How to Help Your Team Members Connect to the Corporate Mission

BY Kathy Crosett
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Your senior managers get the corporate mission. After all, they spend enough hours locked in meetings, developing goals to steer their departments in the right direction. What about the employees who work on the production line? Do they have any clue why you’ve suddenly decided that they need to work every weekend for the next month or why you’ve discontinued a product the company has been making for 10 years? If you don’t properly communicate the reasons behind big changes, you can’t expect your employees to feel invested.

David Grossman, of the Grossman Group, reminds corporate leaders to take time to share information with all team members. His philosophy is about developing a 'line of sight' for all employees — so they can understand what the company is and where it's going. It’s not enough, Grossman says, for employees to ‘think they know.’ Your team members must be able to 'articulate how they fit in.' These employees should be able to state missions on two levels. For example, the statement, “my company manufacturers widgets for aircraft engines” clearly spells out the corporate mission. The statement, “I work in quality control and can reject faulty widgets when they come down the line, ” explains how the team member and her department fit into the broad picture.

To help employees with this process and to reinforce the knowledge, Grossman suggests setting aside meeting time for the purpose of allowing team members to talk about what they do. As each person shares her personal work effort, lead your team members in applause to affirm her contribution. Over time, these meetings can also serve as a way for you to provide feedback on each team member’s mission and will strengthen loyalty from the ground up.