Do you think your employees know what the big picture is for your company or your unit? Do you think they should? If they don’t, what are the possibilities if they did?
I once heard an anecdote of a restaurant company who was trying to increase sales by 8% over a 3-year period. Everyone of the board thought this would be a huge challenge, but they approved the sales budget and shared the goal with every employee in the company from managers down to the bus boys. They ended up exceeding their target many times over within that 3-year span mainly because everyone was informed and working for the same cause.
If you’re a manager, you may be given direction from your boss on topics to share with employees. Of course, you’ll dutifully share those. However, rare is a company that I’ve worked for in non-management where the bigger picture was shared with me, much less the bottom line of my unit or the impact my actions/inactions would have on it.
For some reason, the picture usually becomes clearer as we move up the chain of command, but wouldn’t it be helpful for all employees?
I encourage you to share these big picture motives with your employees. If you share with them some of this information regularly, you will have more people pointed and pulling together in the right direction. Things you could make a topic of conversation are:
- Company’s vision/mission statement
- Unit’s profit and loss statement
- Information on gross margins and expenses and how it affects profitability
- Annual goals of the unit and company
- 3 to 5 year plan of the unit and company
- How various departments work together to support one another and how actions taken can impact the other departments
- Your vision of the unit’s operations within the next 1, 3, and 5 years
- Career opportunities that may even go outside of the unit
Do you share bigger picture perspective with your team regularly? What topics do you focus on?