A mission statement is an action-oriented sentence (or a short paragraph) that defines the purpose and values of the organization. They are a critical part of business and culture development. They are essential for clarifying a business’s strategic direction and play an integral part in deciding the organization’s way forward.
Mission statements are short-term in nature. They are different from vision statements, which define an organization’s goals and aspirations. Even though both are used to define the organization’s purpose, vision statements are long-term.
Mission statements also play an important part in defining the company’s primary objectives along with its products and services. They highlight the core principles of the business, such as what the business does and who it does it for.
Mission Statements Dos and Don’ts
Successful mission statements are difficult to write and even more difficult to inculcate in the company’s culture. However, if done currently, they can be used to unite your workforce and boost your company’s marketing.
Good mission statements are simple to understand and use common language words to convey organizational purpose. Complex statements with a lot of buzzwords are often ineffective in conveying company principles and dilute their purpose. Furthermore, they should also not have any grammatical or spelling mistakes. They should aim to inspire the workforce to deliver exactly what the customer wants. They should compel your workforce toward a common purpose and boost their thought process.
Lastly, a mission statement should be relevant enough to be used in the future. They should be measurable and achievable. This is important, since ambiguous and unmeasurable statements only provide a short-term boost to employee morale. More often than not, such statements tend to induce stress and demoralize your workers. For example, the statement “we try to provide the best services to our clients” is too ambiguous. However, one such as “customer-centric business that works toward ensuring that their customers get the latest technology at the lowest price possible” is measurable.
How Do Mission Statements Affect An Organization’s Culture?
Mission statements have a huge influence on a company’s culture and corporate ethos. They can also aid in the organization’s recruitment and branding strategy. Some companies also use them to boost their public image. Brainstorming ideas using mission statements can also help leaders in making product decisions. Let’s have a look at how effective mission statements can sustain the company culture.
Guide The Leadership
Strategic decision-making at the highest levels of an organization can be tough to plan and execute. Mission statements provide organizational leaders with a clear vision of purpose and motive, which helps them make decisions consistent with the organizational goals. It also guides them and helps them create policies and decisions that fit the organizational vision.
Set The Culture
It’s easy for employees to forget ambiguous statements from the company handbook. However, relaying your business focus through mission statements can have a huge impact on employee morale.
Targeted mission statements guide employees and help them remember their underlying commitment to serving customers. It also gives them a sense of shared ownership, enabling them to work toward a common objective of serving the company and the client. You can also use them to acquaint new hires with the company motto and objectives. Finally, changing mission statements can send a strong message to the workforce, just like an urgent internal communication.
Selecting Projects And Clients
Mission statements allow an organization’s leaders to make dynamic investments in the company’s future. They do this by identifying the company’s goals and objectives and using them to identify suitable business prospects. Leaders then try to convert these prospects into opportunities, both in terms of finance and growth.
Understanding this can help you identify prospective clients, create service agreements and pitch relevant information to the concerned parties. It also makes the process of product and feature selection easy; instead of thinking about feature profitability, you should think about how it corresponds to your company’s ideology and helps you fulfill your mission statements.
Defining Your Organizational Values
For most businesses, company culture is a cumulation of company values, which are defined by their basic ideologies and core values. However, it can be difficult to convey core values to new clients. That’s why mission statements are designed in alignment with core values, which can be used in marketing (ads, website, brochures) to convey your message.
For an organization’s managers, core values along with mission statements should be the guiding light for making strategic investments. Using them simultaneously should also enable leaders to understand employee shortcomings and to guide them. Experienced managers can use mission statements to set behavior goals with employees.
Mission statements can also be used for guiding new hires about company culture. It familiarizes them with the organization’s values and helps them understand (and manage) expectations. You can also use it to convey the meaningful purpose with which the company was built.
Mission statements help employees gain confidence in their leadership and understand their point of view. This increases employee engagement and enables them to work toward a common goal. Working toward a common goal can also encourage employees to diversify their skills and invest in the future. Such efforts can directly nurture change and embolden them to work toward organizational success. Thus, employees who understand their organization’s mission statements are motivated to perform better and optimize their productivity.
Mission statements can also facilitate trust between the leadership and the employees, since it allows the leadership to be transparent with employees about what values they expect to see. The company’s leadership can also use this information to assess employee growth and determine the highest performers who can be incentivized and promoted up the corporate ladder.
Accountability And Growth
Mission statements, as mentioned above, are the guiding beacons for productivity and trust. They help employees understand the company culture, and rescue them from misdirection. This is important for driving growth, since only employees who work collaboratively toward optimizing current processes can bring in innovation.
Most companies drive innovation by creating new products/processes or by optimizing the use of existing ones. In both scenarios, mission statements guide creativity, support new ideas, and encourage employees to take risks for continuous improvements.
Furthermore, mission statements keep employees accountable. They can be used to set clear expectations for employees. This reduces confusion and helps employees understand their roles better. It also ensures that employees take accountability for their actions and perform their job role responsibly.
Recruiting New Employees
Mission statements are a huge help in attracting new talent into the organization. Many interested professionals today read the organization’s mission statement and “About” page before submitting their applications. A strong mission statement clearly indicates the organization’s underlying purpose and motives. It inspires potential hires to look at organizational goals and compare them with their personal ones. Recruiters can also use this information to weed out retention issues and improve overall job satisfaction.
Mission statements enable different teams to collaborate and work toward a common goal, and not just inside the organization. It also guides the collaboration with external vendors, partners, and contractors.
A supportive culture where everyone helps each other, instead of working toward individual goals, is highly important. It can help leaders create a strong sense of community within the organization. Employees are connected with each other and help each other in times of need. They also believe in collaborative learning (and working), which can reduce workplace accidents and pain points.
Mission statements are essential for molding organizational culture and for deciding the way forward for the company. They are very useful for reminding the workforce about the company’s goals and purpose of work. They also enable the leadership to focus on important priorities and allow them to make decisions for the long-term success of the company.
If you’re creating a mission statement for your company, it is advisable to keep them achievable, direct, and simple. Simple mission statements can effectively convey your purpose of work and thought process to your clients and workforce. On the other hand, ambiguous and unachievable statements can be detrimental to your organizational morale. They can also induce unnecessary stress in your workforce.
Mission statements can be a great management tool since they allow managers to share the organization’s culture and expectations with new and existing employees. They also play an important part in building a holistic company culture and can be used to attract new talent into the organization.