How to Engage Employees Through Your Company Vision
Picture this. It is 10:24 A.M., Monday. You are going through your inbox typing away replies and setting your priorities for the day. Click.Click.Click
Then, one of your employees drops by. An expression of unease displayed on their face.
Your initial reaction — something’s happened. Work-related.
Well, yes and no.
They want to leave. Call it quits.
Right away, you have to find them a replacement. The team can’t be leaderless.
Several thoughts race through your mind: how will this impact our bottom line? What will the team members say about it? How did it happen in the first place?
You didn’t pick any signs your star employee has been wanting to quit.
But does it matter now?
What matters is that you now need to find them a replacement while making sure others won’t leave.
And this is what this guide is designed for. Today, you will learn how Zety went from a retention rate of 67% to 87% and how you can do the exact same thing by engaging your employees through company vision.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men into teams and send them to the forest to cut wood. Instead, teach them to long for the vast and endless sea.
The better employees are aware of and align with the vision of the company, the more likely they are to stay on board and get you to the best possible destination helping you reach your true north.
Need some proof?
People don’t want to work for yet another money-making corporation. People want to work on something that could change other people’s lives for the better. On something inspiring and great.
Here is an example to consider from Google.
Google’s goal is not to become the fastest search engine on the planet (for one, they are already there). Google’s primary goal is to structure the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone. This is how they hired the best people and empowered them to create great things.
The problem is that when companies become larger, it becomes increasingly challenging to get everyone on the same page.
There are several ways you can go about it. But there are 2 essential ways Zety does it.
Continually Promote Your Company Vision
To keep the entire company unified and moving in the right direction, companies need to talk to the talk and walk the walk on the core values.
However, oftentimes, employers have trouble enacting their ideals.
You can’t put your company’s vision on the poster and expect everyone to follow.
At Zety, we strive to continually communicate our mission — creating the best career site on the planet — through every medium whether it is in person, email, bi-weekly all-hands meetings, etc.
And we do it long past the point where it gets boring for our people.
We repeat our key strategies, objectives, and priorities, and we take the time to articulate who we are and what want to be culturally on a pretty much daily basis.
People perceive information in different ways, so only through constant repetition do people begin to internalize and understand.
And if you are a rapidly growing company, constantly repeating your vision will inspire the future torch carriers.
Reinforce the Company Vision Through OKRTs
The vision of the company needs to be intertwined with the employees’ goals.
This ensures that people are working toward the same thing and in end of the day, this is what makes them come to work each and every day.
At Zety, we introduced an OKRTs (Objective-Key Result-Tasks) system developed by Andy Grove at Intel, which helps our employees relate more to our vision by defining individual goals weaved in the company’s vision.
In his book called High Output Management, Andy introduced OKRTs by answering 2 questions:
- What are my objectives?
- What key results do I need to stay on top of to make sure I am on track?
In essence, these questions are personal in nature pertaining to how employees spend their days at work. And this makes it reasonable for people to set up their OKRTs each and every quarter.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is that each staff member needs to tie their individual OKRTs to the team goals, and ultimately, the company’s OKRTs.
Such alignment allows for a common vision in mind and efficiency when it comes to achieving it.
OKRTs should not be easy to achieve. While setting low expectation can bring in some tangible results, in the end, they might stall the company.
Setting unattainable goals, however, may be detrimental, as employees will start to feel demotivated and stressed out.
With that in mind, OKRTs need to act as beacons, which can’t be fine-tuned from week to week. They need to be set before the next quarter arrives and stuck to throughout.
For example, at Zety, we ask our people to set 3-5 OKRTs for the quarter (adding more would shift the focus and distract them from what needs to be done).
We also make OKRTs accessible to all our staff so everyone knows what is on their coworkers’ plates. besides, we encourage each and every employee to challenge each other’s quarterly goals to push them to deliver more than they think is possible.
Ultimately, seeing where we are going and seeing a bigger picture keeps employees engaged in the workplace.
Adding It All Up
Making your company’s vision a focal point is crucial for giving your people a higher sense of purpose, which manifests in engagement.
Ultimately, this empowers employers to attract top talent while making sure that everyone is going toward the same goals and feeling the success of reaching those.
And if you dismiss the concept of vision as somewhat separate from work, your boat will sink before you get there.
About the author: Max Woolf is a writer. He is passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.