How to Create a Mission Driven Business
People long for something to be passionate about. There is a constant desire inside of each of tus to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Throughout the years many companies have suppressed this amongst their staff, asking them to simply come in, work, and leave their personal agendas at the door. But over time, we have learned that in this pursuit of efficiency and increased productivity, the human spirit slowly deflates, erasing inspiration, motivation, and creativity. The very elements you originally hired those people for, and the very elements that will help your business thrive.
If we can learn from our past, we can create a better future. Instead of suppressing these innate human desires, we can create an atmosphere that nurtures and develops this drive for purpose for both the individual and also the company as a whole.
This all sounds pretty great huh? But how do we make it happen? Well, like all things in business, it starts at the top. If you are a leader, it is important to know what drives you. What moved you to start this business in the first place? By identifying the core values that make up the entrepreneurial spirit that is inside of you, you can identify the source of your mission.
Are you someone that is in constant pursuit of justice? Are you driven by organization, strategy, and systems? Has your passion always been to make others feel at ease through kindness and humor? Whatever it is that makes you unique, tap into that and get below the surface, pulling out those key elements that are your DNA. Use this DNA as the foundation for your mission. Building upon this with the input of your team will bring unity and camaraderie throughout the workplace.
Not sure where to go from here? Fear not. We have outlined some quick and effective ways on how to begin implementing this into your company or organization today.
Create a mission statement. We know. This might seem cliche. But stick with us for a moment. The mission statement is what those internally and externally can expect for your company. It will serve as the cornerstone of your company that you and your team can reply on for direction. Before you say yes to a new contract, does it line up with your mission. Before you hire a new person, are they someone who can help push your mission forward? Your mission statement is the standard to which all decisions are held and the common thread that weaves throughout the company to create clarity and consistency.
Empower your people. Mission starts from the top but is carried out by the employees. They are the ones interacting with your customers each day, they know the daily obstacles and challenges the company is facing, and they are the ones who will ultimately carry out the mission. Help them to know they matter. Listen to their concerns. Implement their ideas. Include them in making important decisions about the direction of the company. Letting your team know they matter is not only the right thing to do, it is also what is best for the company. Watch employees turn from unmotivated and passive to engaged, invested, and energetic eager to come to work each day knowing they are an essential part of the business. This is something your customers will notice and want to be a part of.
Be transparent: As leaders you have likely been taught to treat our staff like toddlers. Hide scary things from them. Keep the truth from them because they can not handle it, and do not share your real thoughts and feelings with them. But guess what? Your team is not made of toddlers. It is made of fully functioning adults complete with life experience, insight, and unique perspectives. Allowing yourself to be transparent with them will allow for open honest discussion that will help to eliminate gossip, confusion, assumptions, and general negativity. Leading with transparency means being honest about hardships but following up with solutions. The truth is whatever hardship your company is facing, your employees likely already know about it. And worse? They likely do not know the whole truth which leads to the desire to fill in the gap, meaning people will create their own conclusions in a desire to complete the story. Fill in those gaps for them with truth and honesty and then work together to find solutions. Your team will work harder in a desire to accomplish the goals at hand.
A note to our beloved soloprenuers: Establishing your mission and purpose is equally as important, even if you do not have direct employees or staff. Use the steps below to help you identify the why, what, where, and WHY of your business and use this as an anchor when those inevitable waves of uncertainty try to knock over your boat. It can be easy to feel lost at times and wonder why you even started. Identifying and writing down your mission and purpose will help to remind you of the core of who you are as an individual and as a company.