Does your company have a mission statement? Is it a central part of the life of your business, embraced at all levels? Is it purposeful and useful in the “real life” of your company? Does it motivate employees to perform and customers to buy? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to make other’s lives better and you’re leaving money on the table.
Mission statements give you an advantage over the competition with customers. Customers want to be purposeful, just like employees. A well-crafted mission statement can act as a marketing megaphone to customers and the community.
A large 2016 study conducted by several Ivy League professors found that companies with “high purpose-clarity” had better stock performance than those without. This makes perfect sense: Employees respond well to management that knows where the business is going and how to get them collectively to “there.”
The argument can be made that doing mission statements the right way have been an important factor in the phenomenal success of both TOMS and Whole Foods. The stakeholders in Whole Foods were so passionate about the company’s mission, that when a flood destroyed the fledgling firm’s only store in 1981, employees, customers, creditors, and suppliers rallied to rebuild. Whole Foods powerful mission probably kept it alive when nothing else could have.
Marriott has a vision statement, rather than a mission statement: “To be the world’s favorite travel company.” But the vision statement rallies employees to a cause, just as a mission statement does. How does this look in everyday practice? One instance is that housekeepers keep track of guests’ specific preferences, entering them into a database. No matter where in the world where a Marriott guest stays, he or she is provided with a unique and customized experience. And increased customer satisfaction translates to higher revenue.
Finally, remember the 1994 business classic “Built to Last.” It’s authors concluded that purposeful companies earned six times more than those only focused on profit.
So, view a clear, well-crafted mission statement as a true asset to your company. Write (or rewrite) your mission statement to engage, direct, and inspire both employees and customers. The effort will be well worth it.