The intangible, but highly influential, experiences of free expression, self-sufficiency
and creative control are what drive many people to embark upon the entrepreneurial
journey, as it is these factors that provide personal satisfaction to business
Obviously, as the business owner and leader, you have a unique stake
in the success or failure of the business because it is tied to you as an individual.
As such, you're willing to struggle through the tough times while maintaining your
excitement as you create a vision for the future.
As mentioned in our earlier article, Your Entrepreneurial Vision in Action, creating what we refer to as the "Strategic Objective" is an entrepreneurial exercise that forces you to describe with conviction what your business is all about. You, as the leader, must be clear about where you want the business to go, and what it will look and feel like when your vision is realized. Why is this concept so important? Because you are not on this journey alone. Your employees will also require this level of clarity if they are to commit to going there with you.
Your people strategy
After developing your Strategic Objective for the business, you are then faced with the task of taking it to the next level. This includes communicating your vision to, and getting buy-in from, all of your staff members. The challenge? As employees of the company, they will not have the same relationship to the business as you do, and will therefore naturally lack the inherent personal connection that drives you.
So how do you motivate them to take a personal interest in, and ownership of, the goals and objectives presented in the Strategic Objective? The answer is that you must strive to understand their needs, and then position the opportunities with your company such that it touches them on a personal level.
What employees want
Any company has the potential to be a source of personal satisfaction for
the people that work there. And your business is not exempt from this important
aspect, no matter what the product or service it provides, be it janitorial
services or adventure travel or dentistry.
Take a step back and think about it from
an employees’ perspective _ would
you want to work for your company? Wouldn’t you want to know such things
as whether personal and professional growth opportunities were available; whether
other employees were proud to work there; and how the business is known and
understood by its competitors, customers, and suppliers?
Think back on your
own work experiences: How did you feel when you worked for a company that you
truly believed in? And what was it like to work in a company
that simply provided you with a paycheck? The bottom line for most employees
is not just about the money, it’s also about personal fulfillment.
Fulfilling needs, reaching goals
In order to engage your employees in your Strategic
Objective, you must concentrate on their needs and find something about the
business that will provide personal
satisfaction for them. Maybe it will be in the Client Fulfillment systems
that you have created, or your unique company culture, or the exciting
projects they are assigned based on their particular skill sets. Take the opportunity
out more about them as individuals, and what drives them, what turns them
Then review your Strategic Objective and make sure you have created opportunities
that will attract the right people.
Remember, the business must not only
serve you. In order for it to be truly amazing, it also must serve those
who work in it. Engaging employees in
Objective should be seen as an important, strategic, and necessary task
to successfully reach your goals.