There’s a misguided notion in businesses with blue collar staff that the hard work of defining & distilling your vision and strategic plan should only be the work of the owner and a few key leaders. The opposite is true. In today’s competitive labor market, you need to use it as a differentiator to attract and retain employees at all levels regardless of role or education.
People buy into why we do things. Now more than ever, a richer tapestry of value must be woven by companies that want to create a fulfilling workplace for all employees.
Defining a vision & strategy can be fun and inspiring for those involved, but sometimes as leaders, despite our best efforts, we get bogged down and forget to keep sharing the vision and inspiring our team to see themselves in it. This means everyone. Every single member of the team—from senior executive to laborer in the field—receives value when they have a clear understanding of what your company's goals and purpose are.
Why Vision Matters Now More Than Ever
Since COVID, the game of employee acquisition and retention has changed. Workers at all levels are requiring more from their employers. They want to be paid fairly but also to do meaningful work, regardless of the level of said work. Many organizations with blue-collar staff have missed the mark on this. Articulating your company's vision to these team members enhances their daily level of purpose and can give them something to aim for.
Further, an explanation of the vision can show a path forward. It’s a roadmap for where they can go in your growing company. This roadmap provides security and lets them know that despite tumultuous times, you have a plan, based on what you believe.
Make Vision Part of Your Daily Efforts
While all of this may seem elementary to some, take a few minutes, look in a mirror if you must, and answer these questions honestly:
Are you continuing to articulate the specific components of your vision and strategic plan with passion to all employees on a scheduled interval? If you don’t know, or you say “I’m always doing it” or “I do it everyday” then you aren’t.
Do all of your employees know where your company is headed in clear measurable ways? Have you shared its greater goals AND explained their roles on that path? Can they tell you where they fit in?
Again, if the answer is no, you haven’t instilled the vision well enough, or you’ve muddied the waters with a vision that’s too complicated to articulate and/or that isn’t true to who you are as a company. If that’s the case, stop what you’re doing and get crystal clear on these things.
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy building a company capable of achieving clear goals for the future. Every employee needs to know their contributions matter. The easiest way to create long-term, engaged team members is helping them to understand their role in making this vision come to life. Their belief will create engaged employees who know where they are going, and with them will ride your company’s success.