People want to find a connection with where they work. When Workers feel aligned with their company, everyone benefits. This is the key takeaway from the Slack State of Work study which draws upon the 17,00 workers from CEO’s to front line workers.
Slack found that workers want to be connected to the company’s strategic vision. There was a direct correlation between monthly communication of strategy and people rating the company highly against a long list of attributes.
Without insight into the organisational vision, people struggle in the workplace. Unaligned workers are far more likely than aligned counterparts to have never heard their company discuss strategic goals. These people are less focused on innovation less likely to collaborate outside their immediate team and significantly more likely to report low morale.
My ‘light read’ at the moment is “The Road to Nab End” by William Woodruff, his recollections of growing up in the harsh conditions of a working-class family in Lancashire during the 1920’s. One of the many striking things from this book is how seriously the mill workers took their work. When ‘problems at the mill’ occurred it would be discussed among the workers, because they were proud of the work they did. Only when you read how tough their lives were, how terrible the living conditions and diets does the context stand out.
So fast forward to today, our challenges are very different, but clearly one thing has not changed. People want to connect with, and be proud of where they work. To be so, they need to know what the strategic plans are. This should not come as a shock to anyone.
When Montgomery took over command in the Western Desert, the first thing he did was visit all the units and speak to all ranks, informing them of the plan and the priorities.
Morale improved significantly and so did performance on the battlefield.
So the evidence is plain and we all know it, communicating what the strategy is, what the desired goals are, why things are being done and why some things aren’t being done is key to morale, motivation, connection and performance.
So why does is frequently get left out?
External pressures, market demands, difficulty of geography and dispersed workforce's (to name a few) all come into play.
The solution? Well, this is the $64M dollar question, but our advice is to find and use simple, rewarding mechanisms that get people involved, even subconsciously.
Use gameification, Use nudge, Use reward and recognition, keep it simple and the rewards will be worth it.
"The Road to Nab End" by William Woodruff