Creating a Clear Line of Sight for People to Contribute

Creating a Clear Line of Sight for People to Contribute
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

A Manager’s Role — Creating a Clear Line of Sight
The best managers know that creating a clear line of sight from each person’s role and individual set of tasks to what the team and company are trying to accomplish sets the stage for high performance. When employees have a clear line of sight, they can see and articulate the relationship between what they do and what makes the company successful. 

The bad news is that, according to Gallup, only 22% of employees think their leaders know where their organization is headed and only 15% strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them feel enthusiastic about the future. The good news is that the clarity from creating a clear line of sight sets the stage for higher team performance and increases employee engagement, motivation, and commitment.

Just think about it.  Essentially, a manager’s role is to encourage, enable, and facilitate their team to meet individual, team, and overall company goals. To be successful, managers need to be able to interpret how the team can add value and then consistently decide what matters most.

It is up to managers to be specific about how each team member fits in and what expectations there are for each team member’s contribution to the team effort. This is important because employees are motivated by more than a paycheck. Employees tells us that they want to see how their work benefits others so that they have a greater sense of purpose at work.

While not every employee is trying to solve world hunger or cure cancer, most jobs help someone. Creating a team charter is an effective way to create a meaningful connection between employees and the beneficiaries of their work.

Team Charters — How to Create a Clear Line of Sight for Your Team
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams. While there are many ways for individuals and teams to add value, in order to be successful teams need to have a basic understanding of why the team was formed, who it serves, how it will accomplish its objectives, and what success looks like. 

Here are the eight key components of an effective Team Charter that we teach in our management training programs and utilize during strategy retreat facilitation to help create a clear line of sight:

  1. Team Purpose
    A recent Global Talent Trends study by Mercer found 76% of employees crave a sense of purpose. This is no surprise to most leaders. People want to be part of something larger and more important than themselves.

    Having a shared purpose gives team members a more profound sense of connection and meaning. It is the foundation on which the significance of the team’s work is connected to the bigger picture, which provides the meaning people seek in what they do and the value they contribute.

    What is the fundamental reason the team exists and how does it specifically fit into the overall organization? Some call this a team vision or team mission.  It does not matter what you call it as long as everyone can articulate the fundamental purpose of your team in a way that inspires clarity, empowers focus, and engages commitment.

  2. Team Stakeholders
    Who does the team serve and what specifically do our key stakeholders expect from us?  We define stakeholders as those people who have influence over or interest in what your team is doing.  Do not underestimate the power of actively involving stakeholders in your team’s strategy and approach.
  3. Team’s Success Metrics
    A clear measurement of success helps to focus work and energy. Leading metrics measure controllable activities that are predictive of achieving your goals. Lagging metrics measure goal attainment.

    What critical few 2-3 leading and lagging metrics best measure the team’s performance in the areas that matter most?
  4. Team Priorities
    Team priorities define the critical few deliverables the team is focused on. Priorities are generally set for a year or quarter and can involve multiple tasks or projects. When the team is aligned to what is important to accomplish and why, they stay focused and see and feel the value of their contributions.

    What are the top 3-5 critical strategic priorities on which the team is dedicated to focusing the majority of their time?
  5. Team Norms
    Team norms enable team members to hold each other accountable to creating the conditions for everyone to do their best work. When they are explicitly defined and agreed to, teams can better examine what is working, what is not working, and what actions to take in order to sustain healthy team dynamics and deliver great results.

    What are the three to six non-negotiable behaviors that people on the team expect from each other?  How is the team going to communicate? Make decisions?  Course correct?  Track progress?  Hold each other accountable? Recognize and celebrate success? 
  6. Team Constraints
    Every team must work within the explicit and implicit constraints of their environment.

    Within what boundaries, assumptions, and constraints does the team need to operate to be successful?
  7. Individual Roles and Responsibilities
    Clear roles and responsibilities helps to ensure that the right people, and doing the right things, for the right reasons. Role clarity increases employee satisfaction, efficiency, and performance.

    What is the primary role, responsibility, and scope of each team member?  And what are the critical interdependencies required for collective success?
  8. Resources, Support, and Skills
    What key resources, support, and skills are required for the team to deliver on its priorities?  What are the biggest gaps?  And how will we fill them?

Download a Sample Team Charter Template Now

Pro Tip: As part of the team chartering process, try to increase meaning and purpose at work for your team by arranging face-to-face meetings between employees and customers, sharing or creating customer testimonials, and reviewing any third-party sources that detail how your team and your company helps others.

The Bottom Line
When your team is clear on the priorities, who they serve, and how success will be measured, they have a clear line of sight to how their goals and work add value.  This helps everyone stay focused on what matters most.  Are your leaders and managers helping to create a clear line of sight for their people to both add value and to feel valued? 

To learn more about creating high performing teams, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance