The vision, mission, and core values of an organisation stand at the heart of what drives an organisation’s culture and when culture aligns with the values of employees, it increases employee engagement and drives performance.
In a study done by the Barrett Value Centre covering over 2000 organisations across 60 countries over a span of 10 years they found that:
Values and behaviour drive culture,
Culture drives employee fulfilment,
Employee fulfilment drives customer satisfaction,
Customer satisfaction drives shareholder value.
Effective employee engagement relies on being able to connect the work people do to the overarching objectives of the organisation. The responsibility falls to business leaders to not only create and define these values but also use them to unite their workforce.
The result if this is done correctly is a strong company culture driven by employees willing to go the extra mile in pursuit of the organisation's objectives.
With this in mind, there are 4 steps to follow when creating a vision, mission, and core values to ensure they engage your employees:
The first step is to define each of the elements. Start with your organisation’s vision. Defined as “a clear picture of a positive future state”, your vision is effectively the overarching goal of your organisation.
Next, define your mission. They are a set of priorities that will help you stay on track to reach your vision. The last step is to define your core values i.e the fundamental beliefs of your organisation.
Keep them short and concise so they are easy to remember and repeat. While these should be aspirational it is important to make sure they are grounded and achievable. And finally, make them broad but not vague. Keep them relevant to your organisation but make sure they are broad enough to appeal to a variety of stakeholders.
Your vision, mission, and values define the common language used within your organisation. It is important then that the language is clear and specific to make sure everyone understands what it means and how the work they do is tied to it. To that end, it is helpful to embed these elements in a story to add context and clarity to what they mean.
In order to ensure that your vision, mission, and core values are adopted throughout your organisation you need to integrate it into every part of your business. Job descriptions should include how each employee is responsible for achieving them and they should be used as the yardstick by which employee performance is measured and reviewed.
They should also be a guide for daily decision-making, a litmus test for acting in the best interest of the organisation from the very biggest to the very smallest decisions.
Repeat yourself over and over and over again. The CEO of Verifone, Hatim Tyabji, created a 9 page “blue book” effectively detailing what Verifone stood for. His “blue book” was so successful that it was eventually translated into 8 languages. During his tenure, Verifone grew from $31 million dollars to $600 million dollars and when asked about it he said: “I effectively spent the last 11 years repeating myself.”
For business leaders to effectively engage employees, drive positive business outcomes, and create a high performing culture they need to tie the work of every employee to the vision, mission, and core values of the organisation.
Being connected to something bigger than ourselves is what keeps us motivated, driven, and engaged!
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