Just as consumers are expecting brands and businesses to embrace the tenets of Purpose in their statements and actions, so too are employees. New research from global research and advisory firm McLean & Company highlights the impact that failing to see their employers’ vision and mission statements being carried out can have on their engagement.
The firm’s new Vision and Mission Guide shows that those employees who identify with their organization’s statements are 3.71 times more likely to be engaged than those who do not. But the survey data also shows that approximately one in three respondents do not believe their company’s stated vision and mission are reflected in the day-to-day activities of the organization, creating a significant gap between the potential for engaged employees and the reality of the level of engagement. The guide intends to help organizational and HR leaders bridge that gap.
The new study examines how companies are missing opportunities to engage employees with out-of-date or unrealistic statements, as more than one-fifth of respondents indicate they do not identify with their employer’s vision and mission—which is particularly concerning because these statements drive success by guiding decision making, increasing morale, and providing purpose and direction.
“Refreshing the vision and mission statements requires careful thought and intention,” said Kelly Berte, director of HR Research & Advisory Services at McLean & Company, in a news release. “Strong vision and mission statements stand the test of time but are not evergreen. Reviewing organizational data and observing the impact of broader organizational change will offer indicators for when it is time to recalibrate one or both statements to better align with the future of the organization.”
Examples of effective mission and value statements:
In the guide, organizational and HR leaders can find a four-step process to guide them through drafting a vision and mission statement that will resonate with all of their stakeholders, which includes their employees:
1. Collect organizational information relevant for creating the vision and mission statements
In this step, leaders consider the organization’s current state of how the vision and mission are perceived. This consideration can include information from engagement survey data, employee handbook, reviews on recruitment websites, and articles referencing the organization.
2. Solicit contributor input on the direction and purpose of the organization
The second step is to ask contributors for thoughts on the direction and purpose of the organization. This input is integral to drafting vision and mission statements that do not contradict the lived experience of stakeholders.
3. Determine if aspects of the current statements will be kept or if the process will start from scratch
Step three requires assessing the statements to comprehend where they need to be improved. Leaders may consider questions like: “Are the statements impactful to stakeholders?” “Do they contain relevant content?” and “Are they structurally sound?”
4. Hold a meeting with facilitators and participants dedicated to writing the statements
The fourth and final step requires organizational and HR leaders to craft each statement to ensure its positive impact and dedicate time to focus on the vision and the mission statements separately.
The firm advises that strong vision and mission statements focus company-wide decision making on the achievement of a unified goal, which allows stakeholders to direct efforts toward strategic priorities. It also recommends that HR leaders use vision and mission statements to inform HR functions and processes, such as performance management, talent acquisition, and talent management.