Half Of Employees Can't Recite Company Vision or Values; Does It Matter?


Andy Hanselman
03/26/2018

In today’s era of customer centricity, is not enough to be a “seller.”  Truly successful businesses aim to connect with customers on a deeper level.

As the link between the business and its customers, employees play a pivotal role in establishing that connection.  They, more specifically, play a pivotal role in communicating the brand’s vision.

Given that reality, findings from a new report – one suggesting that employees cannot recite their company’s visions or values – may seem troubling.

CCW Digital influencer Andy Hanselman nonetheless suggests we take a deeper, more nuanced look at the matter:

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A new report suggests that 52% of the UK’s workers cannot recite their organisation’s vision and 49% cannot recite their values. That might sound like bad news, but I do think that it needs to be clarified.

I’ve worked with lots of businesses where people can’t ‘recite’ them, but can give you a good ‘feel’ for where the company is heading and what is expected of them. In other words, it’s NOT about ‘recital’, it’s about understanding, ‘buy in’ and engagement! 

However, I understand where the report is coming from and it does highlight some key issues for business leaders. For example, 27% feel their organisation’s vision or values have too much corporate jargon and almost one in five (18%) say they don’t reflect what the company is actually like.

The report by Rungway suggests that older employees (above 45!) are the least likely among age groups to be able to recite their company’s vision, and those working in IT services are the most likely to be able to recite their company’s vision (59%) while bank workers (63%) were the best at reciting company values. That’s all very well being able to recite them – the key for me is do they actually ‘live’ them?

 So, what does this mean for your business? Well, when we work with clients helping them shape and share their vision and values, employees typically ask (the leaders, their colleagues or themselves):

  • Why are we doing this?
  • How is this vision relevant to me?
  • What specifically do you want me to do?
  • How will I be measured?
  • What consequences will I face?
  • What tools and support are available?
  • What’s in it for me?

 

The role of the leader is to help people answer these questions and ‘get them engaged’. Can yours?

 

They also ask…

 

  • How are we doing? In other words, you need to keep them informed and updated on progress and successes.

Our research suggests that’s what winning businesses ‘Get That Vision Thing’ (It’s 3D Characteristic #1 in our 7 Characteristics of 3D Businesses ) and this means they…

  • Establish A Vision… a clear picture of the future that gives them and their people something to aim for – it creates real focus and direction. They involve all their key people and ensure that there is consensus and consistency and something ‘tangible’ to aim for.
  • Get Buy In And Engage Their People… by ensuring that everyone understands where they’re heading and what that ‘vision’ means for them! That doesn’t mean ensuring that everyone can recite the cash flow backwards, but that they have a clear understanding of where they’re heading and where they fit in!
  • Work ‘ON’ Their Vision… and proactively create sufficient time to think and work ‘strategically’ and use their vision to… people and identifying the key steps they need to take to achieve them! They
  • Drive Things Forward… by setting key goals and objectives for theirkeep their vision alive by sharing progress and successes.

It’s NOT about ‘reciting’ things, it’s about creating a picture of the future that ‘stimulates, excites and inspires’.

Does your business have ‘That Vision Thing’? Why not download this FREE assessment tool to find out?