Many of us have worked for a business, who have spruiked a bold vision and mission statement, a fancy declaration of grand ideas and promises but taking no action to see these promises fulfilled.
No wonder people’s opinions of a vision and mission statement are torn. On one hand, they see them as empty words, with the only intention of winning favour with customers or clients. On the other hand, as an employee we want to feel part of something. Knowing that the time, blood, sweat and tears we invest, is for more than just making someone else a lot of money.
There are several key elements that need to be considered for a vision and mission to be successful:
Create a realistic vision
The statement needs to be a clear expression of what the business is trying to accomplish, a common cause or purpose to work towards that people can connect with. Employees need to be inspired to engage with the vision, through encouraging their involvement and creating an understanding of why it is of value or benefit to them personally and to the business.
Have a strategy to achieve the vision
The business needs to be committed to living and breathing the vision. This includes having a clear strategy. Breaking down that vision into bite sized chunks or tangible steps that can be understood and carried out in the real world. There should be structures in place to empower the staff which includes resources, relevant policies and procedures that help and not hinder that vision.
Develop the team to connect to the vision
For a vision to be realised, everything within the business needs to be in support. Starting with clear communication throughout the organisation, with every department, at every level on board and clear on the part they play.
For people to be empowered to fulfill a vision, they must have the relevant skills and knowledge. This means training and coaching to develop the team, allowing them to confidently put into practice what is asked of them.
Lastly, the leaders in the businesses must display their commitment to the vision in everything they say and do. Creating a climate that is supportive, motivated and positive.
A vision and mission statement can go either way, an expensive PR exercise that people roll their eyes at or, a morale lifting cause that give the team something to work towards. The business must be genuinely committed to making that vision a reality, turning words into action.
As a trainer, the introduction of eLearning in the early 2000’s and its subsequent growth, can seem like a significant threat to our role. Replacing facilitator led or face to face training with a cheaper and seemingly easier way of upskilling staff, has great appeal for businesses.
Training delivered online through a Learning Management System (LMS), is certainly a smart option for businesses. It is a convenient means of delivering training, allowing employees to access and complete courses through their PC, laptop, tablet or even their mobile phone.
It is also cost effective, particularly for those businesses who have outlets or offices nationally or even globally. No longer are they faced with the substantial costs involved in getting staff to a venue, which regularly includes travel expenses, accommodation and a mountain of other expenses. Learners can complete training at their own pace, in their own home or work location.
eLearning is a great way of onboarding new staff, upskilling in basic product knowledge and the introduction of simple policies and procedures. For training of more humanistic subjects such as sales and customer service however, face to face training is still ideal.
While modern eLearning platforms do provide the ability for learners to be part of discussion groups, the value participants obtain from real life group discussions, as well as hearing the experiences and insights of others, adds great depth to the learning experience. Not to mention the morale and motivation boost that comes from gathering a team in one location, who may otherwise never get the opportunity to put a face to a name or to the voice on the other end of the phone.
When staff physically attend training, a facilitator has the ability to guide learning, respond to live questions and recap or review where necessary. Although online learning has the ability to create quizzes, tests and assignments to assist learners in understanding and recalling information, there isn’t the ability to apply newly learned skills in role plays and other activities often included in live training sessions or workshops.
eLearning is certainly a great platform for businesses to upskill, refresh and develop their team however, there is still a place for face to face learning or even blended learning; with a combination of online and classroom training. Through offering an array of subjects through various training methods, both personal and business growth can be the result.