HR Forum


Making sense of company’s direction

Question: I feel that I have given clear direction to my people but yet my employees are saying that they do not know what I want.

This is frustrating, as I always make sure that they are clear about the company’s vision and mission.

I am wondering now whether they are using this as an excuse for their lackadaisical work attitude, which has been causing the company to perform below par over the past two years.

How can I get them on their feet again and not blame others for the company’s poor showing?

Answer: Instead of pointing fingers as to who is to be blamed, it works better when you take charge of the situation by taking responsibility so that everyone moves forward.

Taking responsibility could mean acknowledging that just having a vision and mission for the company alone may not be sufficient. As you know, many organisations have lofty ones that are hung up on their walls but do not mean much to their people.

There are a number of measures you can take to ensure that your direction is crystal clear to them. Have your vision and mission translated into bite-sizes so that they are easily understood.

For instance, instead of saying that you want to be a leading organisation, say something like, “I want to see long queues of people waiting to buy our products as though they are waiting for a blockbuster movie!”

Involve them in charting the direction so that they are a bigger part of the team and a lesser part of the audience. Explain how they fit into the big picture through their daily actions and not through some grandeur theory that is fit for the text books.

Lastly, communicate, communicate and communicate to remind them of where the company is and where it should be going.

Powerful questions:

What will taking responsibility of this situation see you doing?

What will be the difference between what you have been doing then and now?

How will the situation change?

What will everybody gain when you do this?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with


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