How to build a mission and vision statement for your business

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Before you can rally your workforce behind your organization’s purpose, you have to create it. And that can be more difficult than you think. 

 

Sure, you know what products or services you’re offering, but what is at the heart of what you do? What problems does your organization solve and what sets it apart? 

 

Here is a guideline on how to define your organization’s mission and vision, and create simple statements that employees can rally around.

 

The purpose of a mission statement
A mission statement describes the present. The who, what, and why of your business. In short, it describes why the business exists to internal and external audiences (i.e. employees and customers).

 

How to write a mission statement

Consider addressing three key elements within your mission statement: what your company does, how it’s done, and why. And, try to address what sets you apart.  

 

Examples:
Instagram: to capture and share the world’s moments

Tesla: to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

 

How does a vision statement differ?
This statement is future-focused. It helps employees and other stakeholders understand the meaning and purpose of your business. It outlines the desired long-term goals and resulting effects of your organization’s efforts. It’s essentially what you want your business to be and to achieve.

How to write a vision statement
Although these statements should be only a sentence or two, they can be difficult to write. To get started, think about your organization’s long-term goals — this will be the foundation of your vision statement. 

 

Next, think about how you’ll interact with employees and customers and the impact you want to have on them. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Some of the best vision statements are a little bit daring.

Examples:
Microsoft (when it was founded): A computer on every desk in every home.
Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Why do mission and vision statements matter?
Mission statements are a great navigational tool for the organization. By identifying the purpose behind the work being done, you can align company goals and desired employee behaviors. 

 

Similarly, employees who identify with their organization’s vision are more engaged, and as a result, are more productive. They become brand ambassadors helping to move the organization closer to its goals.

 

So if you haven’t already done so, take some time to draft your mission and vision statements, or use some downtown to reflect on the ones you currently have to determine if they still reflect your business and where it’s headed.

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