What draws top talent to a certain company? Employees are increasingly looking to work at companies with clearly defined purpose and unified company culture. Research shows that younger employees and older employees alike value a wider sense of connection and purpose that underpins a positive employee experience and company culture — so much so that they may value these things more than salary!
Companies looking to remain competitive in the future of work have one powerful tool up their sleeve: the mission statement. There’s no denying it — people feel drawn to work at companies with an inspiring mission and clear purpose. And there’s no better way to showcase that purpose than with a mission statement! However, it’s essential for your mission statement to be meaningful and authentic in order to effectively act as the foundation for your company culture.
So, how do you craft the perfect mission statement, or update your existing one? It can be tricky to build a compelling mission statement that clearly lays out your company’s purpose and goals, and also inspires and motivates your employees.
Here are some of our tips for writing an effective mission statement for your company!
What Is a Mission Statement?
First thing’s first — let’s clarify what a mission statement is. A mission statement is an action-based statement that clearly spells out your company or organization’s purpose and how you serve your customers. Many mission statements will include a brief description of your company, its function, and its purpose. Your mission statement should define the reason your organization exists, and touch upon its outlook for external audiences.
A mission statement can be a great tool in your toolbelt, especially in these uncertain pandemic times when teams are working from home, working in different locations, and working different hours.
Once you write a mission statement, it’s important to look back on it and revise, if necessary. Companies grow and change, and so will your goals and objectives. A “one and done” mission statement may not cut it: as your business evolves overtime, you’ll want to revisit your mission statement to make sure it still reflects and informs your company’s culture — and vice versa!
Why a Mission Statement Is So Important (Especially For Remote Companies!)
There’s a chance you already have an old mission statement lying somewhere in your business documents: most traditional business plans often include crafting a mission statement. Oftentimes, business owners forget about their mission statements, especially when the mission statement wasn’t well thought out to begin with. And without a well-defined and authentic mission statement to act as the foundation for their business, many business owners lose sight of their “why” over time.
So, don’t underestimate the importance of a mission statement! A powerful and concise mission statement can help drive company culture and create a sense of purpose and mission for your team. It can also act as a reference point for motivating teams and helping them work towards the company’s goals. That’s especially important for companies with remote teams located around the country, or around the globe.
The companies that attract top talent and have tight-knit teams have many tools in their tool belts, but an inspiring and purpose-driven mission statement can be one of the most powerful ways to drive your company into the future.
What Makes a Good Mission Statement?
Writing your company’s mission statement may seem like a daunting task. It can be difficult to simplify and distill your company’s purpose into a sentence or two. A truly great mission statement will define your business so well, it almost sounds like an overarching strategy. Here’s what makes a great mission statement:
- Simple, clear, and concise language
- Describing a compelling purpose
- Laying out a measurable goal
- Keeping your statement updated to remain relevant
How to Build a Mission Statement
When you are writing your company’s mission statement, make sure you’re answering these crucial questions:
- What does your company do?
- How does your company do it?
- Who does your company provide services for?
- What value does your company bring for its employees?
Many large companies will write big, convoluted, and unclear mission statements filled with exclusive industry-specific jargon — as such, the intended message becomes watered down. Not to mention, vague statements provide little information to your customers and your audience, oftentimes leaving them confused and unintrigued.
When writing your mission statement, here are some things to avoid:
- Corporate buzzwords (for example, “synergy,” “guru,” or “disruptor”)
- Focusing on the words instead of driving home the meaning of those words
- Avoiding team involvement
- Lack of feedback on your mission statement
As a business owner, it is important that your mission statement be concise, specific, and direct. Laying out your purpose and your value can be a powerful way for your customers to understand your business. Furthermore, the more clear and simple your mission statement is, the longer it will stand the test of time.
Your mission statement doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s mission statement. In fact, if you’ve done the job right, it shouldn’t.
10 Examples of Inspiring and Motivating Mission Statements
It’s one thing to read about mission statements, but it’s another to see them in action. Here are some examples of truly inspiring and visionary mission statements from successful companies around the world.
- “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” -LinkedIn
- “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*If you have a body, you are an athlete).” -Nike
- “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.” -Sweetgreen
- “To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.” -Southwest Airlines
- “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” -Tesla
- “To end violence and exploitation facing our world’s most isolated and vulnerable communities.” -Invisible Children
- “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.” -Warby Parker
- “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” -Twitter
- “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” -Amazon
- “Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.” -Asana
Building Your Own Mission Statement
Understanding how to write your own well-crafted mission statement can help change the environment in your company and work as a way to unite your employees behind your common purpose and goals. Whether you plan to update your existing statement or start from scratch, be sure to involve key stakeholders and keep it clean and concise.