Unfortunately, many companies set out a great mission statement, and then forget about it. Instead they bumble aimlessly around the desert while achieving little more than getting sand in their shoes. As an employee, you need to work at an organization driven by its mission. Here are three reasons why.
A sense of purpose
A well-defined mission statement is not just an advertising slogan. It’s a way of describing the value that the company adds to the world. Google’s mission statement, for example, is, “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful”. That sounds like something worth being a part of! As an employee, working somewhere that’s clearly worked out what it’s doing to change the world will help you feel more motivated to keep getting up bright and early every day.
Of course, you might think that your field isn’t the kind of place where the world gets changed like that. Google obviously has a product which puts it at the forefront of a global revolution in access to information. Your law firm, on the other hand, is just about delivering legal advice to people, the same as ever – nothing special about that, right? Well, it shouldn’t be.
Offering good quality legal advice to people does add important value to the world. And if there’s nothing unique, special or inventive about the way your firm is delivering its advice, that’s a warning sign! Work somewhere with a clear idea of what it’s doing and how it’s going to do it differently, so that you can be a part of a bigger ideal.
We all want to work for a business that’s performing well. For one, there’s the element of basic security – in a business with a bottom line in the black, we won’t have to lie awake worrying about the idea of layoffs. Beyond that, a successful employer means a better chance of bonuses and pay raises – and then there’s just the simple pleasure of coming to work somewhere where morale is high and the outlook is good.
So far, so obvious – what’s the relevance? Well, companies driven by their mission are more likely to be successful, with all the benefits that entails for you. At the very least, if you can see from the hiring process that the firm has a clearly articulated vision that filters into all it does, it’s a sign that there’s some strategic thinking going on which will make the place more likely to survive and thrive.
We’re generally happier at work when we’re given a task and allowed the space we need to achieve it in preferred ways. But in order to be autonomous, we need to have a clear idea of what the expected end product is so that we don’t have to keep checking in for further guidance. Knowing exactly what our company’s guiding lights are will help us achieve that.
If we can do a job with a knowledge of how it fits into a larger scheme, it will be easier to find creative ways to improve things and go the extra mile – meaning less of a need for micro-management and more scope for autonomy. That’s a win all round.
It’s time to brush the sand out of your shoes and get your compass out – get yourself on board with a company that’s driven by its mission statement so you can find your own oasis!