What is a mission statement?
Most successful companies have some sort of mission statement template which they use so they can focus more on their business. It is, as can be aptly termed, the “why” of any business strategy. The company mission statement template can define the company’s objectives in three ways:
- What your company does for the customers
- What your company does for the employees
- What your company does for the owners
These are the basics. However, some companies have included a 4th and 5th dimension namely:
- What your company does for the community
- What your company does for the world.
Writing sample mission statements for the first time or revising an existing one is a great way to establish the company’s goals, culture, ethics, and its standards for making decisions. Sometimes, it becomes inevitable that certain daily routines can become obstacles in some business operations.
This can be an opportunity to take a quick review of your mission statement format. At this time, you can review the statement, keeping in mind what’s most important about the statement: that your company has an important purpose.
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The importance of a mission statement
Never take for granted the importance of a mission statement template. Don’t treat it like some plaque for decorative purposes. In reality, this must be a crucial part of any business strategy. Remember that the mission statement outline is the “why” of any business plan, meaning that why you do it is more significant than what you do.
Every important decision made is always based on the mission statement. Here are the most important reasons why every business must have one:
- It gives direction to your company
Having a defined goal gives the company a target to focus on. It becomes a reminder to the employees the reason WHY they are there and also serves as a kind of guidepost to keep all the members of the team clear on what their purpose is, which is, of course, their mission.
- It helps with the decision-making process
The mission statement format concerns itself with an objective, thus making it a guide for thinking and deciding for the company. Since it contains an outline of the purpose of the company, it automatically becomes a guideline in the decision-making process.
The workforce can always fall back on the sample mission statement and compare the decisions they’ve made to the direction and mission of the company. This also makes the mission statement a vital tool in determining whether they made a right or wrong decision.
- It helps everyone focus on the future of the company
The vision here refers to where the company will be after a certain amount of time and it usually leans towards a preferred future. Do not confuse vision with the company’s mission.
Although they differ, they’re related because one is a consequence of the other. The mission focuses on the company’s vision, telling you that what you’re doing now gets you to where you want your company to be in the future.
- It helps align the team
It’s always recommended that when new employees join the team, they receive a proper induction and they are made aware of the direction and the goals of the company. The company mission statement template is the foundation of company’s goals. It’s not just for the team but the whole organization.
To function properly, all the members of the team should be in-sync in performing every task. The statement contains an outline of what the company does and why. Knowing this results in more efficiency and effectiveness within the whole organization.
- It welcomes and encompasses healthy change
Change is an inevitable part of life and in business, we consider change healthy and an integral part of its evolution. In reality, change is the key to the success of the business. New changes can often be a challenge in a business environment but one feature that should not change is the company’s mission.
Holding fast to your mission despite changes makes your team understand more the value of the mission and will stand by the company. They see that you need change to point the business in the right direction and consequently, accomplish their business goals.
Always remember the uniqueness of your company’s mission statement. After it has been developed, you need to share this with your employees and your customers. You can share this through your company’s website, in any important documents, on your social media profiles, and in all of your company’s marketing materials.
Since the mission is your company’s main focus, all the members of your team and your customers must have an understanding of your company, what you do and why, and why the mission is important for the growth of the company not just for today but also for the future.
Tips for creating a strong mission statement
How do you make a strong mission statement template? Those tasked to write this may find it intimidating because of what a mission statement represents. Many studies have shown how to come up with a strong statement and the conclusion all boils down to four steps.
- Come up with a definition of what your company does
What good can you do for your customers? Your mission statement should start with an answer to this question. The story which defines your market carries the message which can already make this clear to your target customers. Never undervalue your company because your intentions are always good.
You don’t have to stop global warming or cure cancer to prove that you’re doing something right. What’s there in your reach and what you whole-heartedly mean to offer forms an important aspect of the mission statement.
If you believe that what your business has to offer can benefit the world, don’t hesitate to incorporate that too in your mission statement. But if you have to make such claims, they should be both meaningful and discernable from other businesses. Don’t say things which aren’t important or true.
- Come up with a definition of what your company does for the employees
Always take into consideration the value of your employees. The culture of the company matters so does motivating and rewarding your employees. A good mission statement must include what the company can offer to its employees. You need to clearly define and write in the mission statement of why the company is good for the employees.
While it’s obvious that qualities like diversity, fairness, respect for creativity and ideas, tools, training, empowerment, and more, really matter and that companies in existence say that they give priorities to such things, there’s still that need for an actual document to make the goals more specific and concrete.
By mentioning that, you give importance to items like fair compensation, training, respect for diversity, and a healthy work environment can be a great idea even if this part takes out the uniqueness of the mission statement. Still, it serves as an important reminder to everyone in the company of what’s expected.
You should also mention special views regarding your relationships with employees. The same goes with remote employees who work in virtual workplaces although such inclusions are quite rare. Still, you can include them, especially if such situations apply to the company.
- Include what your company does for the owners
While you were in business school, you learned that one mission of the management is to improve the stock’s value. Shares of stocks mean ownership. Logically, this means that business exists primarily to improve the financial status of the owners. True as this may be, in reality, only a small group of businesses are all about “return on investment” and “share value.”
Many of the most effective mission statements include a mission that’s much broader and which implies or contains the mission of ownership. The best mission statements should serve many functions, define their objectives, and last for long periods of time.
When writing a mission statement template, it’s best to start by planning to develop the document for the company’s use. Then, for general publications, use a customer-focused subset. This is a common practice.
Many businesses have divided mission statements where they set sections aside and categorize these by goal or type. You can use formatting like bullet points for emphasis. One reason why people confuse the mission with vision is that businesses often use both together, while some redefine these terms to suit their context.
Despite its formal definition, what the company does for its clients is usually referred to as vision. Always keep in mind that form follows function when it comes to mission statements and in all businesses.
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