One of the most important roles you have as the small business owner is to hold the vision. Your number one job is to keep the mission clear and up front in your employee’s minds. Sharing that vision with your employees will keep them engaged and working more effectively.
As the business owner, you have a larger vision of the work that you are doing. You may spend your day working with patients, but you know that your real mission is to bring healing and wholeness to the world. You might be balancing the check book, but you understand that the larger goal is to build a sustainable business that can be passed on to your kids or employees. From your chair you can see the big picture, but your employees often don’t. It’s your job to show it to them.
For you this is not just a job, it’s an extension of who you are. It’s your baby!
Your employees, on the other hand, do not always share your passion. It’s your job to help them engage with your vision. What’s most important to them may be a feeling of accomplishment, or the opportunity to become the best worker possible. Employees want to get a feeling of fulfillment in their work and are looking for opportunities to grow and collaboration with co-workers. Sure, they want a paycheck, but they also want to feel appreciated.
So how do you get your employees to buy into the larger vision you have for your company? It starts by setting clear expectations for yourself, your business, and your employees. Being a good employer means that you have made certain decisions regarding expectations of the job and that those expectations are communicated clearly with employees.
Several things may keep you from being clear about your expectations of employees:
- you may have an emotional barrier to delegating – ‘nobody can do it as well as I can!’
- you may have lack of clarity about expectations – ‘I’m not sure what I want them to do.’
- you may feel that you lack the skills to be a good leader – ‘will I find the right people?’ ‘What if they find out I’m not that smart?’
If you want to help your employees find their groove in your business, I recommend the following 3 steps:
- Get clear about the mission of your business and articulate it often. It is said that people will lose the vision in less than 28 days. Don’t wait for your monthly meeting to talk about the importance of the work your business does. Share your vision every day and in every way possible.
- Create thorough job descriptions for every position . . . including yours! On the very top of that job description should be your vision and how the position helps fulfill it. Include clear guidelines for doing the job along with who the position reports to and what authority the position possesses. While you are at it go ahead and throw in some goals for the position along with expectations for continuing education.
- Set up a solid recruiting, training and review process for bringing employees on board and helping them succeed. Your business processes should be as clearly defined and as well-oiled as your production processes.
Let’s be clear, none of the reasons you give for your lack of clarity matter. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to hold the vision and keep the mission clear for your employees. You can’t delegate this task. You better learn it.