Integrate - Creating Meaningful Communication Processes

Integrate — Creating Meaningful Communication Processes


Integrate — Creating Meaningful Communication Processes

The first question most management teams have after creating a new Mission, Vision and Values statement (MVV) for an organization is: What do we do with it? Integrating into all aspects of your HR processes is paramount to the success of your MVV. The heart of these processes typically lies within the communication processes and employee relations materials of the organization. Since HR typically controls this function, it becomes that much easier for them to communicate the MVV statement effectively.

There are countless avenues to share and ingrain your MVVs within your organization, as well as clients and customers. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Your organization’s newsletter
  • Your organization’s website
  • Brochures in the front lobby as a takeaway for visitors
  • Postings in employee break and meeting rooms
  • Hand copies to applicants during employment interviews
  • Your organization’s marketing materials
  • The reverse side of your organization’s business cards
  • Inclusion in the packaging of all shipments

If it is important enough for the company to include in the employee handbook, the recruitment process, the performance review process and the employee job descriptions, then it is certainly important enough to include in the above areas as well.

Several years ago, I worked with a company where more than a few of the employees were nervous about sharing the company MVVs with people outside of the organization. Their fear was that the Christian overtones in the MVV statement might offend customers in the Middle East. Others were nervous that prospective employees might be offended or misinterpret our intent.

When the smoke cleared and time went by, employees started to realize that the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages; it did much more good than bad. 

Ultimately, the majority of employees supported it, and, as a result, customers displayed a newfound confidence in us, and our integrity. The customers from the Middle East never complained, and we received more compliments than complaints from applicants. I believe that is how God works. When we stand for Him, unashamed, anything is possible. When we don’t, we are subject to a not so nice outcome.

What will you do? I say, be a difference maker, and be bold in your faith. At the end of your life, what will you tell God? I will say, “Father, I hope You can see I was not afraid and tried to be Your good and faithful servant.

How have you chosen to share your MVV with your employees? How about the community and your customers/clients? Let us know by sharing your comments below. Thank you.

Integrate — Job Descriptions Make a Difference

Integrate — Job Descriptions Make a Difference


Integrate — Job Descriptions Make a Difference

For many years I have witnessed leadership at a variety of levels at several companies struggle to see the value of certain HR practices.  One practice of uncertain value from them within HR that always seems to pop up is Job Descriptions.

Why do you need job descriptions? Do companies really use them?  We created some 5 years ago, will they work?  Are they just an old school personnel requirement? Well, you actually need them for a variety of reasons, such as to:

  • Reiterate your Mission, Vision and Values (MVVs)
  • Align employees to shared goals
  • Use as an effective hiring tool
  • Reinforce what is required from your employees and why

Reiteration of your Mission Vision and Values

Job descriptions should remind employees what the overall objective is for their position. Why? Because that objective should tie in to whatever the Mission and Vision of the company are. Absent a clear objective statement, both new and current employees won’t understand why it is they do what they are asked to do. That might sound a little crazy, but I have met hundreds of employees over the years who, when asked why they do what they do at work, they had no answer. I do know that when employees know the objective and why they exist in their roles, they are self-driven to exceed that objective.

 We are not becoming lazy as a nation; we are coming unguided!

It is the greatest fallacy of the workplace that we have become merely lazy, when, in fact, it all stems from lack of leadership and experience in guiding employees to excellence.

Align employees 

Employees should be involved in the development of their job descriptions. They should gain ownership in the process and fully understand how their position relates to others within the company, and how each position depends on the other for performance. Of course, HR can champion the process, providing the process and keeping track of the descriptions themselves.

 The creation of the description should be done by the employee and employee’s manager.

One of the best-run companies I have had the pleasure to work with linked all the descriptions for each of their positions on a shared Local Area Network while also visually linking all employees together via an electronic organizational chart. It left no one wondering who was responsible for doing what, while reporting to whom, and why?

A hiring tool 

A candidate should never be interviewed without a formal job description in hand. There is no way to assess a candidate fairly without this basic tool. High-performing companies have recruitment processes that included the revision of the job description while, at the same time, the development of relevant questions for the interview process itself. Want to inspire interest in a candidate? Give them the job description, because almost no organizations do this. When people know what it is they are required to do, it creates interest and potential ownership once they are hired.

Reinforcement of what is required and why

Repetition is a good thing. When job descriptions repeat important information that is reflected in other areas of the company, it reinforces the importance of that information.

When employees see the same messages over and over from a variety of sources, and tied to several processes, it means something to them. It leaves an imprint.

This is why building in language that reiterates the commitment to living up to your Company’s Mission and striving for your Vision will help get your employees going in the right direction collectively. It is also important to capture in the job description the behaviors that are required and that relate to the Values of your organization.

Essential to all job descriptions are the Purpose of the Position, Position Requirements (Education and or Experience), and Physical Requirements/Environmental Conditions. Of course you should always include the statement: “This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of an incumbent. An incumbent may be asked to perform other duties as required.” This statement ensures that you don’t have folks walking around saying, “That’s not in my job description!”

What good and bad experiences have you had in dealing with job descriptions? Are they a waste of time from your perspective or have you witnessed employees flourish when using them? Please leave us your comments below. Thank you.

Integrate - Performance Reviews for Success

Integrate — Performance Reviews for Success


Integrate — Performance Reviews for Success

Probably one of the least liked HR processes of all organizations is the dreaded performance review. However, it does not have to be that way. Performance reviews should be beneficial not only to the organization but to the employee.

Key components to a successful process include:

  • Built-in commitment to your MVV
  • Shared goals and objectives throughout the organization
  • Employee ownership of career and job performance
  • Simplistic but meaningful processes
  • Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership.

Commitment to your MVV

If you want your Team to fulfill your Company’s Mission reach your Vision and operate within your Values, you must build these into the Performance Review process. When you do, it shows the organization that leadership believes in the MVV so much that they have included it in the measurement of employment performance. Ensure your goals and objectives are aligned with your Missionand Vision; if they are not, you must question why they are in place. Most organizations that we support appreciate us walking them through a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to help develop goals for the organization. In the area of Values, always build your values and other important values into the behavior section of the Performance review form; we will discuss behaviors in more detail later in this chapter.

Shared goals and objectives

In high performing organizations, including those that I have worked for, have all had Performance Review processes that were aligned to shared goals and objectives through the organization. Typically the scenario worked like this: The CEO would develop four to six goals and objectives that would then be approved or renegotiated by the board of directors. Those goals would then cascade through the organization all the way down to, for example, the third-shift sanitation employee at the plant in Arkansas. The employees would then align what they needed to accomplish within their scope of authority against the goals of the person(s) above them.

The review process primarily focuses on annual goals, and very little on the mundane aspects of day to day work that is reflective of what the job description dictates. The daily work should be accomplished, and, if not, the employee should be managed through disciplinary procedures.

Employee ownership 

I have had the experience of employees approaching me earlier in my career at the end of the performance review cycle. Oftentimes, their approach was because they never had met with their managers even one time during the course of the performance cycle.

Make no mistake: they are at fault as much as their inept management. 

Employees must take ownership of their careers, their development and their performance. Those who do not simply will not survive in this economy. Part of ensuring that they take ownership, and helping them to understand it, is ensuring that the process is clearly defined, i.e., that the employee is obliged to prepare performance form materials, and be proactive in scheduling a performance review meeting with their manager if the manager is not. If the manager still fails to meet with them, the employee has an obligation to go to HR or, absent HR, the manager’s superior. Doing nothing should never be an option. 

Simplistic but meaningful processes

Twelve-page forms and manuals that exceed sixty pages will just not work. Ensure your process includes easily understood documentation, and a review form that does not exceed a good resume length, that is, two pages. Keep the form limited to four to six operational goals and three to five behavior-based goals.

Never have a process that is void of behavioral objectives. 

I have had the misfortune to work with several teams that insisted upon only production-related goals. They killed each other in the process to achieve them, and, when challenged,  they would always say that they were not being measured on niceness, but solely on how many widgets they made! Balance your performance scorecard, and you will have better results. 

Solid guidelines and commitment from senior leadership 

When we describe “solid” guidelines, we mean guidelines that are not created in a vacuum, by one person high on a mountaintop. Guidelines should be developed by a cross-functional group of employees from a variety of areas within the company. This brings a rich blend of thoughts and experiences to the table.

Regrettably, most of the HR people that I have worked with during my career are just not capable of coming up with such solid guidelines without assistance.

It is a sad statement to make regarding my profession, but I gave up defending much of the deficiencies I discovered years ago.

Senior Leadership must buy into the process and support it. If they don’t, it is doomed to certain failure.

Years ago, I worked for a company in which, no matter how hard the CEO worked on convincing the president of a particular division to manage the performance review process, this president would balk. The division president’s lack of commitment transcended the organization. The process became a joke, and no one nurtured it. I look back at the company now and wonder if things could have turned out differently. They have closed half of their plants, and shed several thousand employees. It might be a stretch to link this to lack of leadership in embracing a performance review process, but I do believe that, if Innovation was a top goal for the years heading into the downturn, that company could conceivably have created new products to sustain employment for those who were laid off. Sad, but this is often the case. Managers: stay committed!

What has been your experience with performance review systems? Do you like them? Hate them? We would like to know. Please leave us a few comments to broaden our knowledge. Thank you.

Now Recruiting For: Kitchen Coordinator New Cumberland PA


ABWEIn an economy where jobs are scarce, we are proud to be retained in assisting this wonderful non profit organization with filling this very import position. Please apply directly using the contact information below. Principles only, no agencies or recruiters thank you. ABWE is an equal opportunity employer.

The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism New Cumberland World Headquarters location is currently seeking a Part Time Kitchen Coordinator to join its Team.

The Kitchen Coordinator for ABWE Events: Coordinator will plan, purchase, prepare and serve meals and snacks during breaks in conjunction with event planner’s objectives and budget and agreed upon service level standards for each event.

Some of the Qualifications include:

  • Good cook and baker
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good people skills
  • Good food presentation experience

Some of the Necessary Attributes include:

  • Takes initiative
  • Strong relational skills
  • Energetic and deadline oriented
  • Strong communication skills
  • Able to work alone or in a team environment
  • Cheerful
  • Self-disciplined

Christian Life:
As an employee of ABWE you are an important member of a Christian organization. All staff members are Christian missionaries and are required to participate in chapel services. Because of the nature of our ministry it is absolutely necessary that you possess and maintain a lifestyle that is above reproach.

Association of Baptists for World Evangelism
Attn: Mr. Neil Glotfelty
P.O. Box 8585
Harrisburg, PA 17105

eng@abwe.org

www.abwe.org

Please no phone calls!

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Integrate - Developing World Class Recruitment Strategies

Integrate-Developing World Class Recruitment Strategies


Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of managing organizations is the act of recruitment. It is not necessarily difficult only on the candidates; it’s also difficult on organizations as well. Even though we are living in tumultuous business times, with real unemployment exceeding 10 percent in almost every city in our nation, recruitment is still a challenge for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Lack of skilled candidates
  • Wounded and hurt applicants lacking trust of any organization
  • Having too many candidates to choose from makes it difficult to know where to      begin
  • Salary  expectation alignment; many candidates are accustomed to more

These are all hurdles to climb over but organizations that have a well thought out process and strategy will prevail in hiring the best candidates to accelerate the performance of the organization. The entire process of building a “Kingdom Minded” company revolves around including your Mission Vision and Values into every HR practice as practicable. The recruitment process is not excluded.

In developing your strategy, you should weave into the process several concepts that will help recruit the best candidates to help you manage within your Mission, reach your Vision, and operate within your Values. Your process should include:

  1. Networking your vacancies to trusted sources
  2. Using employee referral systems to increase your candidate pool
  3. Use consistent hiring methodology when recruiting candidates
  4. Always include your MVV in the recruitment process

Networking. Most companies, because of turnover within their HR department, or a lack of HR professionals within the company, do not have a formalized network to which they can announce vacancies. This is a concerning drawback to the process. Organizations should consistently mine for talent and the community should be aware of the organization and have a general idea of what they do and what their hiring patterns are. Organizations should spend time marketing themselves as a great place to work; this is also and effective form of marketing to potential customers. People want to buy products and services from organizations that treat their employees well. Start networking with churches, Christian colleges, LinkedIn groups, alumni associations, nonprofit executives, mission organizations, seminaries — the list could go on forever! The problem is that many organizations do not create such a network list. Network today; it will pay dividends in years to come.

Employee Referral Systems  Nine out of ten companies I meet with do not have either a formal or informal employee referral systems for candidates. If they do have one, it is stale and not yielding any results. This is unfortunate, because people want to work with people who match the company culture, and know how and want to get the job done. Reinvent this program or develop it if you don’t have one. The easiest way to do so is to bring together a cross section of employees for half an hour and ask them straight out: would you refer your friends to work here? If not, why not? And what do we need to do to make this an environment that you would want to refer them to? Delve into what the referral reward should be in the program. Some miserly HR folks suggest one to two hundred-dollar bonuses. Considering a Monster board ad is three hundred dollars, not to mention the hassle of screening 10 to 20 candidates to get to one good candidate, don’t you think this is a bit stingy? Reward your people!

Consistent Hiring Methodology  Lack of a consistent hiring methodology will get you burned. Getting an EEOC or Human Relations commission charge becomes not an “if” proposition but a “when.” But, stepping outside of the legal concerns, why not take the high road right off, and ensure your practice is beyond reproach? When recruiting, always have a job description, always have interview evaluation sheets, and always have decent but not copious notes of the candidate selection meeting when all interviewers give input. I have experienced some embarrassing situations at all levels of the organization where a document to support hiring or not hiring candidates didn’t even exist. If you don’t have this in place, make sure you keep your checkbook handy. You will need it.

And, finally, include your MVV in your process. You see, when candidates see this, they are intrigued, especially when the presenter presents it in a way that is exciting.

Candidates love to see people with passion and energy around their Mission.

Organizations have lost their mojo. Show candidates your passion! Most people want to work for a company that has direction. They are tired of the lack of leadership in government, in corporate America, and their local schools. The last thing they want to do is join a company that is weak and non-directional. Show them your passion through your MVV!

Explain to each candidate your Values, where they came from and why you have them. Let them know that you are a company founded on Christian principles. Most often the reaction I get from candidates when they hear this is, “Wow! Finally a place that might treat me with dignity and respect.”

Don’t worry about offending anyone. You are not pushing your values onto them; you are simply demonstrating what they are. I have had candidates say that they are not Christians, but that working for a company like ours would help them understand Christianity better. Exposing people to Christ — that is what we all desire.. That is the work God really wants us to focus on.

What have been your experiences in recruitment? Are there any best practices you would like to share? Be a difference maker today. Please contribute to the community and help others learn from your experiences. Thank you.

 

Free E-Book: Outplace: Career Change, Real World Stories, Real World Answers


OutplaceI have had the honor of knowing Denny Smith for several years. Denny was instrumental in starting the Career Network at LCBC Church, where he recruited me to be a leader at its inception. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to get to know Denny, not only from a business and Ministry standpoint, but from a personal perspective as well.

I am privileged to share with you the book Denny inked in 2009, Outplace: Career Change, Real World Stories, Real World Answers. For a variety of reasons, Denny has decided to distribute his book free of charge rather than through a publisher. This book will be a blessing to many, especially those who, like me, have attempted to navigate through a traumatic job loss without a relationship with Christ.

Denny’s book hits home with me because of my own 2003 experience, losing my job through no fault of my own. This left me driving home to a house I could not afford, in a neighborhood where I did not even know my neighbors because my priorities had been bound by work.  It was only until I humbled myself and accepted a relationship with Christ that I pulled myself out of the pit and developed myself to the potential God had instilled in me at birth.

I hope you enjoy reading Denny’s book as I did. It provides encouragement and outlines a hope and a future to all job loss victims. If this book changes one life with Christ, it has met Denny’s objective.

Click this link to download the book.  Feel free to save to your desktop.

Want to get future E-books, Christian organization Job openings, and blog updates?

Subscribe here: Click

Testimonials & Comments:

“Outplace is a great resource for keeping the proper perspective in the midst of difficult times. Dennis offers both a healthy outlook and practical advice for anyone facing job transition. ”

Rob Skacel, PhD
Business Psychologist
True Edge Performance Solutions

The advice offered in Outplace is sound and based on solid experience and principles and will undoubtedly provide insights and hope”

Laura Schanz
Senior Consultant and President
Laura Schanz Consulting Associates

Really liked the format, conversational tone and the content. The “Rest of the Story” and the ASAP program were very good.”

Barry Davis, MS, CTC, MCDP
Senior Consultant/Head of Career Services
LancasterManagement Associates Consulting Group

“I really liked the Client Updates – The Rest of the Story”

Kimberly Blessing
Director of Career Services
York Technical Institute

“You have hit it out of the park, and knocked the cover off the ball with your content. I love the story as you tell us about your weekly activity in a practical way—.”

Steve Muller
President & Owner
Muller Consulting

Be kind share this link with someone who needs encouragment because of  job loss.

Integrate - Making Employee Handbooks Reflect Your Culture

Integrate: Making Employee Handbooks Reflect Your Culture


Employees complain when you don’t have a handbook, but, when you have one, they don’t want it! An employee handbook is very easy to create, but probably the most overlooked aspect of employment documentation. One thing is for sure: if a company has multiple shifts or multiple locations or just multiple employees, an employee handbook can certainly help keep all employees on the same page. Handbooks are always a delicate subject.

But when done right, and with employee input, this tool can make a difference.

  • Make it reflect your Mission Vision and Values  (MVV)
  • Make it relevant
  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it legal and legit

Reflect your MVV. Your handbook should be an absolute reflection of your MVV, which essentially amplifies your culture. Someone who is unfamiliar with your organization should be able to pick up your handbook and see your heart within its reflection simply by the tone and the guiding principles you lay out for your employees. The front of the handbook should contain your MVV, followed by the President’s message as to why the MVV is important to the company and how it was created.

Make it relevant. Having reviewed hundreds of handbooks over the years, one thing is certain and that is that most are horrible. They are irrelevant, often don’t convey the culture of the organization and are more about preaching or dictating than guiding.

Keep it simple. A handbook should not contain every scrap of information about the company. Worse yet, it should not contain every possible scenario in which an employee violation could occur. Keep it simple and you will have a greater impact than if you over-complicate or over-stimulate the reader. Many employees I’ve spoken with over the years tell me that, if a handbook is interesting, they will read it to learn more about the company, but, if it just rambles on over policy and procedures, most will put it down after two pages. The ideal handbook will inspire the reader to learn — learn more about the company.

Keep it legal and legit. Always ensure you include the appropriate legal clauses. There are far too many to list here but a few that come to mind speak toADA, FMLA, Employment at Will, EEOC etc. You want to make sure you cover your bases.

In closing it is important to note that having a handbook is oftentimes the only opportunity for employers to memorialize what is expected of employees. But always include what employees can expect of you! A handbook should never be a one way street of core policies of the organization; if it is, you will chill the warmth right out of the organization, a chill you will live to regret.

We Value Your Comments. Thank you for taking the time to read our post in this series on how to build “Kingdom Minded” Companies. Please share your thoughts and experiences on employee handbooks. How did the ones that you have used fit your organization? Did they match your culture? Did they drive the behaviors the company and employees desire? Thank you for contributing to our community, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Now Recruiting For: Donor Communications Specialist New Cumberland PA


ABWEIn an economy where jobs are scarce, we are proud to be retained in assisting this wonderful non profit organization with filling this very import position. Please apply directly using the contact information below. Principles only, no agencies or recruiters thank you. ABWE is an equal opportunity employer.

The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism New Cumberland World Headquarters location is currently seeking a Donor Communications Specialist to join its Team. Reporting to the Director of Advancement this position is part of ABWE Foundation’s Advancement Team, supporting our efforts to raise over $45 million annually (primarily through missionaries), with a concentration on capital campaigns and donor relationship management designed to preserve the missionary support and to raise $2-3 million for projects and the home office. The Donor Communications Specialist is responsible for supporting the creation and distribution of regular and special communication pieces to our donor base, for both current and planned gift purposes.

Some of the responsibilities will include:

  • Work with Advancement Team to provide messaging (copy and content) for all elements of the Advancement Team’s strategy for cultivation of ABWE Foundation’s donor base for current and planned gifts, including appeal mailings, reporting, donor letters, email and web content, campaign pieces, etc.
  • Coordinate with Advancement Team and Donor Relationship Managers (DRMs), including the President, to develop tailored communication for specific donor types and prospects.
  • Serve as project manager, editor and principal writer for tailored communication pieces to major individual and Corporate/Foundation donors around the world.  Scope of work will include: providing regular, targeted program updates to high net worth donors; strategic communication pieces for unrestricted donors; and coordination of communication to specific donor groups.

Some of the qualifications of the position include:

  • Minimum of 3-5 years related work experience in development, customer relations, marketing or public relations.
  • Demonstrated outstanding writing and editing skills, preferably with experience writing to donor audiences at various giving  levels with an attuned skill for English-language grammar.
  • Experience and knowledge in writing and sending donor solicitations with various delivery methods and for maximum results and impact. Highly organized with excellent attention to detail and project management skills; ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite including Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Excel); familiarity with other design and communication software is a plus and Experience with donor database management (Raiser’s Edge, DonorDirect or similar) and content management systems (Blackbaud NetCommmunity, Microsoft CRM or similar) or related
    software is a plus.

Education:  Minimum 4 year degree with emphasis in English, Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or Marketing preferred.

Christian Life:
As an employee of ABWE you are an important member of a Christian organization. All staff members are Christian missionaries and are required to participate in chapel services. Because of the nature of our ministry it is absolutely necessary that you possess and maintain a lifestyle that is above reproach.

Association of Baptists for World Evangelism
Attn: Mr. Neil Glotfelty
P.O. Box 8585
Harrisburg, PA 17105

eng@abwe.org

www.abwe.org

Please no phone calls!

Want to get future vacancies and blog updates? Subscribe here: Click

Integrate-After the Mission Vision and Values


Integrate-After the Mission Vision and Values …

 Most leaders, after they finalize the recreation of their Mission Vision and Values (MVV) for their organizations, do what comes naturally — they share it with everyone. If that sounds like you, then it goes out on your website, and it gets printed poster-sized and hung on the walls of your conference rooms and lobby. You mention it consistently for about three months … and then it dies.

It dies because it is not an  intrinsic part of the way you do business.

It is not ingrained into the soul of your company. 

How do you make your Mission Vision and Values a part of the way in which you do business? You integrate it into the practices that are always connected to the people that make it happen — you integrate it into the people who are applying your HR practices. HR practices are practices that touch all employees.

What are some examples of HR practices?

  • Employee Relations
  • Recruitment Management
  • Workforce Planning
  • On Boarding Management
  • Training Management
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Attendance and Leave Management
  • Compensation and Benefits Management
  • Employee Development Skill Management
  • Health & Safety
  • Employee Activities
  • Employment Policy Management

You could probably laundry-list 40-plus practices, but, for the sake of explanation, we are going to provide guidance on six key practices that you can integrate with your MVV quite easily. These six are your:

  1. Handbook
  2. Recruitment Process
  3. Performance Review Process
  4. Job Descriptions
  5. Communication Process
  6. Training and Development

Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through the integration of the MVV into each one of these practices. What has your experience been when integrating these concepts into your company’s practices? Share with us below. We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and stories.

What Is a Mission?


Got Mission?Organizational Mission

All successful companies have a Mission.  Without a Mission, well, no one will know what it is they are doing and why. Another problem organizations have when absent a Mission is that their customers and vendors often end up confused, having mixed expectations.

I have worked for many companies in my time. Probably more than most, and I consider this to be a good thing. The reason I consider this a good thing is that the experiences that God has given me in these numerous and diverse organizations has made me a far more competent counselor to businesses across the marketplace than if I had occupied one narrow niche for most of my
career.

One common denominator I have identified is that the businesses that are successful all have an established Mission  for their organization, a Mission that is co-developed by all of their employees and is ingrained into the culture of the organization. In fact, in high-performing organizations, candidates are exposed to the company’s Mission before they’re even hired. Vendors know theMission and Customers are aware, as well.

When Vendors know the Mission and Customers understand it, that’s enormously positive, but the most powerful and impactful group are your Employees. In my wealth of experience, I have discovered an absolute truth by simply listening to employees for more than 20 years. Fully 99 percent of all employees who come to work every day, want nothing more than to do a good job; in fact, most want to exceed your expectations.  It really is the American way. Work hard, play hard and love your life. The problem, though, that many organizations suffer from is a lack of leadership to help steer the organization.

Specifically, they lack leadership in creating a Mission that employees own and strive to achieve.

What is a Mission?

Your Mission is simply what you do best — every day ­— and why.  Your Mission should reflect your customers’ needs. Having a Mission is the foundation of turning the dreams and potential of an organization into reality.  So, in a nutshell, your Mission
simply affirms why your organization exists!

So what does a Mission consist of? Well, it really is not rocket science. It is simply what your organization collectively — yes, I said collectively — not top down management, or board of directors to management — developed. It works like this:

  1. The senior management team develops a framework of what they believe the Mission is and should be.
  2. Line management then takes the draft document to the line supervision.
  3. Finally, employees and a good HR rep facilitate a roundtable session using the draft Mission as a guide.

You have a couple of reiterations, meetings back and forth, and then it’s time for “Congratulations!” because you now have a consensus on your Mission. Now, of course, when it is being facilitated, the facilitator must be skilled in getting everyone on board with the final product.

Key is letting your employees know that each one of them has an opportunity to challenge it, provide their personal input and suggest changes, but that, ultimately, when the majority of the employees and management agree to the final document, then it is up to all employees to respect it and support it.

Benefits of Creating or Revisiting Your Mission.

The benefit of creating a Mission or revisiting a current one is that it opens up the communication process inside of your organization.  An effective Mission is based on input and commitment from as many people within your organization as possible. A Mission statement should not be an autocratic version of Moses and the Tablets.  All of your employees must feel and understand your organization’s Mission.  Only then can they make the necessary personal commitment to its spirit.

Tips for great Missions:

  • Keep it short.
  • Describe WHY customers will buy from you.
  • Define your product or service clearly.
  • Identify WHO is your ideal customer.
  • Specify WHAT you offer your customer — benefits, services, advantages, etc.
  • Delineate what makes your product or service different from that of your competition.

Examples:

Google: “We organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Starbucks: “We inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Share with us your experiences with your Company’s Mission.  How was it created?  Who was involved, how would you have changed the process?  Is the Mission applicable to you and your coworkers?  Share with us and help the community to learn and grow.