Developing a mission statement is a critical part of any business development strategy, but once the words are written, then what? In order for your mission statement to truly take effect, it is essential to incorporate it beyond once a year. Your mission statement should serve as an ever-present guiding light for your employees no matter their skill level or number of years at the company. Check out the steps below for some ideas on how to make your mission statement go beyond the “About Us” page on your website.
Make it Known
One of the most difficult parts of incorporating your company’s mission is making its presence known to your employees, customers, vendors and partners. The statement should be included in annual as well as daily occurrences:
New-hire onboarding: Acknowledging and providing insight into your company’s mission statement when interviewing candidates and onboarding new employees sets a foundation of understanding
Annual meetings: Reiterating your company’s mission at any annual or bi-annual events and meeting can highlight its importance as well as refresh all employees knowledge of it
Office presence: The best way to ensure your company’s mission is known is to make it present for your employees everyday. From posters or wall decorations to having it as a reminder on notepad or in meeting rooms, making it accessible daily will allow it be woven into your employees overall understanding on the company they work at.
Empower your employees
Once your mission is known, give your employees the tools to share it and live it. Providing tips, examples and guides on who your company is to your employees allows them to be a better representative of your company. You can also highlight employees who embody the mission statement in small ways or by creating monthly or annual awards for those employees who become true missional statement advocates.
Identify area for clarification
If you find your organization’s employees are still struggling to understand or embody the mission statement, it may be time to gain some insight into why. Providing opportunities for employees to request clarification or give feedback is a great way to get unbiased answers to hard to ask questions. As a leader in your organization, you can’t assume it is known or understood the way you might know or understand it. When employees have a safe place to ask questions, such as a survey or anonymous feedback link, you may learn of additional areas for improvement.
Align it with your Company Values
If your mission is the guiding light for your organization, your values are the lightbulbs and electrical work that make it function. While developing your mission is a foundational step, developing values that work with your mission should also be. Your values should guide employees to the mission statement while allowing them to strive toward individual professional goals. When your employees are passionate about your values, they likely will feel the same towards your mission statement.
Keep it top of mind
Once you’ve worked out the kinks in your mission statement, you want to make sure it becomes part of your company’s culture. It is a great tool to use in decision making for your organization as well as serving as a starting point to the most difficult of conversations within your organization. Being able to reference and cite your company’s mission statement allows you to better identify areas for improvement and growth, all while maintaining your company values. Additionally, incorporating it into daily meetings and training sessions will keep it at the forefront of all employees’ minds.
Your company’s mission statement may have been developed decades before you stepped foot in your current role, but it is never too late to take note of how your company culture can reflect it. From simple steps such as making it more recognizable to using it to guide your company’s decisions about the future, your mission statement is more than just words. Taking the time to treat it as more will allow genuine growth from within your company.