Walk the talk! No one likes hypocrites, including companies that proudly state what they stand for, yet don’t seem to demonstrate that in their behaviors or workplace culture. It’s even more difficult if you happen to work at a place where this mission-culture dissonance exists. This can hurt morale, customer service and the overall company. Brands can become diluted, if not damaged, by this inconsistency.
To align your mission and culture, do the following:
Make sure your mission is rooted in the leaders’ (and ideally, staff members’) values
Great company missions are felt and believed by their employees, almost like extensions of their own beliefs. Consider conducting a few surveys to pinpoint staff values and to test various mission statements to ensure your mission is internally relevant.
Clearly share your mission
Too often, companies unintentionally bury their mission statements in their business, marketing and/or PR plans. Make it front and center in the workplace via internal communications vehicles, such as the Intranet, screen savers, memos, email signatures, framed and posted signage, and staff meetings.
Ensure employees understand the mission
Don’t assume everyone knows the mission. Talk about it at the right times, check in with people and keep it a “living thing.” Share with staff how the company’s current actions and policies reflect its mission when appropriate. Consider developing, sharing and discussing messaging about why the mission exists in the first place, how it was arrived at, why it’s important, and examples of how it might translate in how employees engage with each other and with external constituents.
Help foster a culture that reflects your mission
- Demonstrate your mission / values and lead by example. If part of your mission is to deliver the highest-touch service in your industry, have management provide highly personal care and serviceto the staff. Compassion, excellence, great service and attention to detail often start at the top. Management can’t expect of others what it doesn’t do, provide or demonstrate. Consistency is key.
- Devote resources to encourage and support your desired culture. This could mean pay, benefits, vacation and family-leave time, retreats, free food and beverage, bonuses and other rewards. It could also mean management investing more time and energy into working with staff on their personal goals and professional development.
Regularly evaluate your culture and make changes
Identify and commit to what you’d like your culture to look like to embody your mission. Have this address employees’:
- Satisfaction, loyalty to and support for each other;
- Beliefs about how they’re heard, praised and valued;
- Attitudes about and devotion to customers and clients;
- Belief in the company mission; and
- Desire for the culture they want most for the company.
Bottom line: By investing in aligning your mission and company culture, you’ll help to build a happier workplace, better overall outcomes and a stronger brand.