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Is Your Mission Statement Mundane or Inspiring?

Make employee engagement and motivation your strategy

If you’re poor at employee engagement and motivation, your organization is going to suffer. Period.

Our advice is to begin the engagement process early. Start with your mission statement. In this article, you’ll learn how employee disengagement could affect you, and how to compose an engaging mission statement to motivate your employees to reach their true potential.

15% of your workforce are considering leaving today

6 out of 10 of your millennial employees will consider quitting because they don’t feel engaged (Gallup). That’s a frightening statistic about the mindset of the millennial generation workforce. Especially when you consider that:

  • 38% of America’s workforce are millennials
  • By 2025, millennials are likely to constitute 75% of America’s workforce
  • Only 29% of millennials feel engaged at work

In the Gallup poll, half of all millennials said they didn’t expect to be with their current company 12 months later.

Look at your organization. Extrapolate those numbers from the Gallup poll, and 15% of your workforce are either actively seeking a new opportunity or open to a move should one come along.

Think of all that younger talent walking out the door. Consider the time, money, and effort that will be needed to replace them. Then rinse and repeat, on a growing scale.

Do nothing, and by 2025 30% of your staff turnover will explode

If you don’t strategize to engage and motivate your employees, with millennials as three quarters of your workforce by 2025, your staff turnover rate could be 30% within just a few years.

Your sales will suffer. Your revenues will suffer. Your bottom line will suffer. Your shareholders will vote with their feet. Welcome to organizational apocalypse.

The mission statement – employee engagement and motivation to the power of ten

When it comes to employee engagement and motivation, the mission statement could be the most powerful tool you have. Your mission statement communicates your corporate culture. It embeds everything that your organization and your people stand for. It encourages focus on values and beliefs, and the goals and ambitions driven by them.

Look at your mission statement through the eyes of your employees. Is it mundane, or inspiring? Does it shout from the rooftops, or whisper from the wings? What should it be communicating?

How do you write a great mission statement?

A great mission statement must speak to your people. It will be the foundation of everything you and your people do. Here are six essential elements of a motivational mission statement.

1.     Keep it short

Your mission statement shouldn’t be a novel. One or two sentences should be enough to achieve its aim. You want people to remember it, embrace it, and live it. Make it clear and concise. To the point, and powerful.

2.     Make it about your business

Make sure your mission statement is about your business. It should tell people what you do, as well as what you aspire to be.

3.     Make it geographical

Let your people know where you plan to be, not only what you aspire to be. The best in your state? In the United States? A global force?

4.     Keep it real

Like all goals and ambitions, your mission statement must be achievable. While challenging the status quo, it should reflect your organization and its potential.

5.     Make it a vision of the future, not simply a descriptive of the present

A mission statement is about where you want to be. If it sounds like no more than a self-description, and why you are great now , it won’t inspire your people to greatness in the future.

6.     Make it purposeful

Create a common purpose. One that resonates with your employees, and that’s founded on your organization’s values and beliefs.

Five great mission statements

Some organizations have nailed their mission statements. Some haven’t.

Walt Disney’s mission used to read:

“Make people happy.”

Perfect. Short. To the point. Grabs the attention of employees, customers, and shareholders. It provides ambition and purpose.

Unfortunately, in 2013, Disney rewrote its mission statement:

“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”

Oh dear!

Consider the following five examples of mission statement. Could they have done a better job?  I think you’ll agree, probably not:

  • “Belong anywhere” Airbnb
  • “Help people discover things they love and inspire them to go do those things in real life” Pinterest
  • “To be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance” Chevron
  • “To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.” Coca-Cola
  • “Our mission statement is simple, yet the foundation of everything we do here at Virgin Atlantic Airways… to embrace the human spirit and let it fly.” Virgin Atlantic Airways

Give life to your mission statement

There’s only one thing that tells your employees more about your organization than your mission statement, and that’s the way that your leaders act. They should live and breathe the vision, be the embodiment of your organization’s value, and be the example that others will follow. Your leaders communicate the true meaning of your mission statement, and then continually reinforce it, and it could become your most powerful employee engagement and motivation tool.

Here’s an exercise for you. Ask your managers and leaders to rewrite your organization’s mission statement, individually. Then compare the results. You’ll have much to discuss at your next business strategy session.

For further insight of employee engagement and motivation strategies and techniques, contact Forward Focus today.

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