In my opinion, the most overlooked order of business is to establish a company vision. Your company vision equals your core values, plus your mission statement, plus your purpose. These three identifying elements define what your company believes in, what it stands for, what it values more than profit, and where the company is going. It also makes clear why the company exists and who the company serves. You’re going to get all that information combined into what we call, ultimately, your company vision.
If you don’t have clarity around these elements – around your company vision – your business will struggle. It’s going to remain in what I like to call a reactive state. You won’t be able to start proactively engaging in working in your business because you don’t know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and who you serving. If you can’t be proactive in your marketing and your messaging, or in your sales process, you shoot yourself in the foot.
Establishing the vision is only half of the equation when it comes to getting your company vision in place. There are two halves to it. The first half is you creating the vision. The second half is you consistently reinforcing the values – every day – within your company. What I mean is that you make sure that you are explaining the vision, the mission, and who it is that you serve every single day. Once you’ve created your company values, you need to create a plan to roll it out and identify how to integrate it into your company’s operations. You have to have this rolled out, and your employees need to buy into it.
Here are 6 specific ways you, as the CEO, and your leadership team can integrate your company vision and core values into everyday activities in the business:
- Be the example. Leaders are always being watched. Setting core values and then failing to abide by them is worse than not establishing any at all.
- Teach your company vision through onboarding and training. It is unrealistic of you to think that sending out a single email blast or a document listing the core values and think that everyone is going to adopt them. You need to be teaching both the vision and the core values from the first moment an employee walks in the door.
- Reinforce your company vision and core values in meetings and face-to-face communications regularly. We go over the core values and company vision from top to bottom at every quarterly meeting. It doesn’t matter if a person has been to a hundred of our quarterly meetings. We go over the core value and company vision with everyone, every single time.
- Recognize and reward behaviors that reflect your company vision and core values. Positive reinforcement works, even for adults. One of the easiest ways to do this is with public praise. Whether in an email to the entire team, or in a Slack channel, or a text, recognizing the actions of an individual employee and tying it into your core values is a great way to reinforce the behaviors you want from your employees.
- Incorporate your company vision and core values into your hiring process. If the people you’re hiring don’t align the vision, you are going to have a problem. This is why we see so many companies that have such high turnover rates. They aren’t instilling the company vision or core values into the entire process from day one on.
- You have to be ready and willing to terminate people who don’t align with your company vision and core values. I know this is a hard one. But it’s the truth. If you have an employee who doesn’t align, then things can get dicey, and quickly.
It is important to remember that every employee you have represents your brand. That’s why it is so important to get your company’s mission and core values in place.
If you have any questions or would like a detailed blueprint for creating and instituting your company vision and core values, head over to tomaskeenan.com and sign up for the emails. You will get exclusive content that covers everything I’ve discussed here, plus so much more.