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What to do when the mission has gone missin’

What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.” George Eliot, 1819-1880 English novelist, essayist, and editor, from Daniel Deronda “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Old testament, proverbs 29:18“Ready! Fire! Aim!” Anonymous. HOW inspiring is your company vision or mission statement? What impact does it have on the moti-vation, commitment and desire to excel of employees in the workplace? Too many vision statements are a waste of time and money. Workers ignore them, deride them and are certainly unmoved by them. In the worst case, senior management have a weekend away at a luxury resort and come up with a statement of meaningless clichés which are about as compelling as boiled tripe. These are then printed and framed and displayed around the organisation for the benefit of staff and customers alike. As soon as they go up, people grow a foot taller and productivity takes off like a rocket. You wish. How much impact do these commonly used mission statements really have on employees in the workplace? ‘To achieve world’s best practice.’ ‘To achieve excellence in customer service.’ Vision and mission statements are meant to galvanise people, to focus energy, to give meaning and purpose, to inspire and motivate, to make people want to contr-ibute. In most cases, the only people who attach any value to the vision and mission statements are the people who came up with them and their attachment is usually fairly short lived. It is important for senior manage-ment to come up with the grand vision for the organisation, but that’s only half the battle. The other half is making it meaningful and compelling to workers at all levels in the organisation. Why not let teams and work groups come up with their own mission statement and guiding principles for their work area. They can start with the grand mission and guiding principles for the whole organisation and make it meaningful and comp-elling to them at their level. Set up a meeting with staff or representatives of staff and take them through this process. (Or use an expert facilitator.) Remember to keep it simple. Team Mission •Agree the purpose of our team - a statement of the principal activity of our team. Values •Agree what our team stands for and what we believe in - for example - trust, openness, equality, fairness, co-operation, improvement, etc. Guiding Principles •These guide our relationships with our customers and with ourselves. Key Performance Indicators•These specify the two to three activities or actions which will demonstrate that we are applying each guiding principles. Create a layout (use A3 if necessary) so that you can document these statements on to one page and review them regularly with your work group.From the international

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