What’s a mission statement? Do you have one? Have you looked at it lately?
Your Mission Statement should outline the fundamental purpose of your destination and what need(s) it fulfills. At its core, a mission statement clarifies why your business exists to your employees, customers, and the community at large. This is true regardless of whether you are a manufacturer, service provider, healthcare organization, or financial institution, or have 50 employees or 5000 or 50,000. It has to be specific enough to be relevant, but flexible enough to adapt in the face of changing technology, customer behavior, or external influences.
The truth is, most industries right now continue to face a variety of challenges, opportunities, and mounting pressures to create new revenue streams, improve productivity, reduce costs and increase the bottom line, all while delivering superior service and the best product they can. Now, more than ever, staying true to your mission means being adaptable, and able to innovate and transform how you do business and serve your clients.
A mission statement provides a framework for branding, marketing, and new product development. With external factors at play, however, it’s not always easy to make decisions in these areas that stay true to your mission. You may be influenced by what your competitors are doing, emerging trends, and economic forecasts.
First craft a concise, simple statement. Mission Statements should be simple, direct, and easy to understand. It’s easy to get caught up in lofty goals and buzzword-heavy verbiage. Don’t. Follow the simple formula below. Determine your company’s purpose, and keep it attainable Identify the motivations behind your business – why do you do what you do? Define the kind of image you want to attain – how does it set you apart from your competitors, and inspire your management and staff? Keep your mission statements to between one and three sentences, never exceeding 100 words.
Here are some great examples:
JetBlue: “To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.”
Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
Nike: “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.* *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Align your Team. Now your mission statement conveys why your company exists, and the benefits your business offers to your clients.
But, do your employees even know what your mission statement is?
Everyone on your payroll has to embrace the company’s mission statement for it to work. Recent Gallup research concluded that employees who fully comprehend their company’s mission are more productive, are more engaged with customers, and stay at the company longer.
Internal communication is integral to make sure everyone on your team is in alignment with the company’s mission, vision, and goals. If you want your employees to be more committed to the mission, start with these suggestions:
Get your employees on board from Day One. Every new hire should be introduced to your mission statement on the first day of their employment.
Emphasize the greater good. Employees will become more invested in their work when they understand the bigger purpose of who they are helping, and why. Your company may not be involved in curing cancer, but you are providing needed goods and/or services to someone!
Get management on board. Employees should be learning about the mission statement from many different sources; not just the human resources staff. It means even more to hear it—and see examples of it in practice—from the management team; from the CEO down to their immediate supervisor.
Strive for frequency. You can’t expect your staff to stick with a message they only hear once a year at a company retreat. Keep the mission top of mind by reiterating it – in employee newsletters, signage at the workplace, and performance reviews.
Reward mission adoption. Incentivize staffers by rewarding them for reaching pre-set goals, or in random instances when their actions have demonstrated or represented the company’s mission statement.
Author: Deborah Garry is the Founder and CEO of BBG&G, a full-service integrated marketing agency based in New York’s Hudson Valley. Debbe has more than 25 years of marketing and branding experience and is a Certified Account Planner and Marketing Automation Specialist. A recipient of the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Award and the Hudson Valley Women in Business Award, Debbe leads an all-women team of marketing specialists to deliver exemplary branding services to her agency’s clients.