What Makes A Worthwhile Mission Statement
A mission statement must be in clear, simple, and understandable terms, while being visible for everyone, including customers to see.
Every person looks for value in life, and studies show that more are looking for it at work. What they do and accomplish at work is critical to their feelings of self-worth. Each person should know what it is that he or she values about work. Maybe they value the customer service, level of productivity, or quality standards above all else. Regardless of what it may be, every organization should incorporate a core, shared value into its’ mission statement to establish their primary purpose/goal. A mission statement provides employees with direction toward organizational goals and values. A mission statement must be in clear, simple, and understandable terms, while being visible for everyone, including customers to see.
An organizational mission statement should reflect the deep-shared vision and values of everyone within that organization. Ideally, employees should create the mission statement themselves. There is greater power in employee involvement and employees are more likely to fulfill those values when they are their own. The mission statement creates great unity and tremendous commitment as it creates a frame of reference in people’s hearts and minds.
“The companies that seemed the most focused – those with the most quantified statements of mission, with the most precise financial targets – had done less well than those with broader, less precise, more qualitative statements of corporate purpose. (The companies without values fared less well, too.)” Source: In Search of Excellence, Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. (with Allan Kennedy in analysis of “superordinate goals), pp. 280-281.
Perhaps the biggest, most binding mission statement of the United States is the constitution itself. Signed more than 240 years ago, the constitution is still the foundation that our country rests upon.