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How to Bring Your Company’s Mission Statement to Life

Most companies publish a mission statement to let the world know what they are striving for as a company. That's important, but, as important is what the company does to make sure all of their employees are focused on bringing the mission statement to life. This article lays out a four-step program to help employers align their employees performance with the company's mission statement.

I've seen a lot of company mission statements in my life either because I want to understand the "heart beat" of my client or of a company I am researching. When I read these statements I wonder how often the executive team not only looks at them, but measures how well the company is executing on these stated values.

For most companies it is a bit of a process to come up with a mission statement that encompasses the core values around products, customers and employees. Many executives I have talked with have told me they spent days to get it just right so it reflects the soul of the company's values. Some even took their executive team "off campus" so they were in a setting where they could focus on just this topic without the normal day-to-day interruptions.

I think that's terrific. But what happens after that?

Well, you will probably find the mission statement engraved on a very nice plaque in the lobby of the company's headquarter, on the wall in the top officer's office, and on the company's web site.

My question is "What is the company doing to make sure these ideals are actually put into action and measured on an on-going basis?" I mean, what good is it just put this into writing without follow-through?

One of the best ways to do this is to base part of each employee's annual appraisal on these core values. To do this right, you need to:

  1. determine the competencies related to these core values
  2. describe the expected results or behaviors
  3. assign appropriate weighting to each competency
  4. make it part of every employee's appraisal!

Now you have a way to measure alignment between your mission statement and actual results. Without measuring, how do you know if your company is living up to it's core values? Oh, you might say that your financial results give you that feedback. My response back to you would be, "how do you know it couldn't be even better?"

If you are measuring actual performance at the individual level against your expected results, you may find there is room for improvement. You can then help your employees to improve their performance in areas related to the mission statement where they are currently under-performing. The result…you are likely to see an even greater improvement on your bottom line and on your top line.

Bottom line--make sure you include performance measures on your appraisal forms that directly relate to those values contained in your mission statement. Now you will be able to track, measure, and improve alignment between your actual versus expected results.

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Mike is an internationally recognized expert at helping employers meet their business objectives by teaching them how to get the right people into the right seat on their bus. Most employers face continuing challenges in hiring, developing and retaining their best employees. Mike guides his clients through this maze. To experience how this is done, sign up for a free job analysis survey for one of your open positions at

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