As a business owner, one of the more challenging aspects of long-term success involves motivating employees to get on board with big picture goals. While it’s somewhat simple to motivate employees to accomplish their own personal business goals, it’s exponentially more challenging to convince them that overarching corporate goals are important and relevant, too.
In order to help your business move forward, it’s critical that you find ways to make your organization’s big picture goals a priority for your employees. Here are some tangible tips that can help:
#1: Make Employees Part of the Solution
“If employees are part of the solution, the changes are likely to be more easily effected than if they are just thrust upon those who are responsible for implementation,” Richard A. Reda and Jean B. Lenderking write in Tactical Management: Getting Employees on Board. In other words, employees need a reason to make corporate goals a priority. If the betterment of the organization is the only reason, employees will likely spend their time and effort elsewhere. However, if the goal ultimately benefits them in someway, they’re much more likely to get involved.
It’s smart to involve employees in the actual solution of the problem or goal. Instead of using them to achieve a desired result, make them an integral part of the solution. This gives them a reason to work hard and seek success.
#2: Be Transparent About the Big Picture Goals
When it comes to big picture goals, you can’t hide anything. It’s critical that you’re transparent about what the goal is, why the company is pursuing it, and how it benefits those involved. As Reda and Lenderking write, “Each [employee] normally wants the organization to succeed; each wants to take pride in their organization; each wants to do the best job possible; and each wants to have a sense of security in the organization and their job.”
As the employer, it’s your job to transparently convey why these big picture goals matter. Each employee should clearly understand how accomplishing the goals set before them benefit (a) themselves, and (b) the company. If you’re hiding anything it all, it will be readily apparent to most employees. It’s best to be 100 percent honest about these goals, even if there are parts that may appear to help the company more than the individual. Ultimately, most employees will understand that the betterment of the company indirectly benefits them, as employees.
#3: Develop Trustworthy Leaders
Employees connect with people – not scribbled goals on the conference room whiteboard. If you want to get your employees on board, you need to hire and mold company leaders that employees can connect with. This essentially means developing trustworthy leaders.
“I once had a department manager that always looked out for me,” says Glenn Llopis, Forbes.com contributor. “He never treated me like a subordinate and looked for ways to include me in senior management meetings.” Ultimately, this trustworthy and generous relationship caused Llopis to see the bigger picture. “This opened my eyes to what lied ahead in my career and thus motivated me to reach the next level and in the process exceed the expectations of my boss.”
As a business owner, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of hiring trustworthy people that know how to motivate others. In the end, employees will seek to accomplish goals because they believe in the people they work with – not the corporate name or logo.
#4: Provide the Right Tools and Resources
Supplying employees with the right tools, resources, and solutions to accomplish the goals set before them will increase the chances of getting them on board. This isn’t because your employees are lazy – they’re just practical.
If you don’t have adequate resources for your employees, you aren’t putting them in a position to succeed. You’re essentially telling them that you don’t care about them – only your bottom line. By providing them with the right technology, you show a commitment to long-term success, not just short-term profitability.
#5: Get On Board Yourself
A business owner or leader should never expect employees to do anything they won’t do themselves. Roll up your sleeves and get dirty if you want your subordinates to do the same. This shows that you personally care enough about big picture goals to put in effort.
“Employees will never care as much as you do—and, really, they shouldn’t—but they will care a lot more when they know you do whatever it takes,” writes business expert Jeff Haden. Keep this in mind whenever you set big picture goals.
Don’t Forget About Employees
The simple truth of the matter is that your organization will never accomplish big picture goals without the cooperation and effort of your employees. While it’s certainly not easy to convince employees that corporate goals are important and worthwhile, it’s not impossible. Keep these five tips in mind and you’ll put your organization in a better position to succeed.