If your employees are struggling to see your organization’s purpose, a vision statement can help you clarify. Just don’t make it too pie-in-the-sky.
A remote workforce and a hot job market make a tough combination for employers who want their team to feel connected and engaged—and motivated to stay rather than look for greener pastures elsewhere. It’s especially tough if your employees regularly complain that your organization has no “North Star,” as the Harvard Business Review recently put it.
Now is a good time to refocus on the North Star on your horizon.
What’s the Strategy?
A vision statement, a document stating what your organization stands for and what it represents, is an important tool for guiding your team. And the team can even take part in the process of shaping it. Virtual Vocations recommends a five-step process that starts with a virtual team meeting in which everyone discusses what motivates them and their work.
The statement needs to be clear, short, and realistic. “While your team is working remotely, they need to be reminded from time to time about the business goal. Therefore, a one-sentence and concise team vision statement will remind them what they are working for,” the site’s Jessica Fender writes.
“Creating a clear and optimistic vision statement is the best thing you can do for your team,” she says.
Why Is It Effective?
The most effective statements are grounded in realism. Writing in HBR, CEO coach Sabina Nawaz warns that a statement that is too broad or is unclear about how the team can turn it into day-to-day action won’t benefit anyone.
“Some vision and strategy statements are at a high, 50,000-foot-view level. They might sound good but leave too much to the imagination of an employee operating lower to the ground, trying to make a connection between their day job and the purported purpose of the organization,” Nawaz writes. “Make sure the message is adapted for delivery at all levels of the organization. When someone completes a project, underscore how their work ties to the big picture.”
What’s the Potential?
Fender says the vision statement represents the now, but it should be built to last.
“While it is important to keep your team focused and get quick results, you should also think about the future,” she writes. “Before sending the vision statement to the team, you should consider future goals.”