The Value of a Shared Vision

By Paul Spencer

A shared vision influences employee behavior and guides action, ensuring that every decision taken is congruent with your company’s mission and core values.

Magical things can happen when everyone in your organization bands together and drives towards the same goal. Creating a shared vision can provide the spark needed to generate this sense of common purpose. It can influence behavior and guide action, ensuring that every decision taken – from the boardroom to the interns – is congruent with your company’s aims.

Implementing and sticking to your shared vision curates an environment where employees trust their colleagues, strive towards the same objectives, and enjoy every aspect of their work. You’ll see drastic improvements in commitment when individuals understand their community role and feel empowered to voice their ideas, concerns, and expectations.

Let’s look at how creating a shared vision could radically change your business for the better.

Work together towards common goals

It’s common for businesses to create something akin to a shared vision. It’s more common for their employees to pay little attention, which renders the exercise pointless. Most people understand their own work while struggling to grasp the role it plays in the bigger picture. Some might even perceive their work as more integral than others. But small mistakes in minor processes can cause enormous problems for colleagues further down the line.

As Sir Isaac Newton said, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Your employees must always know how the parts relate to the whole. Every decision someone makes incurs a knock-on effect, so that person must be able to identify and understand what, where, and how that happens inside the system.

A shared vision unites your entire workforce under one banner of ideals and kicks preventable issues into the spotlight. When everybody pulls in different directions, you leave your business open to costly mistakes that could delay progress and lead to uncomfortable conversations with your clients. Failure to hit targets could breed frustration and resentment among your employees, which would shatter the positive culture you fought to build. Unfortunately, businesses do not realize this shared vision opportunity when those costly mistakes and client frustrations occur. It is an invisible lever that is seldom pulled.

Build a community of empowered employees

A shared vision empowers every employee to speak up and contribute ideas to improve workplace culture, systems, and any other aspect of your business. When something cuts against the grain and upsets the terms laid out in the vision, nobody will fear bringing it to your attention before it causes a problem. You might even hear junior employees providing the most innovative solutions because they felt comfortable speaking up.

Gallup conducted a global poll that revealed an astronomical 85% of people are unhappy with their job, with just 15% feeling engaged. Unsatisfied employees trudge home from work every day, ready to complain about being overworked while dealing with bosses who don’t understand them.

This is a symptom of missing or flawed constructs that are designed to curate an engaged workplace. Without them, you extract a small percentage of productivity, quality, and commitment from your employees.

When you implement the right social contracts, like shared visions and team working agreements, you take giant strides towards a driven, happy, and productive workforce. Employees anticipate the day where they can solve problems, have their voice heard, and feel part of something because they see how and where their work fits into the whole.

Attract the best people for the job

Your shared vision entices the right people into your business because it lifts the curtain on your company’s inner workings. It sets the job description, describes what you’re looking for, and appeals to the emotions and desires of the prospective candidates searching for roles like yours. It’s like panning for gold, with the prize being candidates who suit the skills and attitudes you need.

Let’s imagine that you’re looking for a new finance director. These positions typically attract structured people who work within specific rules and budgets. But your open position summary describes a fast-paced, flexible, and innovative environment that demands the same from leadership. You’ve dipped your pan into the river, shaken away the gravel, and given yourself the best chance of finding the gold.

Rally your troops around a shared vision

Your shared vision stands you atop the hill, sounding the horn, and galvanizing your workforce. From operatives packing boxes to handshaking vice presidents, employees can enjoy the sense of purpose that’s derived from playing a vital role in the community.

You fight for your teammates when you know your worth and theirs. Everybody pulling in the same direction, for each other, breeds trust throughout the business as people know their colleagues are doing the same. It enhances quality because their triumphs lead to greater success for the community.

Design your blueprint for success. Create the architecture for a thriving community of employees that are all driving towards the same goal. Implement a shared vision that ushers in a new era of positivity and empowers everybody to enjoy their work.