Quick Overview of Key Question
A mission statement is a brief, meaningful phrase that summarises the purpose of an organisation. Generally speaking, it serves as a guide for decision making and lets stakeholders know what the company stands for and plans to achieve.
Understanding the Concept of a Mission Statement
Understanding the concept of a mission statement is at the core of crafting one that truly defines your company’s purpose. It is important to weigh the pros and cons, considering if it needs to be developed in-house or externally, as well as what information is necessary.
A mission statement should provide a short but meaningful description of your company’s core values and principles. It serves as the foundation for decision-making and guides both the internal team and external stakeholders. A good mission statement should be inspiring, motivating, authentic and succinct. But it must also be realistic and achievable to enable sustainable business goals according to the company’s vision.
At the same time, balancing between a strategic plan that meets current goals and an open-ended statement that allows for future growth can be challenging. Therefore, it is essential to develop close collaboration between stakeholders to explore multiple solutions that address their expectations without compromising the mission’s focus.
With all this in mind, it is imperative for companies to create a mission statement that suits their individual objectives correctly. As we move on, let us take a closer look into how you can begin crafting your own mission statement custom suited to your business needs.
- According to recent research, 89% of Fortune 500 companies have an official mission statement listed on their websites.
- A study published in 2017 found that 83% of companies who put effort into crafting a mission statement reported having more clarity around what to do and why they do it.
- Nearly half (48%) of managers surveyed as part of a 2019 study said that sharing the mission statement at team events helped employees stay focused on the company’s goals.
How to Create Your Company’s Mission Statement
In order to craft the perfect mission statement that accurately reflects your company’s purpose, creating it needs to be given careful consideration. This can be accomplished through understanding not just what a mission statement is, but also by having an understanding of the values and vision of your company. Now that we have discussed the concept of a mission statement, let’s take a look at how to create one.
Creating a successful mission statement requires creativity and hindsight: an adept ability to both visualise where you wish your company to go and then craft the words to match your goals for everyone involved. While speaking in lofty ideals is great for inspiring employees and customers alike, be sure these goals are attainable and appropriate for the stage of growth and size of the business. Healthily ambitious targets can help a company remain motivated, but make sure they are realistic as well. For example, if limited resources are a reality for your organisation currently, making overly ambitious financial projections may not suit it best at this point in time.
An effective mission statement should concisely communicate the why behind what your company does. Address areas such as its core values, commitment to customer service and dedication to kindness or environmental concerns, while maintaining brevity. Keep in mind that a great mission statement should read almost like poetry; though it shouldn’t be long-winded or sound too complex, the structure should flow well when read aloud. To make sure yours hits all the right notes, have multiple people take a look at it beforehand and give their feedback on what could be added or improved upon before it is made official.
Now, having taken into account the concept of crafting a successful mission statement and one’s own understanding of their goals for what their business is set out to achieve, we can now move on to discussing how best to identify your company’s values and vision- two integral aspects that will help shape what makes up a truly unique mission statement.
Identifying Your Company’s Values and Vision
The mission statement explains the purpose of the company and why it exists, but its success depends on creating easily identifiable values and a clear vision that the team can strive towards. Values are the guiding principles of a business, while the vision focuses on what will be achieved when these values are upheld. Without a solid understanding of your values and vision, there is a lack of guidance for any employees or stakeholders in how to make decisions and progress.
The difficult challenge comes in deciding what values best represent your company, as well as developing a realistic yet ambitious vision to focus on. It is important to carefully consider what you stand for as a business, which could include concepts such as customer satisfaction or embracing innovation. It may even be necessary for you to consider outlining expectations about professionalism, respectfulness, and integrity when interacting with others both internally within the organisation or externally with customers or vendors.
At the same time, some may argue that putting too much emphasis on values might limit potential opportunities for growth within the company. If you become too mired in established systems and ways of doing things without allowing for meaningful experimentation or changes, ambitious goals become more difficult to achieve in an ever-evolving market. As supported by research from McKinsey & Company in 2018 indicating that not having clearly defined objectives is one of several factors leading to failed transformation projects, it is integral that a healthy balance exists between setting achievable goals while still encouraging creativity and risk-taking within the organisation’s environment.
It is therefore necessary to create an environment which allows flexibility while still retaining focus on what matters most: always striving towards achieving your desired outcome and realising your company’s vision. Ultimately, this needs to be communicated clearly throughout all layers of the organisation, so that everyone understands how they are contributing and why it is important.
Having identified your mission statement and founded it upon strong core principles provide a great jumping off point in applying this framework holistically across the entire organisation by setting clear objectives that will guide performance moving forward.
Developing Objectives to Guide Performance
Once a company has identified its values and vision, it is important for them to develop objectives to guide performance. Developing objectives not only provide a clear roadmap and expectations for employees, but also makes it easier to measure whether or not the mission statement is successful in impacting both employees and customers.
Some may argue that setting objectives can be restrictive and limit creativity when solving problems. However, research has been done that suggests that determined goals increase engagement and satisfaction in employees. Objectives provide a measure of accuracy when measuring performance, which allows managers to effectively identify any potential weaknesses and improve upon them. Additionally, having well-defined measurable goals may also positively impact customer service by providing an understanding of what should be expected from the products or services provided by the company.
It is also important to note that objectives should be specific enough to make a difference, but not overly restricting. They should encourage employees to think critically while still guiding them towards meeting expectations. In order for the objectives to be effective, they must also align with the values and vision set forth by the mission statement.
Once the objectives are developed, it is useful to measure the mission statement’s impact on both employees and customers to determine personal results obtained from adhering to this plan. Many companies profit from having a clear mission statement with measurable objectives because it guides them throughout their decision-making process as well as provides insight into how successful this strategy has been over time.
Measuring Mission Statement Impact on Employees and Customers
When crafting a mission statement, it is important to consider how such a statement will impact both employees and customers. A mission statement should be inspiring and energising for employees, providing both guidance and motivation to accomplish objectives. Furthermore, effective mission statements come as an assurance of quality and reliability to customers, demonstrating that the company values their patronage.
Measuring such impacts can be difficult as it is harder to quantify feelings inspired by a statement rather than measurable results. This task can be made easier with customer surveys, employee feedback analysis, and tracking revenue goals, giving companies real-time data on their efforts. Answering questions such as which aspects of the mission statement does the customer or employee like the most, what elements could be improved upon, and have goals been met in line with expectations provide good foundations for understanding mission statement impact.
Sales numbers are typically the key performance indicator businesses look at when assessing the success of their products or services; however, good customer service and knowledge of company values are also factors that prove useful for customer retention. Moreover, demonstrating appreciation for employees builds lasting relationships that stay when external incentives such as salary or benefits dissipate.
A well thought out mission statement provides value to respective stakeholders if successful; however, its effectiveness should be continuously monitored through objective indexing methods to adjust based on current market trends and new insights gained from customers and employees alike. With this thoughtful approach in place, meaningful results can then follow throughout leadership without fail.
Inspiring Meaningful Results Throughout Leadership
Leadership is essential in developing a successful mission statement. All stakeholders should be involved, including employees and customers. Having a good leader who sets the tone for an effective mission statement are key to ensuring it is inspiring and successful. Good leadership has the ability to uphold integrity, hire the right employees, set goals and measure progress against measures that have been established through the mission statement itself. Leaders setting clear expectations and inspiring meaningful results reinforces the importance of everyone’s contributions to their work and job functions.
On one hand, leaders can be seen as either inhibitors or promoters of successful mission statements; however, it is important to recognise the invaluable role of a strong leader in fostering a meaningful mission statement, making sure it resonates with all stakeholders. In other words, when powerful leadership promotes mission statement policies and values by example, employees will in turn feel invested in the company’s journey.
Leaders should establish proper communication channels between employees on all levels so they can understand who they should contact if they have any questions or suggestions concerning the mission statement objectives and strategies. Furthermore, leaders should make sure those channels remain open to ensure a unified approach among team members when it comes to measuring the impact of the mission statement on employees and customers.
When done correctly, creating such meaningful connexions can truly translate into positive outcomes within organisations. Leadership must remain consistent in terms of promoting respect and motivating each team member to bring forward their best ideas and opinions regarding how to improve upon previously defined goals; this includes both customers’ and employees’ satisfaction with the organization’s mission statement. Ultimately, strong leadership sets expectations that create a culture where employees are willing to strive for success for all stakeholders which will lead to maximised benefits throughout consistency.
Maximising Mission Statement Benefits through Consistency
The major benefit of having a mission statement is that it serves to unify the team towards common goals and motivate meaningful results. This can be made to resonate even more strongly throughout the organization’s leadership with the introduction of consistency in mission statement use.
When consistently applying a mission statement company-wide, leaders are able to share a unified direction and purpose. Doing so reinforces unity and commitment among teams, builds trust, and bolsters culture within the organisation. Communicating the mission statement regularly encourages its incorporation into everyday decision-making while connecting employees back to the company’s core values and original purpose. Consistently emphasising an organisation’s most fundamental values adds an extra level of dynamism that not only spurs continuous growth for the company but also contributes to more creative thinking between teams that leads to more innovative solutions.
At the same time, encouraging employees to define their personal missions will help keep them accountable and focused in their roles, helping reduce confusion about what should be done and ultimately increasing the productivity of their contribution. By setting clear goals and expectations from the outset, regardless of pressures from competitive companies or changing markets, organisations can ensure sustained success in creating positive results.
Companies like Zappos have been successful in instilling a unified purpose among its employees through consistent approach to mission statements both as individuals and as a collective unit. Through their commitment to their customers based on “Deliver WOW Through Service” with every product they sell, Zappos demonstrates that their dedication to their mission is at the heart of how they conduct business daily. Such consistent reliance on particular values enables strong relationships between everyone in the organisation while fostering “organic collaboration” which makes it easier for teams to stay on course with internal initiatives throughout each project cycle . Such measures are instrumental for realising long-term success for any company’s strategic planning processes across leadership.
At the same time however, opponents argue that too much insistence on reinforcing a company’s mission statement can lead to stagnation or lack of flexibility when needed rather than inspiring creativity or producing long-term growth. They suggest that relying too heavily on fixed job roles can restrict team dynamics which may tend to lead down dogma pathways during moments of stress or change.
However evidence continues to show that when adopted properly, deliberate reinforcement of one’s mission statement provides significant business performance advantages over those who rely on short-term objectives or siloed strategies. It encourages fiscal responsibility with future investments while providing a unique identification platform which can help establish brands within competitive markets. As such employment data supports this argument as we see greater numbers of companies committing themselves wholeheartedly to their missions as part of broader corporate strategies focusing on consistent application across all sectors groups departments, whether at top management levels or as frontline workers.