Building an Engaging Corporate Culture Starts with Clarifying Your Vision, Values and Mission

How important is it to clarify your vision, values and mission? If you’re struggling to answer that question, consider the fact that Harvard Business Review reports that corporate culture has more impact on revenue and profit than either strategy or structure (Daft, 2007). In other words, if you want to build an engaging corporate culture that drives business success, it’s critical to take the time to clarify your vision, values and mission so that your employees are clear about what your company stands for and how they can help the company achieve its goals.

The need for an engaging corporate culture

In today’s corporate landscape it is extremely important for leaders to create a clear vision for their company. A clear vision guides your employees in making daily decisions that are aligned with your overall goals. An engaging corporate culture can be created through transparent communication of your company’s vision and values at all levels. By doing so, you build a culture in which employees are engaged and motivated by their passion to make positive impacts on your business. Employees who feel valued and appreciated will be more likely to stay longer, work harder and produce better results. To start building an engaging corporate culture: Define your company’s vision, values and mission statement; clearly communicate these statements to every employee; ensure each employee knows how his or her role contributes to achieving these statements; hold regular meetings with employees where they can ask questions about what these statements mean; encourage open dialogue between management and staff members about how best to achieve stated goals; celebrate achievements regularly.

The importance of clarifying vision

When it comes to building a workplace culture, most leaders will tell you that vision is crucial. The problem is that most of us aren’t exactly sure what they mean by vision. That’s because we confuse vision with specific goals or objectives. A vision statement is not something that can be easily quantified. It’s more than just setting goals; it’s about defining your organization’s core values—what makes your company unique and worth investing in? What do you stand for? How do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand? Without these answers, how can you possibly build a strong corporate culture?

What are your shared vision, values and mission?

The most effective way to drive engagement is by creating a corporate culture that is emotionally intelligent. A great first step in developing such a culture is by articulating your vision, values and mission as clearly as possible. For example, if you want employees to be innovative, then make sure you define what innovative means for your organization. If you want employees to be passionate about their work, then make sure you articulate what it means for them to be passionate about their work. If you want employees to have fun at work (and who doesn’t?), then make sure they know how they can have fun at work—and hold them accountable for doing so!

How do we communicate the three things?

When you think about how you are going to communicate your vision, values and mission to your employees it is critical that you start thinking about one thing – Why? If we want employees who care about our company’s vision, values and mission then they have to be able to connect emotionally to them. That means they need to be able clearly understand why these things matter. Without understanding why these three things matter at a personal level we risk creating engagement challenges down line.

The importance of effective communication tools

Ineffective communication often comes down to ineffective technology. If your company is using convoluted software that doesn’t allow for real-time collaboration, it’s a major inhibitor to building stronger bonds in your organization. Start by communicating effectively internally (between employees) before tackling external communication (with clients). Remember: You can only have strong relationships outside of your organization if you have a strong culture inside of it. So don’t be afraid to spend time on internal communications first.

Tips on being emotionally intelligent as a leader

Emotionally intelligent leaders focus on managing their own emotions first before working on managing other people’s. This means making time for introspection, being cognizant of your feelings and reflecting on what you are feeling versus just reacting to whatever is thrown at you. It also means learning how to harness your natural emotions like empathy, confidence and passion so that you can use them as a strength when dealing with other people in professional settings.

The value of having emotional intelligence in everyone else in the company

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a widely used term in management today, but many people are still confused about what it means. In short, emotional intelligence is your ability to understand your own emotions and those of others. High EI allows you to read how others feel through their facial expressions or body language; it also gives you a deeper understanding of group dynamics. By being aware of such things as these, you can more easily build rapport with colleagues on any level of your company.

Strong Leadership Requires All Your Emotional Intelligence

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to lead well, but few people have studied the question as scientifically as Harvard psychology professor Daniel Goleman has.

Goleman fathered the theory of emotional intelligence, and in his research of more than 3,000 business executives he finds a clear correlation between leadership and emotional intelligence.

You can’t be a good leader if you are emotionally unintelligent. That doesn’t mean you must be a “nice” person; just that you must understand yourself and others. Demagogues can be effective, at least in the short term, because they understand how to manipulate people.

Emotional intelligence, if you recall, is how well you function emotionally with yourself (self-regulation and self-awareness) and with others (motivation, empathy and social skills). The theory broke new ground in its recognition that being smart is about more than doing well on tests.

This is a powerful insight for any size of company that has employees. Integrating this information can make you incredibly effective.

Golf clubs in your bag of tricks

I value Goleman’s theory of leadership because it recognizes that there are different, equally valid, styles of leadership within the same leader. The title of his Harvard Business Review article sums it up: “Leadership That Gets Results.” He focuses on what works.

These leadership styles Goleman likens to golf clubs in a bag that are useful for different terrain. Most leaders only have one or two styles. But you need more than that. When you try to use the wrong style for a situation that calls for something else, you miss the mark (or should we say, the hole).

Goleman’s six styles in a nutshell:

  1. Coercive – Do what I tell you
  2. Authoritative – Come with me
  3. Affiliative – People come first
  4. Democratic – What do you think?
  5. Pace-setting – Do as I do, now
  6. Coaching – Try this

What varies are the people with and the situations in which the styles are used. Knowing when to deploy them is key.

When negative is effective

It’s interesting that in Goleman’s research the authoritative style is the most effective, yet he considers that and “pace-setting” to be negative styles to be used sparingly. Relying on one style exclusively means that you will fail when that style is not helpful.

Crisis, for example, demands that someone make authoritative, often unilateral, decisions. That’s why boards will bring in “turnaround specialists” when a company is on the precipice. If you have too much of a democratic or affiliative style, you’ll flounder in a crisis. Recognize what kind of leadership is needed and work to provide it.

When you are lacking in a leadership style

Try to work on the underlying emotional intelligence so that you have more than one club in your bag. The affiliative and coaching styles emphasize empathy and relationship building. Without those, you will probably have high turnover in your organization.

You can work on those styles by communicating with your employees more about what matters to them. Ask questions and really listen. Look for ways to develop the potential in each person.

The best leaders know how to get both loyalty and high performance out of their teams.

Did any of these styles resonate with you? I’d love to talk to you about how you can lead your team to greatness.