Almost every business requires a strong vision to really thrive, but many don't have that. Instead, they rely on team building, various incentives and a positive corporate culture, and for some, that's enough. However, a strong company mission helps to define the direction you're going and helps you set priorities.
The problem is that a strong company mission can seem irrelevant in times of drastic change. Instead, companies are keen to avoid going under, and they may sacrifice their company mission in the pursuit of profit. But without the company mission, it becomes hard to define the brand and explain to employees why they should care about the company.
Take, for example, Tyson Foods. It has a strong religious bent, so it aims to be a faith-friendly company, and it has 120 office chaplains to help promote that mission. It also has several clear missions: truth, integrity and value. These core missions mean it can define every challenge it faces accordingly, and employees can act as they will as long as it's in accordance with those core company mission values.
These values also help employees feel engaged. If a company generally cares about its employees and considers them part of its mission, the employees feel engaged as well. It helps to promote security, as employees are not overwhelmed by excess information, and it makes it clear how the company will proceed in certain situations.
So how do you define your company mission values? Essentially, you must look beyond profit and look at what your company means to you. What caused you to set up the company? In what values do you place the most importance? By defining your company values, you also define the employees that you wish to recruit. Do you look for knowledge in an applicant, or is faith important to you? Perhaps you emphasize creativity above everything. All of these points can give you an idea as to what your mission might be.
You must also be prepared to live your company values. There's no point in claiming to be a faith-based organization if you don't follow the basic tenets of that faith. If you want your business to act with honesty and integrity, you must also act with honesty and integrity, otherwise the company mission falls apart.
In addition, it's worth establishing that culture within your company and removing toxic employees, even if they're high-performing ones. These are employees who don't follow the mission. If you see that certain employees are bullying others and your company mission is to be kind to others and the environment, the bullies need to go, no matter how good they are at what they do. This also encourages high-performing workers to stay.
Ultimately, the company mission that you select needs to align with your values and be based in reality. What company mission have you set for your company, and how have you gone about it? Sound off in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Brock Bozinski at Flickr.com