The process of creating a corporate mission statement provides an opportunity for members of the organization to collectively agree on the organization's primary purpose.
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But mission statements can also serve another function. The same process you used to create a mission statement for your company can also be used to focus the actions of individuals and groups of individuals in your organization.
On the surface, team mission statements might seem like a waste of time for your employees. However, if it's done right, team and departmental mission statements can potentially avert conflicts and inspire workers to do their part in achieving the company's overall mission. It's unlikely that teams and departments will create mission statements on their own, so it falls to the business owner and leadership team to get the ball rolling. Here's what you need to know . . .
Mission Statement Communication
Simply mandating mission statements for your departments and teams won't accomplish anything. In fact, it will probably be counterproductive and cause a firestorm of hard feelings within the organization. In order to effectively create a mission statement for the team, team members need to understand the rationale behind your request. By creating a mission statement, teams gain the ability to focus on the task at hand and clarify their role in fulfilling the larger mission of the organization. Your job is to communicate that information to your teams and provide assistance in starting the process.
Mission Statement Clarity
Effective team mission statements exhibit a high degree of clarity and bring focus to the team's activities within the company. It's not uncommon for more than one team to claim ownership over a specific are of responsibility. But in most cases, the mission statement process will clearly delineate responsibilities and eliminate the possibility of overlap. As a company leader, your role is to oversee the process and intervene when it appears that a specific team has misunderstood its area of responsibility in the business.
Mission Statement Consistency
Team mission statements should always support the company's overall mission statement. For that to happen, two things need to occur. First, employees and team members need to possess a clear understanding of the overall mission statement they are working toward. It falls on company leadership to communicate the company's mission statement and thoroughly discuss its implications with each team. Secondly, teams should not be complete control over the creation of their team mission statement. Instead, each team's mission statement needs to be created in conversation with company leadership and other teams to maintain consistency within the organization.
Mission Statement Ownership
It's absolutely vital that team members are invested in the mission statement creation process and each team takes ownership of the final product. Although teams cannot be allowed to create their mission statement without input and oversight from others in the organization, appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure team members that their contributions will significantly impact the final version of their team mission statement.