Ask a random employee to explain her/his role in the organization’s value chain. You’ll find that frequently there is no clear answer ( sample: I don’t know – I am responsible for accounts payable).Apart from raising existential questions (what am I doing here ?) the organization just seems to lose out in the employees huge potential contribution. And without employees on the same page, on the value creating mission,you can be sure that other value chain partners like suppliers and distributors will be equally clueless.
To remedy this situation organizations have a whole host of HR and Organizational Development programs including annual plans,reviews and so on. Obviously there is little alignment between all these initiatives and is a whole other subject.
A simple start is to identify direct value chain touch points and make sure that these employees understand their roles. Thus a motivated and clear accounts payable person would be able to give a head’s up to a supplier’s accounts receivable person when payments are getting delayed. Imagine how much this would do for your supplier motivation! Once direct value chain touch points start getting the picture leadership should try to get the indirect value chain touch points ( eg plant maintenance?) to understand their roles in the greater purpose of the organization.