Connect Employees with Your Vision and Mission

“Entrepreneurs come into their business with a vision and mission,” said Bob DeKoning. “The trick is to communicate it with the world.”

At the May MAP Alliance forum, DeKoning, an independent consultant and board member with AutoAP and Kimera Systems, explained the difference between vision and mission and why a company needs both. “A vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what the organization wants to become,” said DeKoning. “A mission statement focuses on today and what the organization needs to do to achieve that vision.”

A well-defined mission statement can motivate a team to advance toward a common goal and promote growth. Employees aligned around that mission are like a purposeful rowing crew, DeKoning said, and “If you aren’t all on the same page, you end up going in circles.” Mission and vision statements can keep employees engaged and improve satisfaction and productivity, instilling a sense of purpose and resulting in less turnover.

To develop your company’s mission and vision statements, DeKoning offered these tips:

Mission statements:

  • Keep it short. Anything over three sentences won’t be remembered.
  • Address the present while leading to the future.
  • Reveal what the company does, how it does it and why it does it.

Examples of mission statements:

Nike – To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Starbucks – To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Amazon – We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

Vision statements:

  • Describe a bright future.
  • Make it memorable and engaging.
  • Make sure it’s realistic and achievable.
  • It should align with organizational values and culture.

Examples of vision statements:

Tesla – To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.

Amazon – To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Google – To provide access to the world’s information in one click.

Remember to communicate your mission and vision often—starting with monthly employee meetings, for example.

“Everybody wants to be part of a winning organization,” DeKoning said. “A lack of vision is a road to nowhere for a business.”

Originally published on WSU Vancouver Business Department webpage