The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 7 – Factor 4 – Vision / Goal Clarity

From their review of over 800 papers our researchers identified 6 factors that are associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity. Most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, but many of the findings can be translated to apply to organisations, divisions or units. Here’s the fourth factor: Vision and Goal Clarity


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‘Vision and goal clarity: The notion of vision refers to the extent to which team members have a common understanding of objectives and display high commitment to those team goals. For this reason ‘vision’ on the team level is also referred to as goal clarity.’

In other words……for people to be emotionally engaged with the work they do they need to understand how it fits into their teams vision and goals. Further they need to know how their teams’ vision and goals fit with the enterprises vision and goals. They also need to feel an empathy with the vision of the team and the enterprise in order to be prepared to release all their intellect and time to the tasks they perform, being prepared to go the extra mile, to commit.

Why is this important?

We all need something that gets us out of bed every morning and to do the right thing for the organisation. If we’re not clear about how what we do fits into what the team is doing, now and in the future, we’re not going to be able to get emotionally engaged and give our best. And if we don’t understand how our teams work contributes to the success of the enterprise, it’s even more difficult to give our best. If the enterprise doesn’t articulate a vision or the vision isn’t ‘worthy’ it may be difficult for us to commit our intellect and energy to the cause.

When the success of the enterprise is based upon the combined ‘cognitive resources’ or brainpower of a team or community, it is vital that everyone has the big picture (the vision) for their organisation and the vision for their team and are clear about the strategic and tactical goals needed to achieve success. Whereas goals are tangible and measureable stepping stones to the achievement of a vision.  A vision is an articulation of the direction of travel.

A vision is a clear articulation of why an organisation exists, its purpose and how it will achieve its purpose given the external conditions (competitors, consumer needs. legislation etc.). A vision can be expressed in a variety of ways. It can be written down in document, expressed using pictures or video. But the best visions are brought to life by inspirational leaders who can succinctly and confidently articulate their ideas for the future of an organisation, endeavour or team.

The point here is that people can turn up at work and give you all their ideas, knowledge, ingenuity and energy or they can turn up at work to do the bare minimum. If people understand what their role in the team is and how that plays into the organisations vision and goals they can really give their all.

Often in smaller organisations this is easier to do than in large organisations. In smaller organisations it’s often easier for the purpose of the organisation to be understood by employees. It’s easier for leaders and communities to communicate the linkage between what the individual and the team does and the strategic aims of the business. But when organisations get big leaders at all levels have to work harder to make sure their people really do understand the visions and goals of the organisation and their team.

So here is my question: are you and your team colleagues confident that you know the goals and vision of your organisation and how your team’s goals play into them? Are you also clear about how your own role fits into the whole? If you are not sure, does it affect your motivation?

In the next article I’ll reveal the 5th Factor of the 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity.

To help align the workplace vision and establish goal clarity, contact an AWA workplace management consultant now on +44 207 743 7110 to find out more. Alternatively, you can email with your inquiry. Advanced Workplace Associates are based in London, United Kingdom but now work internationally across the United States of America, Asia and Europe.

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