Motivating Employees to Meet Strategic Goals

Supervisor/Leadership Employee Motivation Tip:
1) Put your employee into the strategic goal
2) Verbally walk the employee from their specific job through the mission to the strategic goals

1) What is your organizations mission?
2) What are your organizations strategic goals?

1) Pick one employee and ask if they know the mission of the organization (share it with them)
2) Pick one employee and ask if they know the strategic goals of the organization (share it with them)
3) Repeat as many times as necessary to cover all employees

How do lower level supervisors motivate employees to meet strategic level goals?

This question hit home because I lived it for most of my supervisory years in the air force. I felt we had this exact problem. Here's what I think caused this problem:

We bring young men and women into the service by the thousands. We teach them the air force way: history, customs and  courtesies, and of course, how to march. When they graduate basic training we send them to technical school to learn a skill. We provide the best training possible to ensure they are capable of performing highly skilled tasks.

Then we send them to their first base to do the job we trained them to do; medical technician, computer programmer, personnel specialist .... Before supervisors realize it, many of these young Airmen begin to believe their day-to-day job is the reason they are in the air force.

How did this happen? It happened because the Airmen did not know the overarching mission of the organization. Whose fault was that? The supervisor for not ensuring they knew why we had them doing their job. This problem was compounded when supervision failed to brief them on the strategic plan. Then the ultimate missing link; supervisors failed put them into the strategic goal.

What do I mean "failed to put the employee into the strategic goal?" It means that the supervisor did not explain to the employee the relationship of their particular job to the strategic goals. The supervisor did not make the strategic goals stick on a personal level for the employee.

Yes, when they joined, we told them why the air force existed, but we never really helped them internalize how they were an integral part of the strategic plan or goal. Look familiar?

Making the transition:


Ensure all employees know the mission of the organization. Share the strategic plan with your employees. Discuss the goals of your strategic plan. Put your employees into the strategic goal. Discuss with them how they are an integral part of obtaining the goal. Use individual, specific examples that have meaning to your employees.

Here's how I did it:

I always started by asking the employee what their job was and how it fit into the mission; in other words why is your job important to the organization? I normally received a very localized reply.  For example: A cook told me, I cook the food so the others do not get hungry.

I would take their narrow view and verbally walk them to the strategic goal.
Why is it important that they do not get hungry?
Or, if the others got hungry, where would their mind be on their job or on food?
What kind of jobs do the others do?
How important are their jobs to the mission?
Then back to the beginning; how important is your job to the mission?

This particular conversation started with a cook and went through an aircraft mechanic and ended with a plane flying. Could you follow the importance?

Now let's say our strategic goal was to fly as many planes as we can in a 12 hour period; can you put that cook into the strategic goal? Give it a try.

Please feel free to share your results with the other readers.

To have Clark come to your organization to present this lesson or other lessons found on this blog, email Clark, the Employee Motivation Advisor, at:


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