Mission statements are critical to a business. It is quite literally the mission that each employee and partner is called upon to accept as part of their working relationship. Mission statements act as a navigator when business has lost its way, when the morale is down, or when new opportunities arise, they act as a sounding board.
While some mission statements are actually used to guide and reflect the interworking of a business, there are far too many that are full of sleep-inducing industry jargon. Can’t businesses run without a mission statement? But maybe the better question is: are mission statements an archaic thing-of-the-past? Not according to the Google Ngram Viewer (which pulls words from books [not the Internet] starting from those printed in the 1800s). The term “Mission statement” started appearing in books in the 1940s, skyrocketed in books by the 1980s and has been steadily climbing ever since. The original premise for creating a mission statement was so giant corporations could reveal their humanity to better connect with the public and so people could understand what they were all about.
Since the inception of mission statement creation, small businesses to conglomerates work to fashion a powerful, descriptive and useful way to pinpoint what they strive for and who they care about. Mission statements are useful because they act as a hub around which employees and partners can focus.
If there are values a business wants to be clear they support, a mission statement is the place to do it. More specifically, these are the pillars a company needs to project in a strategic mission statement:
While some companies freely share their mission on their websites or in their print materials, some hold their mission statements close only allowing the most impactful statements to play out as taglines. For leadership to state their mission is a bold and powerful place from which to build the foundation of a carefully crafted business.
A strategy-driven mission statement can radically improve the way employees engage with a company and brand. It can be the difference between a loyal workforce and a resentful one. A strong, clear, inspiring mission statement acts as an invitation which has the affect of employees wanting to accept it over feeling obligated to accept it. A mission statement that inspires can spread empowerment, which in turn engages employees, partners and customers.
So it is time to redefine your mission statement (and like all living documents, touch-ups are a must). Most mission statements can’t live more than five years without a keen look at how goals are shifting or to incorporate an expanding audience.
Here’s how to revise and revitalize a mission statement:
Working this exercise might surprise you—might even bring up a new direction you’ve not attempted previously. Most exciting, though, is what can happen when you reintroduce a revised mission statement to your current employees. A renewed passion for their work can spread company-wide. And a workforce with passion for their employer is an engaged one.
Engaged employees are some of the best brand ambassadors a company could ask for. After the hard but necessary work of redefining your mission statement do not send out a company-wide email to make the announcement—doing so could backfire.
To capture the momentum of what a mission statement can bring to the table, use your newly defined statement to plan your annual sales meeting or a company-wide event. Docherty can use the power of a mission statement to plan a meaningful meeting or event where you can then introduce the revision to the corporate suite or the entire staff. This kind of gathering is the single best way to rally around a new mission statement, which compels employees to engage in deeper ways with their projects, their teams and your brand.
Redefine your mission statement then give us a call so we can help you plan the big unveiling of your next smartest business move.