One of the problems that founders often lament about is that they feel their employees do not have the same sense of ownership of the company as they do. In many cases, the founders are not able to convey a clear vision of the company. The employees, in turn, are not aware of what they are after. Even in instances where the founders have a clear vision of the company in place, the complaint holds true.
In most cases the problem does not lie with employees’ lack of passion but with the founders having empathy or inadequate communication.
Founders need to be visionaries but they should translate that into ground reality. They must be able to align the needs of the company with that of the employees.
A founders’ vision is to have a profitable business and win in their chosen business or category. For employees, these things affect them but they have different personal priorities. Such as having an improved level of life, work-life balance, or even a different risk tolerance, and ambition.
The trick is to find a common path and march towards the ambitions together. Founder has to play the role of a translator.
Revenue goal for the company must be translated into sales quota for the employee through which he can see an upgradation of his life from a Maruti 800 to an i20 Hyundai. In case of the engineering employee who builds a scalable architecture with an easy-to-use design for the next release, he should be able to see how this helps become a principal engineer.
Without that translation, it will result in same frustration that happens when people speaking two different language communicate.
An Amazing Sales Leader friend of mine says it well in Hindi.
“दर्शन दो उनकी दृष्टि से “
Translated – Show them your future through their eyes.