High-performing companies paint a compelling picture of the future.
What’s your vision for your business’s future? Many leaders think of their long-term vision like a compass: a grand ambition that points their employees in the right direction. But high-performing business leaders know that a well-crafted vision isn’t a compass – it’s a magnet. It’s the thing that inspires you to go to work on a Monday morning.
A powerful organizational vision not only points the way – it also energizes your employees and pulls them toward the future. Rather than plodding along in the direction of your company’s long-term objective, your staff will feel drawn to it. Providing this magnetic vision is crucial. Research shows that the biggest indicator of a company’s performance is whether or not its employees are inspired by their leaders’ organizational vision.
The key message here is: High-performing companies paint a compelling picture of the future.
Inspiration is a vital tool in your leadership arsenal, as modern employees look for meaning and purpose in their work. For today’s workers, making money for their employers is not a powerful enough incentive to drive high performance.
So how do you motivate your employees to reach for your company’s future? You can start by making your vision of the future specific and achievable.
Consider an organization whose vision might be to “eliminate world poverty.” Although this sounds inspirational, in practice, it’s anything but. In reality, it would be impossible for this one company to achieve the goal alone. How can employees feel motivated by a vision they know they cannot achieve? A better vision would be something like “to become the city’s biggest charity for homeless people.” This is still a demanding goal that challenges your employees, but it’s also a goal that is specific to your company and should, hopefully, be achievable.
Leaders in high-performing businesses also realize that the company’s vision should be shared by everyone else in the organization.
Many CEOs construct the vision by themselves and then simply announce it to their staff. But you’ll better inspire your employees if you collaborate with people at all levels to craft the vision. You can gain employee input by holding focus groups and conducting staff surveys. It can take time to properly engage with your employees, but you will move more swiftly toward your long-term objective if it’s shared by everyone.