What makes some companies more inspiring to work for than others? My view is that it starts with these three things:
clarity of vision
courage and conviction to stick to it no matter what;
ability to effectively communicate those two things.
For a small business, a vision needs to be your dream, your true north. Often described as the change you want to make in the world.
It doesn't have to be huge: – “to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.” (Microsoft)
It can be focused: – “to make Horsham a fitter and healthier place to live.” (Example)
But beware, if you don’t feel it authentically, if you’re just saying the words but don’t believe it deep down there’s no way your people will sign up for that journey. Much better to have a vision like “to create a great life for my family” if that’s what you truly believe. The trade off? You still might find it hard to get your team to sign up but at least they’ll see you’re being honest.
When a vision tells your people where they are going, they will be in a position to help work out how to get there. This will drive productivity and switch on creativity.
Once your vision is clear, your role is to (over) communicate it so that everyone around you is in no doubt that you believe in it. I’ve heard it said that you’re only communicating enough when you are sick of hearing yourself say it. Find as many different ways to say it, and show it, as you can. But above all live it.