how a vision statement increases focus & employee engagementOne of the biggest set backs of entrepreneurs and employees is FOCUS. I’ve worked with many business owners and their lack of focus always come down to no sense of either 1. WHY they are doing what they’re doing (and I don’t mean family or getting out of debt) or 2. a sense of time urgency.

In this article, we’ll discuss both and what they actually mean!

What is Your WHY? – Do You Even KNOW?

In the entrepreneurial world there are LOTS of articles and videos and posts about Knowing YOUR WHY.  The answers are often “My family”, “to never be in debt again”, “to make a better life for my kids”, “to get out of foreclosure” , “to . . . ”  on and one goes the list of Personal Reasons. And do you know that 95% of entrepreneurs FAIL in the 1st year? Not many more survive past year 5. Part of the reason is because this WHY is erroneously taught as the Inspiration and Driver to operate a business and is never changed (at least not changed from personal to business) by the business owner.

If you’re serious about operating a Business, then your WHY has to be more than a personal one. It has to be an inspiration to any who works for you and becomes your North star in what You strive to do in your business. This is known as a VISION.

Your Company Vision

Your Company Vision becomes the compass by which you and your company – employees, contractors, everyone – uses to guide HOW to do their work. This INSPIRES and Gives purpose to each person’s role.  Vision answers the question: “What do want to be?”

Here are several Inspiring company visions:

Disney: “To make people happy”
Life is Good: “To spread the power of optimism”
Invision App: “Question assumptions. Think deeply. Iterate as a lifestyle. Details, details. Design is everywhere. Integrity. ”
sweetgreen: “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.”
Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
American Express: “We work hard every day to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.”
Honest Tea: ” … to create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.”
Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customercentric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Starbucks: to establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.
Nike:to help NIKE, Inc. and our consumers thrive in a sustainable economy where people, profit and planet are in balance.

Our Vision, here at IMPACT Business Strategies is: “Positively IMPACT everyone who works for us and who we work for”

Can a Vision Change?

Absolutely!! As you fine tune WHAT You want to be and HOW you’ll aspire and inspire, your vision may be clearer or different based on innovations or company direction.  Don’t be afraid of change.

Just be sure that when you create your vision or change it, EVERYONE In your company KNOWS it AND their Goals align with the changes, if applicable. With this potentially new direction, how each individual takes action towards their goals may change. It’s Critical that any changes to Vision keeps this in mind AND that any changes employees or contractors need to take can be adjusted easily.

Does Vision Affect Focus & Engagement in Work?

Think about this question first – if You don’t have a destination or date to arrive, won’t anywhere and anytime do?

This is true for work. If your employees or even contractors don’t know where they are going then there is no direction for them. They have no inspiration. They have no idea when they should complete tasks as there becomes no deadlines associated; employees become drones.

When you work for Disney, you know your Job is to Make People Happy. This would mean coworkers, viewers of shows & movies, customers to theme parks, everyone. For example.  if you are doing accounting work – to create the best reports, by the 10th of each month, so executives are happy with how they receive information or if you’re in human resources – disseminating information to all company employees within 5 days of approval to keep everyone ‘in the know’ can make people happy.

When you or your workers do work, the thought should be ” Does my work …. (insert vision) “Make people happy & WHO”?

When creating your vision ask:
How is THIS Vision the Best outcome?
WHO benefits? HOW?
When I help create a Vision, it should
1. directly represent the company’s products and services,
2. benefit everyone who works for the company and customers/clients who receives the product or service and
3. inspire everyone in the company to be an ambassodor of the company through their work using The Vision as the compass.

So, Nike’s Vision to help everyone at Nike & the consumers THRIVE – no matter what:
1. directly respresents the company’s philosphy on HOW it will produce its produces
2. benefits workers & customers no matter the economy and be sure the people they serve, profit & planet are all balanced; no ONE before the other.
3. Thrive & Balance become the compass by which employees are guided to do their work, be it a janitor, an accountant, a designer, a PR rep, everyone.

When Employees and Contractors KNOW Why they are doing their work, they can FOCUS “for the greater good”.
It’s been proven that a company Vision Will increase employee retention and engagement in tasks.

Vision SETS the company Culture.

In a study of a company that was losing employees at a rate of 23 in 6 months, by creating, sharing, and making visible a Vision Statement, the retention drastically increased by losing only 6 employees in a span of 12 months. Retention of employees increased and the overall moral of employees was boosted, noticeably.

One executive had actually left because she didn’t know what her role did to benefit the company and didn’t have a sense of security within the company. After the company implemented a Vision, she reapplied for a postion (she was hired) and she feels a sense of both security and direction.

So, now it’s up to you. What is your Vision for Your business?

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