Why bother with vision, mission and value statements?

by Wehan Dreyer | October 14, 2021

Every organisation exists for a specific purpose. Some make the reason for their existence central to everything they do. It drives their daily activities and defines the culture of the organisation.

Other organisations take the time to deliberate and define their reason to be, only for it to be overlooked during the hustle and bustle of everyday activities.

The remainder of the organisations have hardly, or ever, invested time and effort to define the purpose for their existence – often to their own detriment.

These defined elements are referred to as the vision, mission, and values of the organisation.

What is a vision, mission, and value statement?

Your vision focuses on organisational goals and aspirations, which describes how the future will look if the organisation achieves its mission. They are also timeless – even if the business changes its strategy, the vision will often stay the same. Simply put, it should describe what you seek to be as an organisation.

Your mission is the business reason for your organisation’s existence. It’s important because it defines its primary objective. It details what the organisation does, how it does it, and who it serves and unlike the vision statement, is more short-term in nature.

a typical mission statement might look as follows:

– To provide (product) to (customers) for (reason) in (marketplace).

Values are the beliefs behind your vision and mission. A worthy vision is guided by worthy values. Values give dignity and direction to your mission. They are the moral compass and expected behaviors during your vision-quest. Some examples include, the quality of the products or service, integrity of actions and decisions or even protection of the environment.

Why is it important to have a vision and mission statement?

  1. It aids decision making – If nobody in the organisation is referring to the original vision and mission, and everyone is putting forward resolutions for the immediate benefit, then this is the beginnings of a company that is losing perspective. Remember, no matter how inconsequential a decision may be, every measure should assist the business in obtaining its vision and mission and they should be the go-to source when making critical choices. The mission statement is specifically important as it provides a concise strategy and philosophy when critical thinking and decision making needs to take place.
  2. It creates a legacy – If you have ambitions of creating a stable, lasting organisation, then a strong company vision and mission statement is integral to this. The vision and mission of the business should be designed to outlast you, regardless of if you decide to sell or circumstances dictate that you step aside. That can only happen if everyone is on board with the original vision and mission of the company.
  3. It helps define your company culture – Employee morale is a significant workplace issue across the globe. There are several reasons to understand why employee turnover rates are climbing and job satisfaction is low, but one way to assess the situation is to put a spotlight on your internal company culture.The traditional office, with employees chained to cubicles, living on coffee, and hating their jobs, is grossly outdated. However, there’s more to building a positive workplace culture than simply installing a foosball table and throwing out free gym memberships. Instead, you need to look at how faithful you are being to your original vision and mission statement and ask yourself:
    •  Are my employees excited to come into work?
    •  Do they share the same goals as me?
    •  Does the office culture promote growth and purpose?
    Organisations are indeed experimenting with all different types of workplace landscapes (especially since COVID-19), and this should be encouraged. But if you are abiding by your vision and mission from day one, then the process will be a lot more defined and easier to implement.
  4. It prioritises your resources – unless you somehow possess an infinite capital stream, your business is likely to be operating on limited resources, especially at first. This means you must utilise your resources smartly and efficiently. This process is eased when you can reference your vision and mission statement and begin to prioritise your resources and tap it into what will make your business successful in accordance with what it wants to achieve.

Why is it important to have a value statement?

  1. It attracts employees – Values make all the difference when potential employees weigh up their next career move. Salaries and benefits all have a part to play but job seekers want to know that the principles of the organisation match their own.
  2. It sets you apart from competitors – In crowded markets, consumers look beyond products and services and pricing decisions. More and more people consider brand values as a deciding factor when making purchases.
  3. It boosts employee engagement – Having people buy into your organisation’s values can boost employee engagement. By doing so, people feel more connected to your organisation and each other. According to a Gallup study, engaged teams have lower staff turnover and absenteeism, greater profitability, and higher productivity than disengaged teams.

So, what’s the point of all this?

Trust me when I say that these statements are worth the sweat and tears to develop. They’re far more than formalities and really can be useful for your organisation.

The trick is that creating them is just the start. For them to do their job, you need to actively promote and live these statements.

That doesn’t just mean slapping them up on your website or printing them on a poster that hangs in the office. You need to integrate them as core parts of your culture by always acting and making decisions with those statements in mind.

Plus, you need to educate your employees about what your vision, mission and values are, and what they really mean. I’m pretty sure there’s a statistic somewhere out there stating how low a percentile of employees actually knows the vision, mission and values of their organisation. You can’t really expect your team to help you achieve your mission and vision if they don’t know what they are and they don’t have values to guide them.

So, give new employees the message on day one. Make your company vision, mission, and values part of the onboarding process for new hires and return to these statements whenever you’re launching new projects, problem-solving, brainstorming, or making big decisions.

Do that, and your vision, mission and value statements won’t be a formality. They’ll be fundamental to the way you do business.

Have you focussed on setting and living your Vision, Mission and Value Statements? – Connect with our wauko team – we would be delighted to share some of our insights with you.


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