The Mission Statement Importance To Guide Reliable Decisions
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The mission statement importance is valuable for businesses and organizations, as they help define the mission, values, and goals of their team. A mission statement communicates the purpose of a business to its employees, helping to provide focus and direction to everyone in the company.
It is a tool that encourages commitment from employees by giving them a clear understanding of why their job is important and how it contributes to the mission’s overall success. With this knowledge, mission statements help employees embrace their work and find joy in it, increasing morale, and loyalty to the organization.
Through mission statements, every employee can have a shared understanding of what goals need to be achieved and come together with a collective mission in mind.
In this article, we explain why a company’s mission statement is important, the mission statement advantages and disadvantages, and how teams can benefit from using a mission statement to guide their decision-making.
What Is A Mission Statement?
A company’s brand mission is an action-based statement that declares the commitments of their organization and how they serve their customers. Your mission answers the question, “What are we committed to in order to achieve our vision for the future?”
Define The Everyday Commitment
Your brand mission is built on your brand vision. The mission and the vision are completely separate. The mission statement importance is this: while your vision deals with the ambitions of your brand, focusing on the someday—where it is going, and where it wants to be in the future; your mission deals with the commitments. Meaning, the mission focuses on the everyday—a commitment that builds the bridge one piece at a time to get your brand from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future.
Your brand mission deals with the here and now, the everyday, and the commitment to the actions that your brand is going to undertake on the road to its vision. While your vision is an important navigation tool (like a compass pointing you to the North Star) for where your brand is going, your mission is your rule book for the decisions and the actions that happen every day within your business. Knowing what the brand is committed to and following through on that commitment with consistent actions is the cornerstone of building a brand.
The mission statement importance is built on trust, and trust is what all successful brands are built on. Customers grow to trust and love brands that are based not on what they say they are going to do, but what they do consistently week after week, month after month, and year after year.
For Southwest Airlines, they don’t have their mission statement posted as a 1-2 sentence liner. They have “commitments” on their about us page dedicated to their everyone involved with the brand:
We don’t take our commitments lightly. We’re dedicated to doing the right thing and take great strides to foster trusting relationships between our Employees, Customers, Suppliers, and Communities.
- Safety Commitment
- Citizenship Commitment
- Environmental Sustainability Plan
- Environmental Policy
- Supplier Diversity Program
- Southwest Contract of Carriage
- Customer Service Plan
- Southwest Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan
The mission statement importance removes ambiguity surrounding the existence of your company. When the leaders, employees, and other stakeholders read the mission statement, they should not have any doubt about their commitments and how it directs the vision (the goals) of their company.
This is one of the reasons that vision and mission are so intertwined. Without the vision, the mission is off-course and the team becomes lost.
A Brand Purpose Manifesto
Once your vision is firmly in place, you need to ask yourself, “What are we going to do everyday to ensure that we get to that vision now?” This isn’t about standard operating procedures here, it’s not a to-do list, nor a set of quarterly or monthly targets.
Even though you have all those in your business operations, the mission statement importance is more about an overarching theme that guides decisions and actions. So, think about the commitments that your brand needs to make in order to achieve that future brand vision.
Every brand makes a commitment to its audience to deliver something in exchange for the fee that they pay. Whether they own and operate an accounting service, or run a faith-based organization, within that commitment is an expectation of a certain level of quality, or a certain outcome meeting. Expectation management must consistently be the basis for your mission, but it can also be more than that.
Your mission can be a specific commitment to a specific group of people, but it can also be a commitment to an idea or a feeling that your brand works hard every day to deliver.
Airbnb’s mission is more of a manifesto to make people feel a certain way than it is a statement. Although they commit every day to making that vision and manifesto a reality, that reality is an idea that they work towards to bring alive and keep alive through their commitments.
The COVID19 pandemic radically tested AirBnB leading the organization to refocus their mission. Part of their mission’s message is:
We are a community based on connection and belonging, and we will continue to design new ways to provide for it. We believe that we’ve only scratched the surface:
- We will focus on connection and belonging.
- We will prioritize the individual hosts who deliver it.
- We will invest in building our community.
As the world continues to change, people’s fundamental need for connection and belonging will not.
The mission statement importance means that if your vision inspires your team to become, then your mission inspires your team to be or to do. You’ll want to develop a present tense verb that solidifies the commitment of the “now”. Therefore, the transformation of the vision only becomes a reality on the back of the action of the mission. This often causes confusion because you can commit to be something today in the mission, just as you can aspire to be something in the future.
The difference between the committed action versus the result of the committed action is taking into consideration the consistent commitments that you must keep and who you must keep them for. You need to ask the question, “What are we committed to today in order to achieve the vision for the future?” The answer to this question will be the foundation for your mission, but take your time with this if you get your brand mission right, it could be the driving force behind the success of your brand.
A Reference Tool To Make Reliable Decisions And Resolve Conflict
A mission statement is a powerful tool for setting and understanding the overall commitments of a business. It sets expectations for how employees interact with each other, customers, and other businesses who deal with them. The mission statement helps to create an environment which encourages company teams to live up to the values that reflect their purpose.
The importance of mission statement to employees is about acting on cultural unity. The mission statement is a guide that provides direction on how employees and leadership should make their decisions as well as encouraging them to actively pursue organizational initiatives that will benefit the company’s vision and goals.
The mission statement importance combined with core values can be a quick reference tool for leaders and employees to follow in times of conflict and argument. People usually tend to calm themselves down when reading, understanding, and acknowledging the written statement.
For TED, their mission statement unifies their commitment with a common voice:
Our mission: Spread ideas, foster community and create impact
TED is on a mission to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. Our organization is devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge — without an agenda. We welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and connection with others, and we invite everyone to engage with ideas and activate them in your community.
When potential new hires are looking to join an organization, they often consider the mission statement when deciding where they would like to work, since it reflects what type of working environment they can expect to encounter. A mission statement importance is part of a company’s culture and workplace environment that should not be taken lightly.
While these are some advantages of mission statement, there are some disadvantages as well.
The mission statement importance is often crafted with good intentions to steer a company’s mission, but they can sometimes generate more problems than solutions. A mission statement that is too ambitious in scope or that’s superficial can be ambiguous and worthlessly vague, leading to wasted management, time, and resources.
Moreover, mission statements that are neither big-picture nor customer-oriented are susceptible to more short-term commitments and internal matters. This can lead to conflicting norms among employees or make the mission statement unrealistic in terms of practical and available options or worse, what the customer needs.
In the end, the mission statement importance is for guiding companies’ goals, but do not overlook the disadvantages that might arise. Be intentional with the commitments your company makes, they will strengthen your brand and your team to become a roaring success!
Mission statements are necessary for any company or organization, as it defines the essence of its purpose and is an important part of bringing a team together to work towards the same goal. It should be considered an investment in the short- and long-term success of an organization, rather than a cost or burden. While there are both advantages and disadvantages in crafting a mission statement – from staying on track to resolving conflicts within the team – one advantage that stands out is that it leads directly to more efficient decision making that is based on reliable sources.
We understand how important creating a successful mission statement can be, which is why we are available to help you create your own unique purpose manifesto. With our extensive experience, we will provide guidance throughout the process and ensure together with you that your mission statement truly reflects who you are as an organization. Work with us today and help shape your future success!
Nicole Andrew is a 20 year brand designer, Level-C certified brand strategist, educator, and co-owner of 28Lions, a branding & marketing consultancy agency.