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Businesses today are always in a state of change. Whether regularly adapting to the needs of their customers or infusing their operations with new technology, businesses need to keep moving forward so they’re not left behind.

However, in order for businesses to continuously improve, the motivation and performance of their employees is a critical consideration. So what happens when there seems to be a feeling of stagnation within the team? Does this mean it’s time to restructure?

The reality is that while the overall performance of a team can certainly be measured on an individual level when a company seems to be suffering from reduced output or a lack of motivation, it could be that the organization is lacking a shared company vision.

What Exactly is a Shared Vision in an Organization?

Most people, when thinking of a “company vision”, will immediately assume it relates to setting company goals. But while goal setting is definitely a part of creating a company vision, simply having those objectives in place isn’t enough to generate a shared sense of purpose in each employee who works at the organization.

A company vision is a clear, organized picture of what a business is trying to achieve, along with the necessary actions to get there. This includes a higher level view of where the company should be in the next 5-10 years, as well as the more immediate steps it needs to take to achieve that long-term goal.

Why Having a Shared Company Vision is So Important

Operating without a shared vision can be likened to going on a hike in a thick forest without a map or a compass. Taking the first steps can seem pretty straightforward, especially when you’re pointed in the right direction. But along the way, without any point of reference, you can quickly end up in trouble.

Running the business is exactly the same. Without a clear point of reference and understanding of where the company needs to go, employees can quickly lose focus on the bigger picture, and the company will quickly start to feel the consequences.

Having a clear and motivating purpose helps both managers and their employees continue to make sure the efforts they’re putting in are in harmony with the organization’s overarching strategies. This transparency can be a major motivator for getting up in the morning and putting in your best work since you have a better understanding of how the work you’re doing can and will impact the business in the long term.

Strategies for Maintaining a Shared Company Vision

Maintaining a company vision that everyone regularly acknowledges and respects isn’t always easy and can be much more difficult for larger organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees. However, there are some effective strategies that any business follow for better success:

Keeping Regular Communication a Priority

Many businesses have the habit of “identifying” and “documenting” their core values and general mission statement but often fall short when it comes to “regularly sharing” and “communicating” the importance of these ideals.

For employees to place value on a company's long-term vision, the business’s purpose shouldn’t be limited to an employee handbook or be tucked away in an operating procedure.

Company leadership should regularly hold special business events or large get-togethers to remind the company about the collective objectives everyone is trying to achieve. This regular communication and reinforcement is what keeps the vision at the forefront of employees' minds and gives them the peace of mind that everyone is moving in the same direction.

Using a Shared Vision to Drive Decision-Making

With more businesses exploring the idea of having remote working teams, employees are being given more responsibilities to make their own decisions when it comes to their day-to-day or the time they spend on certain projects.

However, when this happens, it can be easy for employees to unconsciously focus on making decisions that directly benefit themselves or their departments rather than always keeping into the focus the organization’s broader objectives.

Maintaining a shared company vision can help make sure these decisions are made for the right reasons and balance both short- and long-term gains.

Hiring the Right Employees

In order for the company to share a unified vision for the company, it’s important to have the right working culture. But in order to establish the right working culture, it’s critical that you have the right employees to support it.

Unfortunately, the economic pressures and fast-paced nature of business today have led to many organizations putting less focus on developing effective hiring policies. For many industries, the tone has been more about “finding a body” rather than “finding the right fit”.

Everyone has different tastes and interests, and regardless of how great a resume may look, not every job candidate will blend well with a company’s culture. In order for a company vision to be shared equally, all employees should play their part in supporting it.

This is why it’s so critical that organizations take the time they need to make sure the employees they hire are set up for success and will bring the right attitude to work day after day.

Incentivizing Reaching Company Milestones

When going through the daily grind of managing tasks and projects, it’s only natural that employe motivation will have its highs and lows. But the make sure it’s more the former than latter, finding ways to recognize and reward employees for their contributions toward company-wide objectives can be a great strategy.

One way to do this is my incorporate modest performance incentives for employees that focus on various ways they can support larger company milestones. These can then be incorporated into employee performance reviews and regularly tracked throughout the year.

This approach is a great way to help employees think more about the decisions or actions they take throughout the year while knowing that any efforts they make toward helping to achieve important milestones for the business won’t go unrewarded.

Holding Leadership Accountable to the Vision

Leadership teams have the important responsibility of reinforcing the company vision to all employees. But it can’t happen by simply talking about business objectives or how departments should be working to achieve them. They also need to lead by example and work in alignment with the company’s purpose in everything they do.

When employees feel like the company operates as a “do as I say, not as I do” organization, they’re less likely to put any real passion into the work they put out. However, when company leaders work in harmony with their employees to help achieve larger objectives, hit important milestones, and regularly contribute to the success of the business, employees are more likely to take their roles in the organization more seriously.

Keep Your Company Aligned

Having a passionate team of employees is critical for any business. But igniting this passion day after day requires hard work and consistency on behalf of the business. By working closely with your team to maintain a shared company vision, you’ll be able to extract better performance from all the members of your team while setting up your business for longer-term success.

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