In Temkin Group’s recent consumer benchmark study, we asked a number of questions about how full-time employees view their employers. Using the dataset, I examined the effect of an organization’s mission. As you can see in the figure below, employees who are inspired by their employer’s mission are significantly more committed and productive.
It’s clear that an inspiring mission is an incredibly valuable asset. Here are some examples of missions from organizations that are capitalizing on this phenomena:
- Ritz-Carlton’s Credo: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
- Southwest Airlines: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Cervice delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.
- USAA: To facilitate the financial security of its members, associates and their families through provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services. In so doing, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community.
- Rackspace: Learn more about how we provide Fanatical Support to our customers, our work environment and the Rackers who make it special!
- San Diego Zoo: San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation, education, and recreation organization dedicated to the reproduction, protection, and exhibition of animals, plants, and their habitats.
- Mayo Clinic: To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.
- U.S. Navy SEALS: In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.
- Amazon.com: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- Google: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Five Questions That Define An Inspiring Mission
Words alone are not what make a mission inspiring. Here are five things to keep in minds as you examine your organization’s mission:
- Is it written? While the words are not what makes a mission, it needs to be written down so that it can be shared consistently across an organization.
- Is it real? A mission statement is only valuable if it truly embodies the mission of the company, otherwise it’s just a collection of meaningless words. The leadership team needs to consistently make decisions that optimize the mission over other objectives.
- Is it simple? If you want employees to understand the mission, then it needs to be easy enough for them to repeat it to others.
- Does it connect with employees? Every employee in an organization should feel connected to the mission; they should be able to see how they help deliver it every day.
- Will it create value? Missions must define the value that the organization intends to creates for customers or other key stakeholders.
The bottom line: An inspiring mission is a sustainable competitive advantage.