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Do you know what your company’s mission statement is?
The odds are great that you’ve answered, “Yes” to this question. But now ask yourself, how clearly is that mission pursued in the daily work that you and your team perform?
Workers prefer employers whose missions align with their own values
According to a 2016 survey by LinkedIn described in “50% of Job Seekers Want Purpose, But US Companies Simply Don’t Deliver It” by Wade Burgess, more than half of all professionals want to work for an employer whose mission aligns with their own personal values. And almost two-thirds wouldn’t consider working for a company if they didn’t know or agree with its mission.
Yet the truth is that oftentimes, organizations’ mission statements don’t come up much beyond interview questions and handbook reviews. And this is unfortunate, because if it’s not clear to your employees how their work relates to the company’s mission, they can become less engaged and even become less productive or start underperforming.
Leverage your company’s mission to motivate your team
Nevertheless, if you’re looking to inspire the type of cohesion and shared mindset that's the hallmark of winning teams, the answer may be printed right in front of you. It’s your company’s mission statement! Because when you can clearly communicate how a task or project contributes to the company’s mission, you have a strong motivational tool at your fingertips.
Leveraging your mission statement as a motivational tool involves being able to clearly explain to your team how everything each of you does relates to that mission statement. Of course, that’s easier said than done, since some people’s jobs relate more clearly than others to the company’s mission. But even your support staff need to know that their efforts are invaluable because what they do allows the rest of the company to do the work that’s more in the spotlight.
For example, let’s say you’re a marketing manager for a company that manufactures art supplies and whose mission statement is “To inspire every artist in the world.” It’s your job to make sure that your team always knows that whatever you’re asking them to do ultimately contributes to inspiring creatives around the world — even when you’re under tight deadlines or facing extreme competition. If you’re asking them to do market research, it’s so you know how to speak to your market so they become aware of your inspirational products, or if you’re asking them to come up with multiple ideas for new campaigns, it’s because you want to find the best angle to strike a chord with your creative audience.
Your employees’ work matters
Naturally, exactly how you connect your team’s responsibilities to your company’s mission depends on their roles, the mission, and your industry. The point is, however, it’s always worth helping your employees understand that they’re a part of a larger endeavor to achieve an important goal. Then, when they know their contributions are valued, it will not only motivate them to perform well, it will also allow them to feel more engaged with your company.