Your mission, vision, and values make up the backbone of your firms’ identity.
A company’s mission and vision statements, along with its core values, form the backbone of a company’s identity. They should define the company’s purpose, guide its decisions, and help determine an organization’s future. Effective mission and vision statements are concise, easy to understand, and should inspire employees to strive for excellence in their role. Core values both help establish a company’s culture and guide the behavior of employees.
Mission and vision statements. Mission and vision statements provide guidance for strategic decision making. When company leaders or decision makers are unsure of the path forward, they can turn to these statements:
- Mission statement. A written declaration of an organization’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time. The mission statement describes what you are doing to achieve your vision statement.
- Vision statement. An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. The vision statement is an articulation of a view of the world that your company and your people are working toward (a just cause/your “why”), not what they are expected to do now.
These statements are crucial for improving employee engagement and motivation. Research suggests that when someone shows self-preference in job tasks to promote connections between self and job, they “can increase role performance through cognitive, emotional, and physical self-investment.” Simply put, employees who find their work meaningful are more productive and satisfied. This is known as Khan’s Work Engagement Theory.
Employees who can resonate with their firm’s mission, vision, and values will be able to work toward something that is truly important to them. Compelling mission and vision statements provide a clear vision on how an employee’s role fits into the bigger picture of the company, giving their job and work a greater sense of purpose. Mission and vision statements can also serve as a great recruiting tool, helping the company attract compatible employees.
Mission and vision statements are not only for internal use. They can communicate with the public exactly what the company stands for, aiding in shaping public perception. This can be extremely important in attracting likeminded clients.
Core values. Core values are the steadfast principles that infuse a company’s culture with purpose and significance. They represent the methodology employed to achieve the company’s mission and reason for existence. They define and create a company’s culture. A positive organizational culture can be a significant competitive advantage. A study by Kotter and Heskett found that companies with strong cultures based on a foundation of core values outperform other companies in revenue, employment, and net income growth (sometimes by as much as 600 percent).
Core values serve as a moral guide for employees, influencing their decisions and relationships. They create a shared understanding and community, boosting employee dedication and performance.
The driving force of your firm. For these to be effective, these statements and values need to be more than just posters on the wall or words on the company website. Employees need to be able to truly understand and resonate with them. An active effort needs to be made to integrate all of this into the daily operations of the company and to foster a culture that lives by them. These statements and values need to be communicated clearly and frequently, leadership needs to lead by example, and employees who embody the core values of a company should be rewarded.
A firm’s mission and vision statements, along with its core values, are invaluable elements that define an organization’s identity, influence decision making, motivate and inspire employees, guide public perception, and set a company-wide culture. However, for them to deliver any sort of value, they need to be effectively communicated, well understood, and embodied by staff.
To talk about your company’s mission, vision, and values, email me at email@example.com or contact any of the consultants on Zweig Group’s strategic planning team.
Conrey Guy is a strategy and operations analyst at Zweig Group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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