Running your business without a mission statement is like trying to sail a ship without a compass (or the GPS equivalent). You may be able to cover impressive distances, but you won’t be able to tell if you’re headed in the right direction. A mission statement is a uniting force that allows everyone in your organization from the very bottom to the very top to understand what your primary goal is as a business. Whether you’re a for-profit organization, a nonprofit, a political campaign or the head of a charity bake sale, your company vision statement ultimately comes down to a singular goal by which you will measure your success. Your mission statement should include a sense of how that goal can be achieved, and it should resonate with your workforce.
The mission statement of Caremark Rx, Inc., for example, reads as follows: “We will be the premier health management solution provider, enabling individuals and plan sponsors to optimize their health care investment.” In a single sentence, Caremark RX offers employees a positive and valuable goal to work toward together. It emphasizes the company’s dedication to quality as well as an interest in helping customers get the most out of their healthcare. While not explicitly stated, an employee of Caremark might infer from this mission statement that their personal work investment in the company will also be optimized to their greatest benefit.
As a central part of your organization’s structure and values, your mission statement should be carefully considered and crafted. Follow these three tips to create a mission statement that will reflect the goals of your company as well as the values you regard most highly in achieving those objectives.
- Ask your employees.
In creating a company vision statement, you may find that your employees know your business better than you do. They came to work for you for a reason. Talk to them to learn what those reasons are and your mission statement may emerge from those strategic planning conversations.
- Keep it simple.
Your mission statement should be no more than two or three sentences and ideally it should be just one. It should be a statement that gets down to the essence of what your business is trying to accomplish, which should be a big idea expressible in 20 to 50 words. All of your employees should not only know the general idea of your mission statement but be able to recite it if asked to. This isn’t to say that you should force your employees to memorize your mission statement, but rather it should be such an ingrained part of your company culture that your employees know it by heart.
- Be clear about your purpose as a business and use that to define your mission.
Ultimately, the goal of any for-profit business is just that: to make a profit. But that’s not why your employees come to work for you, and it’s not why you go into the office every day, either. Level Up Leadership recently worked with the owner of luxury resort condominiums and helped them to define their mission statement. The goal of the business, we discovered, was to create happy memories. This was the service that the company strove to provide better than anyone else in their market, and in that way, maximize their profitability.
When you’re ready to create your mission statement, follow these 3 tips and remember – stay focused on what your company’s goals are and how you accomplish those goals. If you’d like additional help or guidance as you construct your mission statement, Level Up Leadership’s Strategic Planning services may be ideal for you. Our team can help you craft a company vision statement that not only describes your objectives, but also resonates well with your employees and customers.