As organizations get bigger, and departmental silos get more and more pronounced, how can executives keep all the troops marching in the same direction? Your vision statement can be the key.
On a daily basis, middle managers are challenged to connect the often mundane actions of the typical worker on the floor to the overall strategic direction of the organization as a whole.What binds the organization as a whole? What motivates team members across the organization to perform to a certain standard and conform to a particular culture? How can corporations build positive, productive climates where employees thrive, contribute, develop, serve, and ultimately stay for the long haul? And where customer relationships endure and working relationships empower?
It starts with a vision: a mission statement that clearly explains why the organization exists.
A good working mission statement will identify central values, the primary goal, the fundamental intent, and the “why.” The statement should be concise and straightforward. No more than a few sentences, it should define what the organization is about in clear, plain language. The mission statement should convey to all audiences why the organization exists today and how it will shape the future, and explain key organizational guiding principles.
Those principles are the tenants by which the organization operates and acts in the corporate arena.
If used properly, your mission statement should unify action throughout the organization. It informs behavior from the C-suite, to every other team member in the organization.
Using your mission statement is like running a race. Imagine all the participants at the starting line. Each is focused on running their race, at their pace, using their own individual running style and strengths. As the starter prepares to give the signal, every runner is postured for success. The first few moments are chaos but everyone is moving in the right direction.
A company mission statement is the written form of a race starter, giving long-term, strategic direction to each individual in the race. The same statement also tells runners what to do for daily dashes too – the short distance sprints of daily operations. All of the runners look for the indication to begin the race but then are left to determine how to use their talent and strengths to make it to the finish, with encouragement and coaching along the way to keep them moving.
Whether it’s the CEO, or the newest hire, every employee is working for the same organization and governed by the same missions statement. Individual responsibilities may be vastly different, but their actions should be aligned with the mission, with the end game being the attainment or fulfillment of the vision.
Can someone achieve a goal that they are not familiar with? Of course not. Organizations need to share their vision and mission statement, and help employees interpret their role in it. Start your next daily meeting or send an email discussing the attributes of the vision, and how the day’s activities are part of achieving those goals. Allow the statement to inform how customer relations are routinely managed, how inter-departmental goals are set, and how projects are chosen and managed. Efficiency starts with a common goal.
Organizations should better utilize the tools they already have to make better decisions, generate team buy in and unity of effort, and motivate stakeholders to perform and contribute. A well-written, and often-utilized mission statement can be just the right tool to fine-tune an organization leading to better performance and precise execution.