How often do you go into the hardware store or the gym without a purpose? Not very often, right? Chances are you have a reason for being there, a mission, if you will. Missions that consist of buying a new tool or lifting a few weights may be small in the scheme of things or part of a larger goal like improving your health. Either way they motivate and give purpose to our daily lives.
As difficult as it is to imagine wandering aimlessly through life when we’re not at work, it is equally difficult to imagine living without a mission when we are at work. Perhaps that mission is a small-scale mission, such as filling today’s orders or earning a paycheck, but imagine the sense of purpose we all would have if our missions encompassed a grander goal.
Have you ever heard the story about the man who walks past a construction site where three workers are busy at their jobs? The man stops by the first worker and asks him what he is doing. The worker replies, “I am laying bricks.” The second worker, when asked, says, “I am building a wall.” And the third worker’s response? He pauses reflectively with a happy look on his face and proudly says, “I am building a cathedral.”
When we feel we are an integral and valued part of an inspiring company mission, we go to work motivated by more than simply earning a paycheck or filling today’s orders. We become part of something larger than ourselves. We are able to minimize the frustrations we may feel today when we consider them in light of tomorrow’s promise. And that promise of tomorrow is the vision it takes to write a company mission statement.
Vision is the shared perception of the organization’s purpose and future. It is a clear picture of what the organization will achieve and a supporting philosophy.
Writing a company mission or vision statement is not an easy task. It requires thought, attention, and courage. Companies tell us how they wrestle with the process. They know the statement needs to have the sincerity show through, but they fear it could be taken out of context and sound sappy or corny.
Is writing a mission statement worth all that trouble? Absolutely. Here are the benefits.
BENEFITS OF WRITING A MISSION STATEMENT:
- Employees and management alike feel they are an integral and valuable part of something larger than themselves, which gives new meaning to their work and fosters creativity.
- Employees and management see and support the company’s big-picture vision as well as its details.
- A mission statement’s big-picture focus motivates everyone to care about, maintain, and even surpass the company’s standards of quality.
- When jobs and projects shift focus, require new skills, or change priorities in keeping with the mission statement, everyone is motivated to do their part.
- A mission statement provides the foundation for communicating to your customers what your company stands for and convincing them that you can provide what they need
- If you’re aiming for ISO 9000 certification, you’ll need to write a company quality policy, which is essentially the same thing as a mission statement.
What is a company quality policy for ISO registration? It is a definitive statement of what should be done in the business, while a mission is a statement of purpose. Sound like the same thing?
We think so, and we believe an organization can only handle one such statement. They should be one and the same. Besides, if you think about it, a company should be completely unified in its mission with respect to all its beliefs, including its quality standards.
Whether or not you are considering ISO registration, a clear and sincere company mission statement will help get everyone on board with any growth process. On a day-to-day basis, it is a guide to and constant reminder of your company’s values, purpose, and objectives.
By AEM Consulting Group, Inc.