As we look toward the future of work in 2023 and beyond, it’s clear that engaging employees will require an organizational mission that inspires and motivates. In today’s fast-paced, competitive business environment, it is more important than ever for companies to have a purpose beyond simply making a profit. When employees feel a sense of purpose in their work and understand how their role fits into the broader mission of the organization, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the success of the company.
So, how can your business foster a sense of purpose among your employees? One fundamental approach is to clearly communicate the mission and values of the organization, and ensure that they are integrated into all aspects of the company’s operations. This includes everything from the way products are developed and marketed, to the policies and practices that govern how the company operates. By making the mission a central part of your company’s culture, your business can help employees understand how their contributions make a difference and why their work matters.
In this article, we explore the importance of having a company mission, how to approach integrating your mission into your organization and how to communicate your mission in order to establish a shared sense of purpose and direction that will help foster a sense of community and connection between your employees.
A Mission Everyone Believes
An organizational mission, also known as a mission statement, is a brief statement that outlines a company’s goals and the ways in which it intends to achieve them. It is typically a broad statement that covers the overall purpose and direction of the organization.
According to Indeed.com, a strong mission statement should address a number of key stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the community. It should describe what the organization offers and how it hopes to serve these stakeholders. A mission statement can also provide a sense of purpose and direction for employees, helping to create a human connection and a sense of meaning in their work.
Effective mission statements are often inspiring and aspirational, and they can help motivate employees to work towards the common goal of the organization. A strong mission statement can also help establish a clear identity and brand for the organization and can be used as a guide for decision-making and strategic planning.
Integrated Cultural Values
Cultural values are the guiding principles that shape an organization’s culture and define how employees are expected to carry themselves. These values can be formalized and communicated through company policies and procedures, or they may be more informally understood by employees.
Cultural values serve as a way for an organization to achieve its mission by providing a framework for employees to follow. They help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and are aligned with the overall direction of the organization. By establishing clear cultural values, leadership can set expectations for employee behavior and help create a cohesive and consistent corporate culture.
In addition to helping an organization achieve its mission, cultural values can also play an important role in attracting and retaining top talent. Many employees place a high value on working for an organization that aligns with their own personal values, and a strong corporate culture can be a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent.
Connecting with Employees
Implementing an employee engagement plan with a solid understanding of the organizational mission is much easier. You should consider the following tips to promote an organizational mission while keeping all employees engaged and firmly believing in the company:
- Involve employees early. The sooner organizations get the mission in front of employees, the sooner employees see how their role impacts the mission. The organizational mission and other company information are critical components of the onboarding process. This step reinforces that employees’ work does matter.
- Celebrate and communicate wins. Whether big or small, celebrating any organizational success that upholds the mission and delivers value to stakeholders not only reminds employees about how performance is measured, but demonstrates that those actions are important and truly make a difference.
- Reward behaviors that support company goals. Recognizing and rewarding employees who contribute to the progress and achievement of company goals is crucial. For example, encourage employees to share insight about what the mission means to them and how they live it. This can help provide concrete examples for other employees and demonstrate that the organization truly believes in and strives for that behavior or mindset. Recognition in a public format ensures that all employees are aware of the star behavior, which now comes to life in the workday.
- Foster belonging in the workplace. Many factors can contribute to employees’ sense of belonging in the workplace; however, a critical element revolves around whether employees are proud of their employer’s mission or purpose. When aligned with the mission, employees are often proud of their work and the organization.
- Continue organizational traditions. Everything that once drove formal and informal culture in the physical workplace needs to be reformatted to ensure inclusivity and connection between the physical and virtual workforces. This includes team-building activities, wellness initiatives, milestone celebrations and companywide events that allow employees to preserve or strengthen social attachments.
- Establish informal and formal engagement opportunities. Employers can encourage team leaders to create formal stand-up or check-in meetings to keep the team regularly connected. It’s equally important to support informal opportunities such as mentorship, walking meetings and coffee breaks. It’s all about encouraging and, to a certain extent, facilitating communication among employees.
- Drive employees to an intranet or other shared platform. It’s critical that all employees have access to the latest company happenings. For example, a company intranet can become a one-stop destination for employees to get to know each other and communicate. When there’s a designated destination for all updates, all employees receive the same information at the same time, and there’s no advantage of being on-site or remote. Additionally, communication apps and channels can serve as engaging employee channels and provide a shared platform for employees to stay in touch.
Make It Actionable
Your company mission should also be actionable. It should be a guiding principle that shapes the way you do business. It should be specific and measurable and should inform the decisions you make and the actions you take. Here are a few ways to make your company mission actionable:
- Make it specific: A vague mission statement won’t be very helpful in guiding your business decisions. Instead, make sure your mission is specific and clearly defines what you want to achieve.
- Make it measurable: A mission statement that is not measurable is difficult to assess progress against. Make sure your mission includes specific goals or targets that you can work towards and track progress against.
- Integrate it into your business operations: Your company mission should be reflected in all aspects of your business, from the products or services you offer to the policies and practices that govern how you operate. Consider how your mission can inform your decision-making and guide your actions on a daily basis.
- Hold yourself accountable: Once you have defined your mission and made it actionable, it is important to hold yourself and your team accountable to live it out. This can involve setting specific goals and metrics to track progress, as well as regularly reviewing and reassessing your mission to ensure that it remains relevant and meaningful to your organization.
Creating a Communication Plan
Effective communication is crucial for engaging employees, customers, and other stakeholders. To ensure clear and consistent messaging, it is important to have a well-designed communication plan in place. This plan should outline the most effective channels and methods for reaching different audiences, as well as establish guidelines for how the organization communicates and how frequently. A strong communication plan can help streamline the communication process, save time and resources, and ensure that important messages are delivered effectively. Take into consideration the following:
- Clarity: A communication plan helps ensure that everyone in the organization is clear on the goals, objectives, and priorities of the company. This can help reduce confusion and misunderstandings and keep everyone working towards a common goal.
- Consistency: A communication plan helps ensure that messages are consistent across the organization. This is especially important when it comes to important messages or announcements that need to be communicated to a large audience.
- Efficiency: A communication plan helps streamline the communication process by outlining the most effective channels and methods for reaching different audiences. This can help save time and resources and ensure that important messages are delivered quickly and effectively.
- Transparency: A communication plan promotes transparency by outlining how and when the information will be shared with different stakeholders. This can help build trust and foster a culture of openness and honesty.
- Engagement: A well-designed communication plan can help engage employees, customers, and other stakeholders by providing them with the information they need to stay informed and connected to the organization.
Ultimately, the most successful organizations of the future will be those that are able to engage their employees in a shared mission that is meaningful and inspiring. By fostering a sense of purpose among your employees, your organization can create a culture of innovation and collaboration that will drive success for years to come.