we be doing it, what is our footprint, what is our target customer, what will we be demonstrating to our employees, customers, vendors, stakeholders, and the market when we are successful.”
So how can you create a vision statement that builds better employee engagement? Below are three tips to help make your vision statement more meaningful to employees.
- Make employees part of the process
Simply put, if you want an increase of engagement, employees need to be a part of the creation and feedback process. For instance, a Claremont McKenna College’s Leadership Review study found that “when leaders discuss their organization’s vision in a specific way, not only is the vision better understood, the leaders are also seen as being more effective in general.”
As an organization, take the time to meet with employees, both in large and small settings, and plan out a vision statement. Getting input and feedback can help create a collaborative corporate culture and ultimately help employees relate their work towards the organizational goal. Organizations can also make their vision statements more task oriented so daily tasks help employees feel a part of the larger cause. Again, work with employees on how to decide which actions should be included.
- Leadership behaviors
A company’s vision means nothing if leaders don’t live by them. Management’s daily actions need to embrace organizational values and behaviors—all of which are defined in a vision statement. For instance, Ann Rhoades, founder of People Ink, explains in a recent podcast that employee high performance comes when organizations not only define values and the behaviors of each of those values, but are incorporated within their actions.
She explains, “The words on the wall don’t mean anything unless [leadership] are behaving in a way that emulates those values. One of the problems we have with the mission and vision statement is that they are so long and no one knows what it means in terms of their behavior. That’s what [employees] need to know in an organization—how should we behave that is consistent with the purpose and the values of the organization.”
When behaviors and values are defined in vision statements and are seen in work leadership actions, it will increase day-to-day employee engagement.
- Revise when necessary
As with all businesses, change is inevitable. Don’t be afraid to return to your vision statement for edits and revisions. This is also a great time to set higher goals for your company and employees. How do you know when your vision statement needs changes? Conduct a survey and look at areas within your organization that need improvement. If engagement levels start to dip, revisit your vision statement. In the end, make sure your vision has clarity and envelops core principles and future goals.
When organizations take the time to write or revisit a vision statement, they can not only standout from their competition, but help employees become more engaged in the company’s ultimate goal.