If someone were to ask you what your company’s mission is, what would you say? Is it something you’ve memorized, or something you live in your day-to-day work? At Talmetrix, our mission is to help companies connect talent to business outcomes — that’s what we’re about, and we work hard to make sure employees know it. When employees understand the mission of their employer, it’s easier for them to connect the work they do with the company’s overall goals, which is one of the drivers of engagement.
Here’s how to make sure your company’s mission is doing its part to build engagement at your organization.
Clarify Your Mission
Over the years, you may have ended up with a watered-down mission that doesn’t say much about what your company does, who’s doing it or what the desired result is. And while missions will change as markets change and companies grow, leaders need to ensure the mission is something that the company actually does.
Look at the “anchors” in your mission. For us, we’re always about talent and we’re always about business outcomes, and we want to help connect the two. That has never changed. Our employees understand that the words around those concepts will evolve as we continue to grow in our space, but our core mission does not. We wouldn’t include any B2C language, for example — we’re about organizations, not their customers. If our clients want to use our products to connect with customers, that’s fine, but that’s not our mission.
Know the Difference Between Mission and Vision
Your mission is what’s at hand right now: It’s what you do and how you do it. Your vision is your future: It’s your aspiration and where you want to go. Our vision is to be the leading provider of software solutions that help organizations connect talent to business outcomes, and our mission helps us get there.
Mission and vision will both inform your culture as well. The language you use in your mission or vision statement can serve as clues to what your culture is like. Is your mission to “quickly deliver business results through technology”? Then chances are your culture is fast-paced. A company whose vision is to serve as a “respected thought leader in talent-acquisition software” probably has a long-term plan to become a major player in the sphere. Consider your words carefully when you assemble your mission and vision statements to ensure you’re saying what you want to say.
Use It as a Road Map
Your mission statement can serve as a kind of compass that helps ensure everyone is on the same page at work. When you talk about your day-to-day operations, look for ways to reemphasize what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. We do that fairly frequently at our end-of-week meetings by going over customer feedback and determining what suggestions fit with our mission and vision.
Asking everyone how they feel their work fits in with the larger mission can help encourage them to think about their role on teams and in the company. What do they need to fulfill the mission? What do they need to achieve the vision? This exercise personalizes the mission and makes it real instead of words posted in the break room. Whatever your mission is, connecting it with employees’ work and asking them to be a part of it will help create alignment and boost engagement.
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