Kampala, Uganda-Last week, we explored the value of vision and mission statements. We discussed the differences between the two, the value that they provide to company stakeholders, and their promotional benefits.
This week, we’ll build upon this foundation, addressing ways that we can advance our vision and mission.
Last week, we studied PepsiCo as a positive example of vision and mission statements. Building upon these, PepsiCo also developed a set of guidelines that support this vision and mission. Called “Performance with a Purpose,” this list includes:
– Human Sustainability, demonstrated by “providing wholesome ingredients, responsible marketing and labeling, and strong community partnerships.”
– Environmental Sustainability, demonstrated by their efforts to protect natural resources by using innovative, efficient approaches to operations.
– Talent Sustainability, demonstrated by employee development programs and job opportunities for local residents.
– Global Citizenship, demonstrated by “developing partnerships and programs in underserved regions that provide opportunities for sustained and improved health, environment and education.
(You can learn more about Pepsi’s well-developed visionary plan on their website: www.pepsico.com.) Though PepsiCo doesn’t refer to this list as a value statement, it has the same intent:
A value statement identifies the company’s core priorities and beliefs. It allows stakeholders—including potential clients—to understand further the intent behind the vision and mission statements. It can be a powerful tool as you establish your brand image and company culture.
Consider which values most contribute to the advancement of your vision and mission. Continue to hone your list until you have four or five key values for your company.
Code of Conduct
To achieve a goal, we must begin with daily habits and actions that support that goal. A code of conduct informs employees of how they should behave in the workplace on a day-to-day basis; it should support your company’s mission and vision.
Let’s return to PepsiCo once more for an example of this concept. PepsiCo states that all employees are expected to:
– “Show respect in the workplace;
– Act with integrity in the marketplace;
– Ensure ethics in our business activities; and
– Perform work responsibilities for our shareholders.”
Codes of conduct are only effective if they are enforced; it should be easy for employees to report violations, without fearing retribution. Pepsi’s “Speak Up” hotline provides employees with a way to accomplish this. Other techniques that businesses use include:
– Creating punishments for employees who know about a code violation and fail to report it
– Clearly outlining a process for reporting violations in the employee handbook, clearly noting that employees will not be punished for reporting violations in the appropriate manner
– Posting the code of conduct throughout the office, on the company intranet, and frequently discussing them in employee meetings.
Which behaviors help to support your vision and mission? What behaviors convey your company’s values? How will you enforce these behaviors within your company? Be sure to clearly state and communicate these expectations to your employees.
Each year, you should set goals for the company that advance your mission. Some examples include implementing a new software system, starting a corporate social responsibility program, or launching an employee training program. As you hone your goals, make sure that they are SMART:
– Specific – Answers the 6Ws: who, what, when, where, why, and which
– Measurable – Has firm criteria that can be used to gauge progress
– Attainable – Ensures the team has the skills and resources to be successful
– Realistic – Can be accomplished within the given timeframe
– Time-bound – Has a deadline
Furthermore, when you share these goals with your stakeholders, make sure that you explain how the goals will help you to move towards your vision for the future: This will help to create stakeholder support.
Introduce Your Vision
When engaged in business networking, it’s common for new acquaintances to ask, “What does your business do?”
Most people respond by listing their products or services: “We sell stoves,” they might say. Or “We provide construction services.”
The next time you are asked this question, try sharing your vision and mission instead: “We envision a world where every child has access to good education. We contribute to this by selling affordable books and supplies, and helping to build school facilities in underdeveloped areas.”
By sharing your vision and mission, you allow your passion to shine through. People want to be inspired, to be part of a bigger purpose. When you establish and communicate your company’s purpose, you create an opportunity for them to be part of this bigger purpose as a client or business partner.
Create Daily Reminders
In addition to inspiring external stakeholders, it’s important to inspire your own employees. Create regular reminders of your vision, mission, values, goals, and code of conduct. When I work with firms that need to build their company culture, some of the ways that I suggest they communicate these components include:
– Print them on large posters and hang them in the office hallways and work spaces
– Post them on your company website and intranet
– Add your mission statement to your email signature block
– During staff meetings, discuss one aspect of your values, goals, or code of conduct
– Reward employees who demonstrate your values, promote your code of conduct, and advance your mission through recognition programs, bonuses, promotions, and other benefits
It is helpful for all stakeholders—even executive management—to be reminded of the greater purpose and values that the company embraces.
Now that you’ve established your vision, mission, values, goals, and code of conduct, use this foundation to build a great 2014!
Hope Wilson, CPSM, is president of Wilson Business Growth Consultants, a firm that provides international business strategy and communications services. Specializing in infrastructure development, Hope has received 12 international awards for her work. Have a question about marketing? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org