Understanding Mission, Vision, and Values Statements
Whether you’re just starting off in a new career or have been managing a company for quite some time, the benefits of having a defined, company-wide mission statement, vision statement, and values statement can be critical to attracting both customers and talent to your business.
Each of these statements can prove invaluable to your business, as they are crucial elements of the strategic business planning process. However, it’s easy to get the three confused.
Before we go further, the following is a quick synopsis of each:
- Mission Statement. A mission statement is designed to be an outward facing statement that is directed towards your customers. The mission statement will help customers decide if your business is the right match for their needs.
- Vision Statement. A vision statement is designed to be an inward facing statement that is directed towards individuals that work with or for your company or those that are deciding to take an opportunity with your firm.
- Values Statement. A company’s value statement is used as a guide to help employees and owners make their most important decisions.
If you’re neglecting any of the above—or simply not enforcing them company-wide—your business will likely suffer for it. After all, the mission, vision, and values statements are among the best, most simple governance tools you can utilize.
While we hope the above was helpful as a starting point, there’s much more to understand here. Let’s get started, shall we?
The Mission Statement
As we mentioned, this is the statement that is directed towards your customers.
Put even more simply, the mission statement should answer what does your company actually do? and where does it do it? It’s the mission you’re on for the sake of the consumer.
Importantly, your mission statement will need to be pithy and exceptionally simple. Remember, this isn’t for internal consumption -it’s meant for your diverse range of potential consumers. You can’t expect the average consumer to want to remember anything complex, nor should you anticipate they’d be able to if they tried.
What would it sound like if you yelled your mission statement from the rooftop to an audience of your best customers? Would they understand it? Would they remember it? Would you run out of breath?
Bad example: "The mission of the XYZ real estate company is to help buyers buy homes for the least amount of money with the best service while helping sellers sell fast and make the most money in the Bellingham, WA residential real estate areas"
Not only would you run out of breath, but it sounds cliche, boring, and non inspiring.
Short, memorable, direct and to the point about what you do makes the best mission statement.
On the Ben Kinney Real Estate Team, our mission statement is simple:
“Delivering the Dream of Home Ownership Everywhere!”
The Vision Statement
The vision statement contrasts directly with the mission statement. It is intended for internal use only and may only be shown on the inside walls of your firm. It can also be show on the recruiting and hiring pieces your company creates.
Your company’s vision statement should be designed to assist in the retention and recruitment of employees. Because of this, its function is quite different from the mission statement.
As opposed to clarifying what your company does or what it is, the vision statement looks towards the future and describes what your business hopes to be one day.
If your vision statement is both constructed and employed correctly, it will serve to establish the future vision and growth of your business. And, what type of talent your business will attract.
Boring example: "Be a great place to work where people are motivated to be the best"
For example, on the Ben Kinney Real Estate Team our vision statement is simple:
“Dominate Markets. Make Millionaires. Give Millions.”
Company Value Statements
The value statement, also known as the companies core values, is a group of business values that demonstrate your company’s culture, general philosophy, and convictions.
A company value statement serves to mold company culture, and is used to support your mission and vision statements.
Your value statement should contain only your core values not a list of a bunch of words that sound like rhetoric. If you have too many, your employees won’t be able to recall them all. Try to limit the value set to no more than five to ten distinct tenets of what your business is all about.
In our case, at the Ben Kinney Companies, our value statement makes up a word and each letter of that word has a deeper meaning.
The Success of Our Businesses Will Be Determined By Our Ability to Maintain Our HEALTH:
Accountable in All Things
Note, that just because your company has a values statement doesn't mean that it will positively affect your company. It takes complete company absorption and adoption to have these words be more than just rhetoric.
If you successfully create a mission, vision, and values statement, you’ll find that they all play off one another and aid in your company’s future success. Simply follow these few easy steps:
1. Work together to create them and get buy in from the whole organization.
2. Deliver and share the mission, vision, and values statements at all company functions, meetings, and in the appropriate publications.
3. Expect everyone to memorize them. Inspect and test your organization starting with a top down approach. Recognize individuals that have memorized them. Especially those that have delivered on these promises made within the companies mission, vision, and value statements.
We are such strong believers in this process, we'd like to encourage ActiveRain members to undertake this process for yourself. We would like to offer 2000 ActiveRain points to anyone that details their Mission, Vision and Company Value statements.
Write a blog post that shares these three aspects of your business and once you publish it, come back here and leave a link to your blog post in the comment section of my post. We'll give you until the end of August if you want to get the points, because this process can take time and it shouldn't be rushed.
We look forward to learning more about each of your businesses and how you think about sharing your business with your customers.