A mission statement is a company’s articulation to its customers, employees and the entire world of the purpose of its existence. Obviously, businesses exist to make money, maximize profits and shareholder value, but the mission statement is more about the front line than the bottom line. That said, in order for a business to be successful, it has to have a clear and broad mission that resonates with the public and tells them why it would be beneficial to do business with your company. The mission statement should represent the company’s vision of how it would like to be seen by its clients.
Mission statements generally include a statement of purpose, a business statement, and an indication of the company’s values. The statement of purpose explicitly states the purpose of the company. For example, a car company’s purpose is to manufacture cars. The business statement describes how they are going to manufacture those cars. The values portion of the statement talks about the common values shared throughout the company and how those common values contribute to the final product.
An ideal mission statement should be inspiring to employees. The statement brings a certain focus to the staff as the purpose of their work crystallizes and they are able to see the value of their contribution. Few things in life are as fulfilling as the knowledge that you are contributing something greater than yourself. The mission statement should allow each employee to see their own personal role in the firm’s success.
Customers will be reassured when they are exposed to the statement as they will be able to see that the company is committed to their purpose. Customers can also sometimes form a connection with the firm if the values outlined are ones they share. People like to work with others that they like and agree with, it’s a natural human instinct.
When you sit down to write your mission statement, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, who are my clients and what are their needs and desires? Second, how do I fulfill those needs and desires? What values does the firm currently have? What values do I want it to have? Are we all working together with a singular purpose or are individuals constantly veering of course?
A mission statement is best written in collaboration. The decision makers in the company should sit down and talk about their thoughts and how they want to represent the company to the public. Ideas should be bandied about, considered and then voted on. Once they thoroughly discuss, write and re-write the statement, they should make sure that it’s something that employees can buy into and customers can appreciate. It should be a statement that stays relevant no matter the difficulties the company may face and can serve as an instrument that rallies the troops to overcome adversity.