Increase Employee Engagement and Performance by Connecting Company Mission Statement with Employees’ Actions

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.

W. Clement Stone (May 4, 1902 – September 3, 2002) was a businessman, philanthropist and author.

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Open an employee handbook, and the company mission statement is one of the first things you may read. Many companies introduce their mission statements to employees in their new hire orientation or onboarding curriculum. Others may have it etched in glass and hung in their front lobby along with their company values. Time, resources, finances are spent to craft mission statements to bring a sense of purpose to an organization. However, does the mission statement impact our employees?

Our mission statement is only as good as how well our employees can bring it to life. One company comes directly to my mind when I think of company mission and vision – The Walt Disney Company. Its mission statement reads:

“The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”

Earlier this summer, I experienced their impeccable service as a consumer. Disney’s amazing ability to entertain my children, and to develop the most creative and unusual products and experiences says to me that as a company, they are working towards fulfilling their corporate mission.

As managers, how do we take such a broad statement and “make it real” for our employees?

Vision Mission Goal 2014-09-30First thing to ask yourself is whether you believe in your company’s mission. Is the mission about developing a cure to counteract a terrible disease and reduce human suffering, or is it about developing a quality product and the best services possible for your customers? As you read your organization’s mission statement, ask, “What part of this is most meaningful to me?” In some cases, you may not feel a real connection to the company’s mission statement. If this is the case, seek out a senior or a mentor in the company to dialogue on the alignment between the corporate purpose and your career goals. Can you see how you are contributing towards something meaningful to you? Always consider a meaningful job opportunity that gives you a better sense of purpose.

Next, share with your team the part of the mission statement (or all of it) that is most meaningful to you. Let your team know why you think it is meaningful and how it can influence everything from day-to-day activities, to how you think about developmental goals and objectives for the immediate future. Your employees will watch you model this behavior and start to follow in your footsteps.

Subsequently, in your next one-on-one with your employees, save some time to talk about his or her goals. Ask the employee whether or not they can see how their goals contribute to the company mission. Why is this important? Because feeling a disconnect with the company’s mission would often reduce our invested effort down to the minimum required to keep the pay check.

Walt Disney Mission 2014-09-30My cousin works for The Walt Disney Corporation as a compensation analyst. One of her projects was to evaluate compensation market data for professional sculptors who invest their unique talents to build “Carsland”. Judging by the end product, I would say that she and the sculptors have definitely contributed towards fulfilling the company mission.

So, what are you doing to help fulfill your company’s mission and vision?

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Margaret (Peggy) Troyer, SPHR

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