Do you work for a company — large or small, it doesn’t matter — that is all over the map with its policies, doesn’t provide clear expectations for its employees, or, generally, has no idea where it’s going?
If the answer is “yes” then it’s time to address the issue with your boss and/or upper management, and say to them that the company or division needs a mission statement. The boss, in turn, may say, “Great, you do it and I’ll take a look after you’re finished.”
Writing a mission statement may sound dramatic, too righteous, or even a little corny (think “Jerry Maguire”), but it doesn’t have to be. But what it should sound like, especially to those companies that don’t have one, is something that must be incorporated in every company’s makeup if the company is to succeed. A mission statement boldly declares: This is who we are, this is what we do, this is what we believe in, this where we’re going, and this is how we’re going to get there.
Some people might say that incorporating a mission statement is the responsibility of upper management, and that employees are best suited to stick to their roles and avoid “visionary” concerns. These same people might add, “Be happy you have a job, don’t open your mouth and cause trouble. Remember, Jerry Maguire? Yeah, he was fired!”
Ah,yes, but it wasn’t what Jerry wrote that led to his termination, but it was how he went about the process. He leapfrogged his superiors and went directly to his colleagues. Bad decision. Never, ever leapfrog the folks at the top. They don’t like that sort of thing. It may make for great conflict and the seed for a compelling movie, but in the real world it’s not too bright — unless, like Jerry, you want to strike out on your own.
Not only does having a mission statement clear the fog and put everyone on the same page, but it’s also an excellent barometer for accountability. There it is, in black and white. Are we following our own beliefs and taking the necessary actions as stated in this document? Yes or no? You can’t get any clearer than that. Accountability, or lack of, is a big problem not only in the workplace but in our society as well. We point fingers when dishing out blame, we make excuses for not winning, and we turn the grapes of labor into whine.
At the end of the day it’s your company every bit as much as the CEO’s, and you have a responsibility to yourself and the organization to point out areas of improvement. One way to do that is to look inside yourself and the company you work for and write a mission statement and then present it to your immediate supervisor. Do not discuss this with your colleagues beforehand, just spend some quality time alone and get it all down.
Whether they’ll implement your mission statement into the business culture is not your concern. You’ve done your job, felt better in the process, and showed them the money without them ever having to ask.