A mission statement is a summary of an organization's goals and values. The quality and content of a company's mission statement can affect every part of a business, including its customers and employees. Employees can benefit from understanding why a mission statement is important in their work and the overall success of the company they work for.
In this article, we explain why a company's mission statement is important and how people can benefit from using a mission statement to guide their work.
Read more: Guide to Vision Statements
Why do companies have mission statements?
Companies have mission statements to unify the efforts of all employees toward a long-term goal. Some departments or teams will develop a more specific mission statement that focuses on their unique function, but company-wide mission statements must be broad enough that every employee can relate to their main ideas. Mission statements communicate a company's values to their community to generate interest in the solutions their company creates.
Nine reasons why a mission statement is important
A mission statement encompasses an entire company or project, so there are several reasons why a mission statement is important. A mission statement is essential throughout all aspects of a company, influencing it in these key ways:
- Creating identity
- Attracting talent
- Guiding culture
- Developing purpose
- Improving performance
- Building community
- Envisioning the future
- Aligning behaviors
- Encouraging critical thinking
Mission statements create the core identity of a company and establish a basis for everyone in the company to make decisions. Mission statements contribute to a company's brand and encourage unity among everyone who supports or works with the company. A company's identity differentiates it from competing organizations, and the mission statement is one of the most defined ways to express that identity to others.
When looking for a job, many people use a company's mission statement to decide if they want to apply. A strong mission statement that people can relate to encourages talented people to get involved with the company. Mission statements allow like-minded people with similar goals to naturally work together on projects that are most important to them.
A company's mission statement provides a guide for the company culture and workplace environment to develop positively. The values, norms and beliefs of a company create a unique cultural environment, and mission statements provide an official method for expressing that culture. A mission statement should clearly reflect these values to guide employee actions and organizational initiatives.
Related: What Is Organizational Culture?
A strong mission statement gives employees purpose and improves engagement in their work. Mission statements help employees see the meaning and purpose of their work by giving them clear reasons their job benefits a larger goal. Mission statements help employees see the positive aspects of their daily activities, boosting morale and creating long-term employee investment in the workplace culture.
Mission statements provide a clear goal for employees and can improve their job performance. They are a great way to motivate employees to work towards a company's long-term plans for growth. A good mission statement creates an environment that encourages everyone to produce high-quality work and hold high standards for themselves. Employees can engage with a company's core values by reading its mission statement and applying those ideas to their work.
Mission statements help companies and employees connect with members of their community and establish a good reputation among customers, clients and business partners. Working for a company that has a great mission statement can help you network with like-minded people who share a similar mission. A mission statement should be appealing to potential customers and community members to build positive associations with their brand.
Envisioning the future
A mission statement provides an ideal vision for the company's future and directs its growth. Mission statements encourage employees to think about how their actions will impact future business success and positive company culture. Because mission statements direct employee actions, they can have a significant impact on people's futures within the company and how the organization itself will grow over time.
Mission statements help everyone on a team align their behaviors toward the same goals. They can use mission statements to evaluate a business structure or make decisions about policies and procedures. Following a mission statement makes sure different departments work together and that every aspect of the workplace contributes to progress. Mission statements keep behaviors consistent with ideal outcomes, regardless of the situation.
Encouraging critical thinking
Mission statements encourage people to think critically about the influence their actions will have on company goals in both the long and short term. Having a clear mission statement helps people consider how the company could grow in different contexts while still upholding their values. A mission statement is important because it provides a concise strategy and philosophy that applies to any situation within a company.
Company mission statement FAQ
Here are answers to some common questions about company mission statements and their purpose:
How long should a mission statement be?
Mission statements can range in length from a sentence fragment to a statement with up to four sentences. A mission statement should be concise and efficient because they have a wide target audience and need to express big ideas without losing someone's attention.
What are the qualities of a strong mission statement?
A strong mission statement should use clear, compelling language that is easy for most people to understand. A good mission statement should be:
How often should a company update its mission statement?
A company should update its mission statement as it evolves over time or significantly changes its focus. Making small changes and refining a mission statement can reflect growth, but completely changing a mission statement multiple times could create confusion and a lack of brand identity or employee commitment.