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The People Ops Perspective: Activating a Company Vision

Gabby VanAlstine
Gabby VanAlstine

Employees won’t remember every single day of work, but they’ll remember their first day, service anniversaries, and—if you make the moment count—pivotal events, like launching a new set of core values or unveiling a new company vision.

Weeks after we launched our core values (in-person and pre-pandemic—imagine sharing a platter of cookies now!), our People Ops team was tasked with rolling out Emplify’s company vision. Our executive team poured loads of time, thought, and effort into crafting our vision (with Lois as their guide), and I was excited to help bring it to life in our organization.

Our vision rollout needed to be a memorable and inspiring experience for every Emplifier, even with the added challenge of a fully remote team. We gathered feedback and ideas from our internal team and balanced it with research about memorable remote events at other organizations.

We then created a series of three interactive meetings, each with a different focus and agenda. The first would explore where we’ve been, the second would unveil our vision, and the third would activate it within our organization.

Meeting 1: Finding our context

We used the first meeting to recap the “Eras of Emplify” and the importance of a vision.

Emplifiers hired during each era shared a personal and memorable history of Emplify’s significant challenges and successes. Our team even unearthed videos and photos from each of our three eras. Our team loved hearing our most tenured employees tell their stories of how Emplify came to be—and seeing vintage videos of our CEO.

We used the momentum from this successful first meeting to build excitement for the second meeting, where we would officially unveil the vision.

Meeting 2: Making vision tangible

We worked with our talented Branding Strategist to create a “Vision Journal”: a tangible artifact of our vision and a way to make the meetings personal and interactive.

This booklet, provided to each Emplifier before the session—and during onboarding going forward—includes our vision, blank pages to capture thoughts during the following sessions, and questions to encourage reflection on what our vision means to each of us.

Our culture team, Empower, encouraged Emplifiers to dress up as their favorite visionary for the event. Alexander Hamilton, Walt Disney, Fred Rogers, Steve Jobs, and others showed up on Zoom that day, personifying the importance of our work at Emplify. To bring our vision to life, Emplifiers read selections of the vision they embodied.

Listening to our talented team read our vision is an experience I’ll never forget. But if that wasn’t interactive enough, we also lead discussions on a dedicated Slack channel and allowed time for our team to reflect on the vision by answering questions in their journal.

Meeting 3: Activating our company vision

We wanted Emplifiers to make the vision personally meaningful, making it natural to activate it day-to-day.

So for our third event, we partnered with Kevin Bailey of DreamFuel to guide us through a visualization exercise. Our entire team, all at once, visualized together how achieving our vision would look, feel, and sound. It was surreal, but a tangible and fortifying experience.

We concluded this meeting by breaking out into smaller Zoom rooms, where Emplifiers talked about how their work contributes to our company vision.

We’re proud to have created a series of memorable, inspiring, and distinctive events to roll out Emplify’s new vision. But what did our team have to say? What were their reactions to these three meetings and how have they connected day-to-day tasks to the broader vision? Next week, we’re sharing stories from the Emplify employees themselves on their experience with the vision roll out.

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