Providing vision: a key HR mandate

Company leaders have probably spent months developing a company vision, mission and strategy, but the likelihood is that most employees have no idea what it is or what it means to them. Time for HR to step in

Most employees are confused about their company’s strategy and vision, new research confirms. Only 42% of workers from around the world could recite their organization’s visions, missions or values, a survey by Tinypulse found. The results echo a similar finding from the Harvard Business Review which showed an astonishing 95% of employees are unaware of or do not understand their company’s strategy.

When it comes to vision communication, organizations are in dire need of help from HR to broadcast key messages. And for HR, it’s a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the department’s value, and to collaborate with senior colleagues.

Communicate vision to the point of excess Remind employees of key points of the company vision until the strategy cannot be forgotten. Think about plastering the vision beneath all internal communications, and on workplace walls. Because most companies only communicate corporate strategy quarterly or annually – 85%, according to research from Best Practices, LLC – you can put your organization at a significant advantage. "It doesn’t matter how clever your strategy is – if employees don't understand what it is, then there’s no chance for their actions to be in line with what needs to happen," said strategy expert Sarah Thrift.

Highlight ways to execute strategy Just 15% of organizations feel they are very good at aligning employee activities to company strategy, research from Accenture found in 2011. You and other leaders probably spent months developing a strategy: make it worth their while by ensuring that strategy is executed efficiently. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who has been named in Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people three times, knew the importance of execution. "I'd rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management,” he said

Verify that employees understand the message Good communication is more than just talking; it also requires active listening. When you survey staff, find a way to ask how well they understand the contents and application of the company strategy. Find out what methods are most effective and whether your message is sinking in

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