Whether it's a boom or a downturn, it's hard not to fixate on executive management's grand designs, far-reaching dilemmas, and big decisions. What's often underestimated, though, is how important small, everyday decisions are that each employee makes, and the impact those decisions have on the direction, success, or failure of a home building organization.
Personally, we all make big decisions about what we want from life. You may decide you are going to graduate from college. From the moment you make the big decision to become a college graduate, you need to align every small decision you make from that point forward with your goal to graduate. If every day you decide to live within your budget, study hard, and attend class, you succeed and attain your degree. Furthermore, if you keep your focus and make the right choices as they cropped up on a day-to-day basis, you graduate.
That's just one example an individual might relate to. But what if graduating depended not only on your ability to make your own correct choices, but to communicate goals to others so that they too make the right decisions? Welcome to the world of business!
In most organizations, executive leaders make the big decisions to set the direction and goals for the company. But it is the cumulative effort of every employee in the company that will carry out the plan. Every decision, made by every employee, every day determines whether the vision and mission articulated by the executives of the company will be realized. So how do the right decisions get made? How does each and every employee know what the right decision is, and when to make it?
Mission and vision statements are powerful tools to empower and enhance your employees' decision-making ability when properly communicated and reinforced. Many companies claim to have a mission and vision statement, but a lot of them fail to communicate the plan to their employees. You cannot expect employees to make the right decisions when those statements are collecting dust in the bottom draw of a desk. You and your leadership team must constantly communicate to your employees the corporate objectives as to where the company wants to go. This is the only way to set expectations and ambitions among all employees about how their small decisions need to align with the big decisions made by the leadership team.
We are in a time when quality decision-making counts. An organization that is not operationally efficient, strategically flexible, and profitable simply will not survive. In the past, being a little off the mark was okay, because the market could bear it. Make no mistake, that time is gone.
Survival will depend on each employee making the right decisions everyday. The good news is your employees want your company to survive as much as you do, and they are just waiting for you to give them the guidance, focus, and leadership they need to make it happen.
Make the commitment to give your employees the information they need about the big decisions you make. Communicate what your mission and vision for your organization is. Everyone feels good working towards a common goal and even better when that goal is achieved, and, invariably, it is mutually beneficial for everyone. When your employees are focused, your company will achieve its vision, reach its goals, and achieve profitability. And the best part is, your employees will love you for it.
–Richard Hawkes, former CEO Holiday Builders, currently heads his own consultancy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.