How to define your company’s mission, vision and values and why it matters
You know what your company is about, what its goals are and the ethics and principles that are at its heart - but do your workforce? Enthusiastic and productive teams feel like they are part of a greater whole, contributing to your company’s growth and success. Highly engaged teams need to understand exactly what that end goal is and the best way to do this is to have a clear and concise statement of your company’s mission, vision and values.
On a mission
I tell the companies I work with to think of their mission as essentially their purpose. Who are you? What services do you offer? What is your core business offering? A mission statement should be clear, concise and powerful. The wording should use active, present tense, rather than past tense.
Your mission statement needs to leave a lasting impression. It should give staff, stakeholders and industry competitors a clear idea, at a glance, of what your company is all about. A good mission statement is particularly important during the recruiting process. Good staff don’t simply choose to apply for a role based on salary or skill suitability, they want to know who they are working for and what they stand for.
Some tips for crafting a mission statement include:
Keep it short - no more than 100 words and three sentences max.
Do your research - refer to business journals, assess your competition.
Get feedback - ask for input from senior staff, stakeholders or business advisors.
Be creative - you are looking to inspire others so don’t play it safe.
An example of a really well-crafted mission statement is LinkedIn. In just one sentence the social media platform, aimed at professionals, sums up precisely what it is all about:
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” - LinkedIn
This statement is clear, creative, clever and concise. Mission accomplished!
A bit like the view through a car’s front windscreen on a long, straight road, a vision statement is all about where you are going. Your mission statement shows that you understand what your company is, right now, while your vision statement is where you aim to be.
Your company’s vision statement should communicate that you are focused on achievable and measurable goals. Make sure that you don’t use business jargon or terminology that is specific only to your industry. Your vision statement should be easily understood by anyone who reads it. Think ahead in terms of attracting staff and investors, how can you inspire them?
Top tips for drafting a vision statement:
Picture the ideal future for your company in 5 - 10 years. Write it down.
How do your staff feel about where the company is headed? - ask them.
Dream big, this is your company’s ideal future.
Your company’s values are best described as how you do what you do. It is a statement of how your company operates, treats clients and customers, and also what you expect of your staff. Your values need to be actively practised by your staff and your company on a daily basis. They are not ideals that you want to aspire to, they are the values that your company believes in absolutely and are committed to.
Your values will usually consist of four or five key descriptors - integrity, honesty, creativity, respect for example - with a longer version that outlines what each value means to your company. Your values will show others what your company believes in, who you like to work with and the kind of people you want to hire.
When defining your company values, try asking:
What is at the heart of what you do and who you are?
What social, economic or environmental issues are you aligned with?
What makes customers and clients choose your company?
What makes staff stay or leave?
A company needs to be prepared to live its values, even when times get tough.
For professional assistance in determining, drafting and distributing your company’s mission, vision and values get in touch and I will make sure you get the right outcome for you and your staff.