A vision statement can be a powerful tool to help your employees feel engaged. It gives them a goal that everyone can work together to achieve, and help them see how their own work makes a difference. Not everyone is convinced of the value that a vision statement can play in a company’s success, but companies without a strong vision statement are missing an important opportunity.

A Vision Statement is a Map for Success

In its June 2015 issue, Entrepreneur wrote, “Engagement starts with having something to work toward. An employee who doesn’t have clear work goals will have a difficult time engaging in their daily tasks.”

A strong vision statement that describes where a company wants to go can establish the big picture for employees. This helps employees align their own goals with the direction the company is heading.

Don Smith, Vice President of Operations at ClearPicture, thinks of vision statements as a destination.

“When navigating an airplane or a boat, you need two important pieces of information before you set off on your journey; where you are now, and where you’re going,” says Smith. “If you set off on a journey without a destination in mind, how do you know when you’ve arrived?”

A Vision Statement Can Help Set Priorities

With this in mind, CEOs and business leaders can use a vision statement to help provide direction to employees. Done well, it can help people prioritize. For example, when an employee isn’t clear on what they should do next, they can always ask the question, “What will move us closer to our vision?” A strong vision statement also allows companies to check their progress by giving them a specific target to measure against.

In contrast, without a clear vision of what the company is, or is striving to become, people tend to focus on the things they can do quickest, even if those aren’t the things that will move the company closer to its overall goals. This can cause a company to drift. It also makes it difficult for employees to get excited about the future.

A Vision Statement Shows Leadership

There are many ways a company can develop a vision statement, including working with employees, but the key element for success is that the company’s leadership own it.

“If the CEO doesn’t know what their company is striving to be, then how can they expect the employees to deliver it?” asks Smith.

If your organization is working to improve employee engagement, consider having a second look at your vision statement to see if it includes the key elements that will show your employees how their work makes a difference.