Mission 101 Series
Mission statements give present meaning to the actions of your organization.
This truth is simple and profound. I’ve seen it first hand in my own organization, and I’m certain you will too.
But writing a mission statement isn’t the final piece of the puzzle. You must take intentional steps to maximize the impact of your mission statement.
This is the final article of the Mission 101 series. If you haven’t read it yet, I would encourage you to read it from start to finish. Studying the entire series will give you great clarity on how your mission statement impacts your organization.
During my time at Awesome Motive, I’ve experimented with numerous ways to communicate our mission statement. A recurring theme is visibility with frequency.
Visibility with frequency denotes importance, so the more visible your mission statement is, and the more frequently you communicate it, the more impact it will have on your organization.
From my own experience, here are 7 ideas for you to consider as you maximize the impact of your mission statement in your organization.
1. Place it prominently in your organization’s strategic plan document
Every organization should have a strategic plan document that is visible to all of its members. We use a tool called the V/TO (Vision/Traction Organizer) from the EOS methodology.
Our mission statement is listed clearly on the first page. Each time we review the document (either as a leadership team or as an organization), we are reminded of why we exist. It’s an easy way to elevate the importance of the mission.
2. Add it in your organization’s hub/portal
You should have a central location where the people of your organization can view things like documents, SOP manuals, processes and the like.
Because this is visited frequently, your mission statement should be prominent in that area. In fact, if you have the ability, add it somewhere on every page.
If you don’t have a website or digital portal, simply add it to the very first page of your physical SOP document binder.
3. Include it in an internal memo
The internal memo is alive and well. It has an incredibly high open rate and is guaranteed to get maximum visibility. Use this to your advantage and communicate your mission statement in it.
An internal memo is great for keeping your people informed about what is happening in your organization. When you send it, point to actions happening inside the organization that reflect your mission statement at work. Remind your people of how your mission statement shapes what you do.
Sending on a consistent schedule (whether weekly, monthly or even quarterly) communicates that the mission of your organization is essential to what you do. Over time, your people will begin to recognize the importance and take more ownership of the mission for themselves.
4. Add it to your website’s About page
Visitors want to know who is behind the website they are browsing. More importantly, they want to know what you stand for.
It’s the perfect opportunity to tell them your mission statement. Showcase what you believe so that they understand the WHY about what you do.
When you connect with someone who believes the same things as you, they are exponentially more likely to engage with you in a meaningful way.
Remember, mission statements also give present meaning to actions seen outside your organization, so visibility in public communication is just as important as visibility in internal communication.
5. Align organizational actions to it
This is simple but non-obvious. It’s a golden opportunity that many leaders miss because they have already internalized the mission statement and forgotten that their people have yet to do so.
It’s been said that you must say something 7 times before the other person hears it for the 1st time. I think that is wrong. In my experience, it’s 70 times.
You must come back to your mission statement over and over again.
Did you see someone perform a task that aligned with your mission? Tell everyone about it.
Did something positive happen in your community because of your organization? Tie it back to your mission.
Communicate this way until you are blue in the face. It is in that moment when the lights are beginning to come on for the people in your organization.
6. Add it in your email signature
This is a quick and easy way to make your mission statement more prominent: add it to the bottom of your email signature.
The email signature may not be visible in every email thread, but it is highly visible in the first one.
This communicates that your mission is more than just empty words. You are attaching it to everything that you write, and that has far reaching impact.
7. Add it to a poster and hang it up in your workplace
This is my favorite option. It’s special because as a remote company, I sent posters of our mission statement and core values to all of our team members. When we do video conference calls, I see it proudly hung on the wall behind many people in their own home office.
It’s a constant reminder of who we are as an organization.
Whether you have an office or not, a poster with your mission statement is an excellent way to make a public commitment to your mission. It instills a sense of pride about who you are. It’s a visual representation of the meaningful work that your people do each day.
This series has been fun to write because I am passionate about it.
I’ve seen the impact that a great mission statement can have on an organization, and I want you to experience the impact too.
To recap, here’s what we have learned in our Mission 101 series:
- Mission 101: Creating a Mission Statement That Inspires To be a great organization, you must have a mission statement that inspires. I detail the story of a mission statement gone wrong and why.
- What is a Mission Statement? It’s critical to understand why mission statements are so important and how they impact everything in your organization, from morale to motivation to retention.
- Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement: What’s the Difference? Hint: there is a difference, and you need to be able to understand it. Great mission statements are not great vision statements. The work together, but they are different in principle and impact.
- 17 Mission Statement Examples From World-Class Organizations We will take a deeper look into mission statements from 17 different organizations and uncover the WHY behind them. I’ll give you some additional ideas that you can take when working on your own mission statement.
- How to Write a Mission Statement (and Make It Compelling) Then, we will go through an exercise to write out your mission statement. I’ll include some helpful templates to give you a starting point, and by the end, you should have all the tools you need to write a compelling mission statement.
And today, we discovered 7 ways to maximize the impact of your mission statement in your organization.
I’ve enjoyed spending time with you. I hope you have found this helpful; after all, my personal mission is to help leaders flourish.
I want to ask you a favor. If you have enjoyed this series, would you please share it with others? You can do so by clicking on one of the share links in this article. You can quickly share via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or email.
Finally – is there something else you would like me to write about? I’d love to know. You can click here to contact me and share your ideas.
I hope you have a great rest of your day. Here’s to building more great organizations with great missions!
Until next time,