Does your company have a mission statement?
Google, Apple and Toyota (just to name a few), understand the power of a carefully chosen mission statement.
Mission statements bring everyone together - working towards a common goal. Research shows most of us want to be a part of something “bigger and greater“ than ourselves.
This is why a mission statement is so critical - it gives everyone (no matter job title or responsibilities) a chance to be a part of something big and great.
A mission statement has the power to:
Implementing a mission statement is critical to your organization’s success.
Three Steps to Implementing a Mission Statement
1. Define a great mission statement.
When devising a mission statement, make it simple, concise and easy to remember. This is a key element of a carefully selected mission statement.
Recently I visited a well-known grocery store. When talking with a seasoned supervisor about the organization, I inquired about the company’s mission statement.
Even though an entire wall was used to write the company’s mission statement for all to see, this supervisor was only able to recall a fraction of it. The mission statement was very lengthy, detailed and quite complicated.
It is no wonder she couldn’t remember all of it.
Check out these inspiring mission statements. Can you guess the company?
If you have had the chance to shop at Nordstrom, purchase a Tesla or watch a TED talk, it is apparent that everyone in the organization knows and understands their mission statement. All of these mission statements are simple, direct and easily understood.
For step by step instructions on writing a Mission Statement, see 4 Techniques for Crafting a Mission Statement Worth Remembering by Entrepreneur.
2. Continually Remind Employees of the Organization’s Mission Statement.
Once the mission statement has been established, continually remind employees of it.
You may get tired of repeating the company mission statement. But people naturally will forget it.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that employees are tired of hearing about it - employees have many things on their minds - and typically their job is only one of many responsibilities.
Max DePreee, Chairman of Herman Miller, told of his experience telling employees about the company's mission statement. Miller said in an interview, “I am like a third grade teacher. I say the [mission statement] … over and over again, until people get it right, right, right.”
DePree said he gets so tired of telling it over and over again. But he realized employees forget it quickly, so it was crucial to keep reminding them.
Like DePree, continually reinforce the mission of the company.
3. Help employees understand how their job contributes to the mission of the organization.
According to Robert Half Management Resources Survey, only 47% of workers understand how their job impacts the company.
That means that only 53% of workers understand how their job contributes towards the mission of the organization.
Encourage employees that without their work, the mission of the company could never be realized.
In the Business Journal, John Neemo tells of a janitor working for NASA in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy visited the headquarters. When President Kennedy asked the janitor what his job was for NASA, the man replied “I’m helping put a man on the moon”.
This man understood the mission of NASA and that he was a part of the process. When everybody in your organization embraces and works towards the mission of the organization, incredible things will happen.
Starbucks knows how to make incredible things happen.
The success of Starbucks is more than just a great cup of coffee. They have a carefully chosen mission statement that encourages all employees to contribute to the success of the company through each latte or cappuccino.
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
A recent article in Chron states that mission statements give a clear direction. And a properly formed statement helps everyone understand their contribution to the organization.
What steps have you taken to implement a great company mission statement?