Have you ever worked with an organization that failed to align the strategic vision of its leaders with the day-to-day work? In that type of organization, leaders are often very good at knowing what they want to accomplish, creating vision statements, and setting high expectations for productivity. But somewhere along the way, they fail to connect what teams are doing with the “why” of the organization’s mission. Goals and productivity targets may feel arbitrary (or simply mercenary), and team members don’t see how their work contributes to the organization’s mission and values. They feel overworked and underappreciated, and they quickly lose motivation. Meanwhile, managers get frustrated because they feel pressured to improve performance, but they don’t have the tools they need to make impactful changes.
If you’ve ever worked at a place like that, you know that it’s a recipe for high turnover and low engagement. People are just clocking time, waiting for a better opportunity to come along.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s possible to build a highly efficient, productive organization with team members who have adopted the organization’s mission as their own.
How? It starts with successfully aligning your vision and values with your team’s daily work.
Why Aligning Vision with Goals and Values Makes All the Difference
The goal of vision alignment is to help team members understand how their work fits into the overall mission of the organization. When everyone on the team understands the vision, they can more easily see how their contributions make a difference.
According to Gallup, nearly 60% of team members say they don’t understand what their organization stands for. That’s a massive failure to align vision with goals and values. When people understand why their work matters and they share a common goal, they will be inspired and empowered to accomplish that goal.
Effective alignment of vision and mission results in:
- Higher Productivity – People work harder and get more done when they have a purpose.
- Improved Efficiency – Shared vision improves team collaboration and decreases wasted time and resources.
- Better Outcomes – Teams that know where they are headed have a better chance of getting there.
How to Align Your Organizational Vision with Daily Work
It’s common for leaders to spend a lot of time crafting a vision statement, but fail to communicate it effectively. That’s a fatal mistake, because teams that don’t understand the vision will be unmotivated.
So how do you breathe life into your vision statement so that it becomes tangible to your team?
Bridge the gap between vision and execution.
Between vision and execution, there must be purpose. This is the “why” of your vision. As a leader, you may intuitively understand the why, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that your team members understand it as well. If you can align vision with purpose and values, you will be well on your way to better overall outcomes.
Build the vision into your culture.
Culture should flow intentionally out of vision. When your culture is designed to support your vision, employees will be more likely to adopt that vision for themselves. What does that look like in practice? It means that the way the organization functions – how decisions are made, how leaders treat team members, how daily work is structured – should reflect your values, mission, and goals.
Communicate your vision strategically.
Communication is the fuel that keeps your vision running. And like any engine, your vision needs additional fuel on a regular basis. One seminar, one email, or one document will not be enough to keep your vision at the forefront of daily work for long. That’s why communication must happen regularly through both formal and informal channels. When your vision becomes part of the everyday language of your team members, you’ll know you have succeeded.
Create specific, measurable goals.
Even with all the right knowledge, team members will still be powerless to do anything with your vision unless you provide specific, measurable goals. These goals might look like productivity targets, but they may also look like personal development objectives, service initiatives, revenue targets, or any number of other KPIs. The key is to tie those KPIs to specific objectives related to your vision, so team members still understand why they are important.
Taking the Next Step
Aligning your vision with mission objectives, values, and goals will empower your employees to work together, get more done, and help your organization grow.
In our Making the Connection Leadership series, we dig deep into the specific processes and tools you can use to align your vision. You’ll learn how to articulate and communicate your vision, and how to empower team members to take action.
Join us to grow your leadership skills and achieve maximum impacts across your organization!