In the early days of KMA, before I even had a team, let alone a leadership team, I understood the importance of establishing a clear mission statement. The KMA mission and values was a decade in the making, but I always knew I wanted to have this foundation for my business so that I could grow it intentionally, and measure our successes and challenges against our clearly stated purpose.
We’re often asked at KMA if it’s really that important to have a mission statement, and my answer is that it depends. It depends on whether you’re able to commit to staying true to it once you create it, or if it’s just a box you’re checking off your to-do list.
If you are truly committed to doing the work, and if you see the value in it today and as you plan for your future, then my answer is that it’s not just important, it’s essential. There are so many benefits.
But first, what exactly is a mission statement? It’s a succinct articulation of why your business exists. It provides a roadmap to your ideal future, and keeps everyone in the organization on the same path toward that future. A clear mission statement can simplify and accelerate decision-making – no matter how trivial or consequential those decisions might be – because it leads to a simple yes or no question: Does doing x help us to accomplish our mission? It’s the filter through which decisions at every level of the organization should percolate, and it enables leaders to delegate more of the decision making to their team members, which can result in more buy-in on the company’s direction, as well as improved employee engagement. Good things!
Another benefit of defining your mission and values is that they can help you attract new talent, and retain those great employees you’ve already got. Younger generations of workers in particular demand to know what their company stands for, and are more likely to join, and remain with, a company whose values are aligned with their own.
We encourage a culture of listening, through employee surveys, stay interviews and good internal communications in general, so that leadership can learn what employees value and expect from their employer. And as with the mission statement, establishing a company’s values can streamline decision-making, and provide a framework for accountability when actions do not match stated values.
In a nutshell, I like to think of the mission and values statements as the keys to why employees work for you, why external partners recommend you, and why customers work with you, and keep coming back for repeat business.
Please reach out to us if we can help with your recruiting, HR or compensation needs. And if you’d like to explore developing, evaluating or updating your mission and values statements, we have some recommendations and resources for you.
President and CEO
KMA Human Resources Consulting