Having a vision for the goals and future direction of a small business is a necessity for success.
While you as a small business owner may understand everything about your vision for the future, if you have employees, they need to sign on too. Otherwise it’s highly unlikely that it will ever be achieved. Here are some tips to help create the passion for your team to realize it.
As a small business owner, you set the tone for your staff. So, it’s up to you to get them enthusiastic about the company’s direction. In order to do so, you need to understand how engaged your employees are with the business. Based on the level of engagement, you should then convey the rationale for the vision and detail the steps to accomplish it.
Ensure that every level of employee plays a role in achieving your vision or you risk disengagement from those who are left out. In discussing the company’s vision and the motivations behind it, make sure you do it in visual terms so that it’s easy to understand. Repeat it frequently and in different venues, such as team meetings, meetings with key employees, emails, newsletters, internal social media, and work social events.
The most critical thing is to have an initial detailed call to action for the employees to achieve your goals. If you simply just talk about your goals in high level terms without explaining the role your employees have in reaching it, they won’t feel any connection to the vision, and it will be nearly impossible to get them revved up about it.
Listen To Your Team
While communicating your vision is the critical first step, you need to make time to listen to your staff shortly after you explain it. A great deal of research over the years has shown the majority of people respond positively to being treated with respect and will work harder if they feel they had input into the future direction of the company. By just listening, you can also get a different perspective to see if your vision and the timetable for hitting goals is realistic.
Both communicating and listening to your staff can’t be a one-time event. You need to stay on top of on how the plan is going and any hurdles that employees are experiencing. It’s much easier to resolve a problem in the early stages rather than waiting a long time between meetings and then finding out about an issue.
Establish Long and Short-Term Goals
A fully-realized vision may take years to realize for a business. So you’ll need to provide both long and short term benchmarks for your team to achieve. These goals can take a variety of forms, including exceeding quarterly sales goals, completing projects ahead of deadline or other targets relevant to your business.
As your team strives to reach benchmarks, make sure they know how they are doing. It can be very motivating to know you are close to achieving a difficult goal and that just one push can inspire your team to work harder to achieve it.
Make Yourself Known
If you want your team to be as motivated as you about your business vision, you need to lead. It’s important that you do as much as possible to enable your employees to achieve their goals, such as providing the right tools to execute the tasks.
While you don’t want to micromanage or interfere with employees’ ability to do their job, if your team knows you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work with them during a crisis, you will earn a lot of respect, which will motivate employees in immeasurable ways.
It’s very motivating for employees to know their efforts are appreciated. Public displays of appreciation are not expensive, and little things such as taking the staff to lunch, can really mean a lot, especially when people are working long hard hours to achieve your vision.