Essential Components of a Vision Statement (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published December 7, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published December 7, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A vision statement demonstrates an organization's aspirations for the future. To motivate not just employees but also the public, you need to craft a clear, inspirational vision using several elements. These elements will help you convey the impact your organization aims to make, setting a direction to which you and your colleagues will strive toward over the next decade or so. In this article, we provide the essential components to include when creating a vision statement for an organization and provide examples of effective vision statements.

Related: Guide to Vision Statements

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement is a declaration of an organization's purpose, goals and desired outcomes. This statement helps stakeholders envision what the organization will look like in the future, providing them a direction to move toward when planning and implementing business strategies. When employees have a clear, meaningful and realistic vision to work toward, it can help motivate them to achieve those goals. You can reference your vision statement externally in advertising and on public-facing websites or internally in company documents and as a measure for performance reviews.

Related: Vision Statements: What They Are and How to Create Yours (With Examples)

A vision statement vs. a mission statement

The main difference between a vision and a mission statement is that a vision statement looks toward the future while a mission statement describes the present. A vision statement explains what an organization hopes to accomplish, aimed at inspiring its employees. A mission statement outlines the purpose of the organization's day-to-day operations to both internal and external stakeholders. While a vision statement defines goals, the mission statement can help explain how the organization will achieve those goals.

Related: Company Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement (With Examples)

Components of a vision statement

Include the following elements when creating your organization's vision statement to ensure that you promote a clear, concise message that inspires your employees and other stakeholders:

Oriented toward the future

A necessary component of a vision statement is that it is forward-thinking or represents your long-term goal. Think about five to 10 years from now and determine what impact you hope to make by that time. You want to provide an image for your employees to strive toward or a vision that would attract others to follow and support your organization.

Demonstrates ambition

Your statement should envision your organization reaching its full potential. A mission statement describes the day-to-day actions of your organization, so a vision statement is where you outline your ideal future. A vision that is too easily attainable likely will not inspire others because they may think your organization is not challenging itself to do its best. However, it should still be achievable so that employees feel like their work makes realistic contributions toward that outcome. If it is not possible, employees can feel demotivated because they do not see any progress made.

Defines the organization's direction

Your vision statement should provide a specific outcome your organization hopes to obtain. This sense of direction allows management to create goals that will help your organization reach that outcome. As a result, employees gain a clear understanding of what they are working toward and will feel driven by that purpose.

Reflects organizational values

Every organization has its own set of values that dictate how and why they conduct business. Incorporate those values to ensure your vision statement aligns with your stakeholders and their interests. When they feel that the vision connects with their values, they feel more motivated to follow through on achieving it.

Related: 210 Examples of Company Values That Mean Something

Inspires others

Describe a vision that excites your internal and external stakeholders. It should inspire emotion and connection with your employees to ensure they are committed to contributing toward that goal through their day-to-day work. Similarly, you want to make an emotional connection with customers or clients to ensure that they want to engage with and support your organization.

Uses concise formatting

Your vision statement should be about one sentence long, two at most. Because people both inside and outside of your organization can read this statement, you need to avoid using any jargon specific to your business or industry to ensure anyone can understand it. Use passionate and inspiring language to compel others to support your vision.

Shows you are unique

When creating a vision statement, make sure that it aligns with your organization and industry. If stakeholders do not see that alignment, they may get confused about why you chose that vision. Further, you need to highlight the particular value or impact that your organization provides so stakeholders can learn why they should follow you over anyone else.

How to write a vision statement

You can use the following steps to create an effective vision statement that incorporates the necessary components:

Related: How to Create an Impactful Business Vision Statement

Identify your organization's goals

When crafting a vision statement, begin by imagining a future where your organization is dominating its industry or attaining exceptional success. You can ask yourself the question, "What impact do I want my organization to make on the world/my community?" to get started. Then think about how you can realize that future by identifying the goals that your organization must work toward. Remember to think about the strategies you may need to implement, which may not be included in your vision statement but can help you ensure your goals are achievable.

Related: Complete Guide to Setting Strategic Goals (With Examples)

Use your purpose and values

Your vision statement needs to align with the purpose and values of your organization to ensure you create a realistic and inspiring vision. Think about why your organization exists (its purpose), which can help you determine goals that will accomplish the impact you hope to make on your industry or community. Then identify the values of your organization, thinking about what matters most to you or how you want to conduct business. These values can demonstrate what sets your organization apart from others, making your vision statement more compelling.

Seek feedback

Part of the purpose of a vision statement is to inspire employees, so you should gather feedback on any goals you want to achieve. You want to ensure that your colleagues and employees feel motivated to work toward those objectives. They can also potentially help you come up with even more goals, so gain their input on what they believe the future will look like for your organization or where they want to see it go.

Research others' statements

If you need inspiration, you can look at examples of vision statements within and outside of your industry. Think about which ones excite you most, and you can follow that style when drafting your own. It is also a good idea to review your competitors' vision statements to ensure that you create one that differentiates your organization within your industry.

Describe a specific vision

Your final vision statement should provide a clear idea of what your organization hopes to achieve or how you hope to make an impact. One way to start your declaration is the use of a "to be" statement, which describes your desired goal or objective. A nonprofit organization that provides food to people might create a vision statement like "To end hunger in our community and increase access to healthy, organic food for all families."

Examples

A vision statement should reflect an organization's specific goals, purpose and values, along with its industry. Here are some examples to inspire you:

  • Physician's office: Improve the lives of our patients and their families by providing the same level of care we would want our own to receive.

  • Financial services firm: Empower individuals to achieve financial security and confidence through our dedicated advisory services and expertise.

  • Real estate company: To provide excellent, tailored service while matching individuals with their dream home as the premier realty agency in the Chicagoland area.

  • Educational institution: Provide transformative, value-driven learning experiences to create the leaders of tomorrow.

  • Beverage company: Create great-tasting, organic smoothie products that support the well-being of all people.

  • Animal shelter: Create a better life for all animals by building a community that values their health, happiness and the joy they bring into our lives.

  • Advertising agency: Help clients achieve national recognition through lasting, memorable ad campaigns that drive sales and growth.

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