Promote Your Company’s Purpose, Values, and Vision

Of course, it’s not enough to say where you want to go. You also have to develop a strategic plan to get there. This includes allocating the necessary resources — people, money, paper clips, what have you — to get where you’re going. Most organizations develop a new strategic plan every three to five years. Building a strategic plan involves the following key steps:

  1. Conduct a SWOT (short for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats”) analysis of your current business position.

  2. Identify the market(s), customer(s), and geographical area(s) you’re focusing on.

  3. Outline the objectives — between three and eight — you want to accomplish over the next three to five years.

  4. Decide on the specific goals and actions to accomplish your objectives.

  5. Budget for and allocate your resource needs, including human resources, capital resources, system requirements, acquisitions, and so on.

  6. Develop your measurement tools.

  7. Install a communications protocol.

Okay, you've identified your purpose, values, and vision, and developed your five-year strategic plan. Now what? Promoting, that's what. Promoting your purpose, values, and vision is key to developing your line of sight and fostering engagement.

Four Seasons hotel, for example, did not accidentally stumble upon the fact that the Four Seasons has a service culture. Instead, the Four Seasons understood the importance of promoting its purpose, values, and vision.

So, what is your company's purpose? What are its values? What is its vision? Can all your employees articulate these? Is there consistency? To boost the stickiness of your organization's purpose, values, and vision, consider adopting these best practices:

  • Build an internal promotion campaign with your purpose, values, and vision as the theme. The campaign should be repetitive (employees don't “hear” something unless they've been exposed to it 13 times) and employ all forms of communication: written, oral, videos, blogs, social media, mobile applications, town hall meetings, lunch and learn, posters, and so on.

    Depending on your culture, make the campaign fit who you are. For example, Harley Davidson might include themes of adventure or rebellion, use earthy tones, and so on.

  • Sponsor a “Why We Work Here” video contest, in which employees create their own short films that incorporate the firm's purpose, values, and vision. Generation Y will love this idea.

  • Print your company's purpose, values, and vision on the back of everyone's business cards.

  • Boost your co-branding efforts by combining your marketing and sales efforts with your employment branding efforts.

  • Leverage tri-branding, linking employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.

  • Create a four-quadrant value barometer with “Performance” on one axis and “Commitment to the Firm's Purpose/Values/Vision” on the other. Use this barometer when evaluating an internal candidate for a promotion, raise, bonus, or pay increase.

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  • Hire people who display specific behaviors and traits that reflect your values and culture. For more about pinpointing these key behaviors and traits.

  • Make your firm's purpose, values, and vision the centerpiece of its onboarding/new hire orientation program.

  • Incorporate questions in your employee engagement survey that not only reinforce your purpose, values, and vision, but also gauge employees’ familiarity with your purpose, values, and vision.

  • Suggest that all organizational meetings include a “line of sight” agenda item, with purpose, values, and vision embedded into a discussion of the firm's business results.

Identifying your organization's purpose, values, and vision is an important part of defining your employee value proposition (EVP).

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