I had the pleasure of leading a workshop on employee engagement and career development today. As I talked about what drives employee engagement, I was reminded how important it is for everyone in the organization to know how the work they do contributes to the success of the organization. When we know how our work impacts the top, middle, and bottom line results of our company, we feel connected and valued. When we feel connected and valued, we are more likely to perform better, stick around longer, and treat customers better.
As leaders, it is job #1 to create and articulate the vision of where the organization is headed. This is the context, or frame, in which we lead and get stuff done. Job #2 is helping our employees understand how they fit into the picture. This typically happens through the next steps of the planning process:
- Establishing goals and measures of success
- Setting strategies and identifying initiatives that will help us achieve these goals.
- Aligning the necessary resources, both human and financial, needed to carry out strategies and execute initiatives.
It is the last step that creates that connection for our employees around how they fit into the picture.
For example, imagine that you have a goal to acquire 1,500 new clients. A key strategy is to segment your target market by age group and define unique marketing messages for each group. A key initiative for the 18-25 age group is to develop a Facebook presence for your service that will carry key messages to this audience. You will align several of your best team members to execute this initiative, including a project manager, a copy writer, a market analyst, and a social media specialist. Each team member plays a role in this undertaking and each will make a unique contribution to the achievement of the overall client acquisition goal. As the initiative launches, you will make sure that each team member knows how and where they fit into the picture.
So, if you think its sufficient to create and communicate a compelling vision – think again! It is a starting point. Follow it by by helping everyone understand how their work contributes to its realization and you are well on your way… but not done yet! Watch this space for what comes next!