Growth & Customers

Mission statement, vision and values: The integrity of every business

If you were to ask one of your employees what your company values were, would they know what you meant?

What if a potential customer called up and asked you about your organisation’s mission statement? Or your vision? Could you explain them there and then?

It may be that your business doesn’t have any specific vision or values, or they could be historical, written down and forgotten about years ago. Either way, you could be missing out on a fantastic way to stimulate your team, forge better business relationships and work towards a shared goal.

Are your employees in the know?

A recent survey, carried out by employee engagement company Tinypulse, revealed that just 42% of employees know their company’s vision, mission and values. The survey of 40,000 responses from 300 global organisations also revealed that many companies didn’t have a mission statement or set of values at all.

So what? Does writing down a few sentences about your company’s goal make such a difference to your profit? If you’re looking to impress your clients and build a strong and meaningful culture within your business, then yes.

Defining a mission statement, a vision and values

  • A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, which should guide its actions, overall goals and decision-making.
  • A company vision details the company’s ambitions: if the mission statement is the “how”, then the vision is the “what”.
  • Company values are a set of behaviours that all employees should embrace to further the ambitions of the business, and shareholders.

Why are they important?

Your mission statement, vision and values are an important way of defining what your company goals are, what the business stands for and what makes it special. Even if your business plans change as you react to the market, your values are likely to remain the same.

Business values are a powerful way of showing customers your integrity. If your website or offices have your mission statement, values and vision on show and your clients can see that your actions mirror these, it is likely to show you in a positive light.

What’s more, communicating your goals in a set of values can help to mesh your team and focus their motivation towards clear targets. It’s essential that you and your senior management genuinely believe in your mission statement and values and are seen to be living by them every day.

Get the team on board

Communicate your values to all employees and highlight the significance of them. Explain the importance of your vision, mission statement and values to any new starters in particular. Make sure they are visible around your workplace: on posters, mouse mats or desktop screens, for instance. The goal is to truly embed your mission statement and values into your everyday business activities.

If you don’t have your own values yet, then discussing possibilities with your workforce in a workshop and encouraging their input is a great way of getting them on board.

Once your values are established, you could think about offering recognition and rewards to those to who are going above and beyond to work towards them.

Defining your values

What should your values be? That’s really down to you and your specific business.
For some businesses, innovation might be one of their core values, for others, it could be the ability to react quickly to change or a focus on good customer service.

As well as asking your employees about their suggestions for your values, some of your trusted customers might be able to help, too. You could ask them why they use you or what core values they see in action.