Many of us have worked for a business, who have spruiked a bold vision and mission statement, a fancy declaration of grand ideas and promises but taking no action to see these promises fulfilled.
No wonder people’s opinions of a vision and mission statement are torn. On one hand, they see them as empty words, with the only intention of winning favour with customers or clients. On the other hand, as an employee we want to feel part of something. Knowing that the time, blood, sweat and tears we invest, is for more than just making someone else a lot of money.
There are several key elements that need to be considered for a vision and mission to be successful:
Create a realistic vision
The statement needs to be a clear expression of what the business is trying to accomplish, a common cause or purpose to work towards that people can connect with. Employees need to be inspired to engage with the vision, through encouraging their involvement and creating an understanding of why it is of value or benefit to them personally and to the business.
Have a strategy to achieve the vision
The business needs to be committed to living and breathing the vision. This includes having a clear strategy. Breaking down that vision into bite sized chunks or tangible steps that can be understood and carried out in the real world. There should be structures in place to empower the staff which includes resources, relevant policies and procedures that help and not hinder that vision.
Develop the team to connect to the vision
For a vision to be realised, everything within the business needs to be in support. Starting with clear communication throughout the organisation, with every department, at every level on board and clear on the part they play.
For people to be empowered to fulfill a vision, they must have the relevant skills and knowledge. This means training and coaching to develop the team, allowing them to confidently put into practice what is asked of them.
Lastly, the leaders in the businesses must display their commitment to the vision in everything they say and do. Creating a climate that is supportive, motivated and positive.
A vision and mission statement can go either way, an expensive PR exercise that people roll their eyes at or, a morale lifting cause that give the team something to work towards. The business must be genuinely committed to making that vision a reality, turning words into action.