How can we help ourselves and others stay connected to our company’s mission?
Our last blog reviewed recent research suggesting connection to mission matters most for high levels of employee energy, which in turn promotes engagement. Servant-leaders seek to create environments where energy is renewed rather than exhausted. As a practical matter, how can we do that?
Here are 5 ways to stay connected to the company mission.
- Flaunt it. Some companies take a “check the box” approach to publicizing their mission statements – on the website, check; in the annual report, check; posted in the company kitchen, check. But we’ve seen other companies really embody them. It not only decorates the walls, it permeates the building. You not only see it everywhere, you hear it and feel it everywhere. If you got it, flaunt it!
- Recite it. Human beings love to unite their voices aloud (think of singing the national anthem at a baseball game or in other religious settings) in support of a common passion. Try incorporating this insight into your workplace. We know an organization where the mission statement is recited before the beginning of every board meeting. Simple? Yes. Powerful? Absolutely yes!
- Recruit with it. Most companies recruit people for knowledge, skills and experience. They assess resumes, interview answers and references against job descriptions and competency lists. But how many companies recruit people with direct reference to the company mission? Ask interviewees, “what excites you about our mission?” Those that do are more likely to find employees inclined to give the blood, sweat and tears to accomplish that mission.
- Onboard with it. A new team member showing up for the first day on the job can expect to get an employee handbook, a stack of personnel forms to sign and maybe few hours of orientation. A great way to establish an immediate connection to the mission is to cover it directly in the onboarding process. Imagine if every person making a presentation as part of orientation began by sharing what the company mission means to them. Or you could host a panel of team members to talk about what the company mission means to them and answer questions from the newly-hired.
- Experience it. In organizational life, employees on the front line interact with those the company serves and tend to have the closest connection to the company mission. For others, it can be harder to feel that sense of connection. Realizing this, smart companies – those concerned about employee engagement and energy – find ways to have everyone share some front line experience.
Sharing the front line experience may be the best way stay connected to company mission. So, look for ways the people you lead can get out there and interact with customers. Help them take field trips to the front line and, if possible, roll up their sleeves and pitch in.
Oh, and don’t forget: it’s not just about your people; make sure you keep yourself connected to the mission, too. Hopefully, these suggestions might help.
Are there other ways to keep connected to the company mission? What do you suggest?
And feel free to download our latest ebook, Servant Leadership in the Workplace: A Brief Introduction. It’s free!