Vision, Mission and Values Statements: Definitions and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 26, 2021

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.

Companies can define and express their values, aspirations and business practices by writing vision, mission and values statements. Businesses often share these statements with the public and the company's employees to ensure employees practice them. Most companies and organizations can benefit from creating and routinely revising these statements, as they can help motivate internal employees and raise brand awareness among the general public. In this article, we discuss the definitions and benefits of vision, mission and values statements and tips and steps to help you write your own.

Basics of a vision statement

A vision statement is a representation of the company's goals. Businesses and organizations create vision statements to share their aspirations for the company's growth and impact. This can help inspire the professionals working at the company and possibly motivate consumers and investors to support the business.

Vision statements are usually not highly specific, instead focusing on overarching goals. As a result, these statements are often concise and rarely exceed one to two sentences. Here's an example of a vision statement: To be a brand that is recognized for integrity and quality.

Benefits of having a vision statement

Creating a vision statement for your organization or business can help inspire others and define the company's overall goal. Here are some benefits vision statements can offer:

  • Inspiration: Vision statements can give employees a goal to work towards and a clear understanding of the company's purpose.

  • Brand recognition: Having an effective vision statement can allow companies to gain a positive reputation and build familiarity among consumers, which may lead to an increase in business.

  • Respect: Having a vision statement can encourage consumers who align with your company's aspirations to develop respect for your brand.

  • Growth: Because vision statements are often not specific, your company could achieve its initial vision, then find ways to exceed its initial expectations without changing the statement. For example, if a company's mission statement was to improve the lives of customers, it could realize this vision after receiving exceptional feedback about its services, then develop new services that will also improve lives.

How to create a vision statement

If you are considering updating or writing a new vision statement, try following these steps:

  1. Consider the impact you want the company to have on the environment, market and culture

  2. Plan for measurable and attainable aspirations

  3. Think about what you want your company's reputation to be

  4. Write an action describing what your company's overall purpose is

For example, if you want your children's toy company to provide a fun, lighthearted shopping experience for your customers, you might write something like this as an actionable statement:

To foster a fun and carefree shopping experience for kids and their big people.

Tips for writing a vision statement

Here are some things you may want to consider when writing a vision statement:

  • Include your target audience: This can mean contemplating who you would like your company to affect. In the previous example, the target audience is both children and their caregivers.

  • Be general: It can be okay to avoid specifics in your vision statement. This keeps your company's vision flexible and helps distinguish the company's vision statement from its mission statement.

  • Keep it short: Since vision statements are brief, try to use purposeful and concise language.

Read more: Guidelines for Writing a Vision Statement for Company Goals

Basics of a mission statement

A mission statement is similar to a vision statement in that it provides inspiration for professionals and consumers. However, while vision statements express the company's aspirations for the future, mission statements represent the company's plan to achieve its vision.

A mission statement often two to three sentences in length. Because these statements reflect the current actions and ideals of the company, mission statements can be specific to the company's brand and products. Here's an example of a mission statement:

No Vacancy's mission is to create low-cost security programs to make people feel safe and happy in their homes and small businesses. By using state-of-the-art motion detection technology, we offer inconspicuous cameras that allow users maximum safety at minimum cost.

Read more: Company Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement (With Examples)

Benefits of having a mission statement

A mission statement can help ensure that your company works toward its goals. These statements offer many of the same benefits that a company vision can. Here are some benefits of having a mission statement:

  • Clear direction: Having a mission statement can remind a company of its specific priorities. In the previous example, No Vacancy's mission statement may remind company leaders to prioritize cost efficiency and minimalist design aesthetics when creating new products.

  • Specific action: A company's mission statement is specific to the company and often mentions what makes the company special. This can help clarify what the company plans to do to achieve its vision and mission.

  • Customer loyalty: If the public identifies with and respects a company's mission statement, they may be more likely to support the business with repeat purchases and referrals. Sometimes, mission statements can set two similar companies apart, encouraging customers to choose one over the other.

How to create a mission statement

Here are steps to help you brainstorm a mission statement for your company:

  1. Consider what current practices your company can adopt to work toward your vision statement

  2. Start by identifying and introducing your company name

  3. Explain the company's purpose

  4. Add details to explain how or why the company has this purpose

For example, if a company's goal was to provide healthy food for all, its mission statement might be something like this:

Fresh Start's mission is to help make healthy eating accessible by offering organic and healthy groceries at a low price. We're committed to partnerships with local farmers to bolster the local economy, minimize carbon emissions in the transportation of goods to our stores and ensure that you have access to the freshest, most quality foods.

Tips for writing a mission statement

While you draft your mission statement, you may want to consider these tips:

  • Revisit the mission statement often: As your company grows, you may need to update your mission statement.

  • Advertise your mission: Consider using portions of your mission statement in advertisements for your company. Many companies also feature their mission statement on their website. This can help share the statement with the public and build recognition for the company's goals.

  • Be specific: While a mission statement is usually brief, it can still be helpful to keep it specific to the company. This allows the mission statement to express an action or goal in a concise manner.

Read more: Mission Statement: How To Write, Template and Examples

Basics of company values

Companies document their values and beliefs to create a standard of behavior expectations for their employees. Company values can define how a company plans to interact with customers and other professionals. Companies can also share their values with the public to gain respect for their practices and hold themselves accountable for their commitment to ethical business practices.

For example, a sales company that prioritizes customer service and a collaborative workplace atmosphere may have the following values:

  • Client comes first

  • Together, we win

  • Offer value

  • Always seek improvements

Read more: 210 Examples of Company Values That Mean Something

Benefits of having company values

Establishing and maintaining company values can help ensure your business operates ethically. Here are some other benefits of establishing clear company values:

  • Company reputation: When employees embrace a company's values, their behavior can shape the public's perception of the company. For example, if a company promotes treating others with kindness and putting the customer first, consumers are likely to enjoy the company's service and form a positive opinion of the company.

  • Metric for employee behavior: Values statements can set a standard for employee conduct. Since companies often document their values, leaders within a company can use these values to evaluate employee performance.

How to create a values statement

Unlike vision and mission statements, a company can have multiple values statements, each with a different topic or focus. While drafting your vision and mission statements, you likely already considered your company's values. To write out the company's values, try following these steps:

  1. Consider which core beliefs make your vision and mission statement possible

  2. Decide how you want the professionals at your company to treat others and how your company is to interact with consumers

  3. Draft a sentence that clarifies the company's stance on a certain topic or issue

  4. Explain how the company is upholding this value

For example, if a company values creating a diverse and honest work environment, they may craft a values statement like this:

  • Promote transparency

  • Embrace the new

  • Give back to the community

  • Take responsibility

Related: Values for an Organization: Definition, Benefits and Examples

Tips for writing a values statement

When writing a values statement for your company, consider these tips:

  • Share your statement with the public: Sharing your company values with the public can help you show your support for ethical practices and can help you gain the respect of consumers.

  • Train new employees to adopt these values: Be sure your company culture reflects your values by training all new and current employees to understand the company's values.

  • Be specific: Values statements are often more effective when they are sincere. To achieve sincerity in your company's values statement, create values that you can easily implement at the executive level. This will make the values easy for managers to model for the employees they supervise.

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