What does Mission and Vision really mean?

The Vision and Mission statements are integral parts of a company’s formation. They form the basis upon which any business intends to exist and offer products and services. It was usually documented and pasted conspicuously around the company for traditional organisations and in recent times, used as screensavers and background images on virtual networks. However, these days, it seems that most executives simply pay lip service to it.

Many executives and heads of big companies barely pay close attention to the company’s Mission and Vision as much as to the bottom-lines. For them, the essence of the Mission and Vision statements should translate to money or else it is simply a waste of resources.

In reality, how does corporate purpose directly impact a company’s bottom-line? Well it ought to, depending on how it is utilised. Most companies simply familiarise their employees with the statements but do not align them with their strategies in order to achieve the ultimate goal – profit.

It is also absurd that many employees know the purpose of their organisations but do not reflect it in their style or quality of work. Some HR personnel fail to outline and clarify this ‘purpose’ upon recruitment of new members of staff so that they work within this context and understand where the priorities of the organisation lie. Most executives do not even bother as long as the monies keep rolling it.

To some companies, Vision and Mission – i.e. purpose statements are mere words in a document while to others they are both guides and priorities to channel employees in line with the founder’s core values. Should the essence of purpose then be ruled out as a criterion for setting up an organisation since it does not impact on the services nor affect profitability? Better still, how can we translate those mere words into profit making elements which they were meant to be?

Start by clarifying your Vision and Mission statements to your employees. It is important that you convey exactly what your expectations are. Yes, every organisation is set up to make profit but your employees need to know what matters most to you; carry them along so they can run with it.

The next way is to practice them. You ought to implement and live by the core values set for your company. Go beyond merely pasting it on the wall to integrating them into daily tasks and goals. It is not the HR team’s responsibility but a collective responsibility to own those core values; every single person should live by them.

As business trends evolve, it is important to update the documents. If need be, engage your employees and get feedback on better ways to improve your company strategies.

By taking these steps, you would move your ‘purpose’ from being a mere write-up to becoming the very essence on which your organisation is built and profit is made.

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Image Source: NDHA