I've written numerous posts on the need for the management team to be aligned with regards to vision, mission, values and strategic positioning.
Thanks to Gallup for the following suggestions to ensure the management team, and the entire organization, is in alignment with regard to the mission of the organization.
Seven strategies for maximizing mission-driven leadership
Mission-driven leaders help all employees and managers understand why an organization exists.
They boldly affirm what the company hopes to achieve and push toward the desired results.
Mission-driven leadership comes from the heart. It requires talent and guts.
Mission-driven leaders teach managers how to align daily operations with the company's mission, and they encourage understanding and passion for that mission among all employees.
So what can you do to maximize mission-driven leadership?
Gallup recommends implementing the following strategies:
- Ask your leadership team, "What do you get paid to do?" Listen for statements that reflect mission in their answers. Look for a consistency of answers. Lack of consistency indicates a lack of understanding or agreement which can lead to confusion among the work force and your customers.
- Ask colleagues to discuss when they have recently seen the company mission in action. Look for concrete examples and recognize those individuals for modeling the vision of the company.
- Coach leaders about how to use their strengths to advance the company mission. In what ways are the company's leaders modeling the company vision? Are one leader's employees doing a better job of "living the mission" than others?
- Ask customers if they are aware of your company's purpose. Their responses will shed light on their awareness of your brand, their engagement with your brand and the consistency of the message they are getting with regards to your brand's mission.
- Consider how this year's business strategy might affect your mission. For example, a merger on the horizon will require integrating a group of new employees into your culture; teaching them about your mission and purpose is a good place to start that process.
- Evaluate strategic objectives for this year, asking why each is a focus. How do they serve your mission? How do they serve your customers, patients, or members?
- Assess how your business ranks against others in your industry. Which employees are most engaged with your mission? What's different about them?
Leaders have plenty on their plates, and it's easy to lose sight of a company's ultimate purpose.
Keeping mission front and center for managers, employees, and customers is good for business.
Empowering leaders with the knowledge and resources they need to make mission matter will most certainly improve performance and results.
There are four benefits to having a mission-driven business:
- Mission fosters customer engagement. A strong mission promotes brand differentiation, consumer passion, and brand engagement. Unfortunately, only about four in 10 employees (41%) know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from its competitors'. This lack of brand awareness is not a marketing problem; it is a mission-driven leadership and management problem.
- Mission improves strategic alignment. Alignment begins with a clear purpose -- the what and why of the organization. How, who, when, and where are secondary to the enterprise's reason for existing. Mission can help leaders establish and balance priorities, set performance goals, and align rewards and compensation at all levels. If your company's mission includes a promise to provide world-class customer service, for example, then you should define and measure "world-class" service -- and hire employees who can deliver on that promise.
- Mission brings clarity. Awareness of mission guides decision making and judgment. A clear sense of what matters most helps leaders determine the best path for the company and helps them set priorities. This clarity inspires conviction and dedication.
- Mission can be measured. To maximize the value of mission and purpose, leaders need a reliable assessment of employees' attitudes about their work and how it connects with the company's purpose, such as their responses to the "mission and purpose" item in Gallup's Q12 employee engagement survey. Leaders and managers should use this information to guide them as they tackle the challenge of helping employees connect their work behaviors to the company's ultimate purpose.