In only a few words, can you describe your company’s culture? What’s your company’s personality like? What about its voice?
These questions haven’t sprouted from my love of personification (thank you English class!) - rather, they may define your success. A strong company culture can provide a competitive advantage in not only employee retention, but product quality and service delivery. Simply, happy employees work harder, and your customer is on the receiving end of your employees’ added effort. In 2014, revenues of companies who were on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For increased by 22.2 percent. And if you need more proof, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that these same companies added new employees at a rate that was five times higher than the national average. Coincidence? I think not!
If it isn’t already, improving your company culture should be near (or at) the top of your list of 2016 goals; it can make a difference. One writer even called corporate culture a “weapon of marketing warfare;” a standout in a crowded battlefield of marketing methodologies.
You may be asking yourself, “This is awesome, but where should I start?”
Great question! Answer: Your corporate mission statement.
This topic is a passion of mine, and when I started writing this blog, I originally intended to put together a list of the reasons why your corporate mission statement is critical to your culture and, even more so, your company’s success. But after writing Reason 1, it hit me - there’s no need to continue. There’s only one reason.
Your corporate mission statement defines your company.
That’s it. Simple, right? Yes, but only if you and your employees actually believe in your mission statement. There are plenty of resources out there with examples of what makes a good corporate mission statement. But why is it important to have one?
Your mission statement acts as the foundation of your company’s culture. It not only defines your company to those website visitors who happen to make it to your “About Us” page; a good corporate mission statement should provide direction and guidance for both your business as a whole and each individual employee.
Patagonia, a brand of outdoor wear and accessories, has a clear example of an effective mission statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Why is Patagonia’s mission statement effective? It clearly defines the company as one focused on product quality and environmental awareness. It dictates to its company that even though it may generate polluting byproducts, it will do its best to protect the environment by incorporating recyclables and donating grants to grassroots organizations. And it’s telling its employees that they must be environmentally-conscious.
But even more importantly, it’s living by its mission statement. Patagonia is active in community environmental organizations, and its outdoor-loving employees are proud members of the Patagonia family and believe in its mission. Their culture, guided by Patagonia’s corporate mission statement, reaches directly to its customers. One of many of its customer-focused programs, Patagonia educates its customers on repairing their clothing, rather than buying new. Wait… what? They’re sacrificing future sales!? Because of outreach, Patagonia has built a loyal following, and has experienced tremendous growth.
So why is your corporate mission statement everything?
It defines your company, and in doing so, builds the foundation of its culture. Employees that believe in your company’s mission will deliver better service, product, and experiences to your customers, and you’ll profit from it.