With the Great Recession in full swing, employers need to do everything they can to retain and attract the best talent. Leadership and HR must offer what employees really want 一 the feeling that they’re making a real difference in the world. The best workplaces make employees excited to go to work every day, knowing they’re making a positive impact.
Generating this level of enthusiasm starts with an inspiring mission statement. Mission statements provide a framework for making important company decisions, influence employee behavior, and even affect customer loyalty. The challenge is creating a mission statement that truly captures what your organization is about.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a concise, meaningful sentence (or two) that represents the purpose of your organization. Mission statements are often action-based, explaining how the company’s objectives serve both employees and customers. It’s critical that your mission statement accurately reflects what your company stands for, as it serves as the foundation for all company-wide decisions and operations. Although it’s tough to fit all this into one or two sentences, it’s essential to keep your mission statement short and clear so team members can easily put it into practice.
Mission statements vs. vision statements vs. company values
Mission statements, vision statements, and company values relate to each other but serve distinct purposes. Mission statements focus on an organization’s purpose and goals, while vision statements focus on where a company wants to go or what it wants to become. Company values instead represent the philosophies that underlie everything about the organization and its culture. All three help a company define what they do, how they do it, and who they do it for.
14 inspiring mission statements
Before creating or updating your organization’s mission statement, take a look at these 14 exceptional mission statements to get your creative juices flowing.
“Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
LinkedIn’s succinct mission statement packs a punch. Not only does LinkedIn want to connect the world’s professionals, it wants to enable them to excel in their careers. Who wouldn’t want to help people do that?
Reading this statement makes employees hopeful and lays out what customers can expect from investing in LinkedIn. Making the mission statement more about the end user, rather than the company itself, underscores LinkedIn’s focus on customer service and customer success.
“We’re in business to save our home planet.”
Patagonia subscribes to a triple bottom line 一 they’re just as committed to their employees and environmental concerns as profits 一 and this shines through in their mission statement. This mission statement effectively entices candidates passionate about doing good by doing well to apply. They can then guide the company towards sustainable practices, products, and partners who can catapult its growth while making the world a better place.
3. Warby Parker
“To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”
Warby Parker emphasizes corporate social responsibility in their mission statement while making it clear that they also value creativity and quality. By producing great eyewear ethically and selling it for an affordable price, they hope to pave the way for other retail companies to do the same. This unique, inspiring mission encourages employees to be a part of Warby Parker’s journey.
“To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground. We are committed to giving back in meaningful ways in the communities we serve and to inspire others to do the same.”
JetBlue’s mission statement manages to express an expansive sentiment while remaining clear: they want to make an impact on their travelling customers and in the places their customers and employees live. JetBlue made a name for itself as a more service-oriented airline, bringing humanity back to air travel. The hospitality slant to their branding has distinguished them from other airlines, so adding this part of their personality to their mission statement ensures that it’s part of everything they do.
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
The use of the word “accelerate” in Tesla’s mission statement is a perfect way to encapsulate their incredible growth over the past several years. Another unique element of this mission statement is Tesla’s self-awareness. Although its clean energy vehicles are out on the market, the company knows that there will be a long road shifting towards sustainable energy. Their mission statement makes the scale of this transition clear while also exciting customers and employees about being a part of change.
TED’s mission statement can’t get any shorter or sweeter. In just two words, TED sums up exactly what they are about as a media organization. The signature quick and impactful style that made TED a household name is captured perfectly in their mission statement. Like the mission statement, TED talks are short, sharing ideas in 18 minutes or less. And the openness of the statement makes it feel like anyone can and should share their ideas 一 a central element of TED’s culture.
“To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
With so many aspects to their business, it’s no wonder that Disney’s mission statement is a little on the long side. But no matter whether you’re on a Disney cruise, at a Disney theme park, watching a Disney movie, or staying at a Disney resort, you get a theatrical, iconic, entertaining experience. Disney’s whole ethos is about finding new ways to impart moving stories and deliver moments of magic 一 and they’ve accomplished that year after year for decades.
“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Many of today’s organizations are tech companies to some degree. But Microsoft isn’t just any tech company, and they’ve got a bold mission statement to prove it. Microsoft has powered innovation for over nearly fifty years, developing platforms that people use day in and day out to achieve their personal and professional aspirations. Their mission statement reflects Microsoft’s belief that innovation can act as a force for good and transform the entire world.
“To act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.”
The BBC is one of the most widely read and viewed media companies in the United Kingdom and has enormous sway over how the public perceives the world around them. It’s no surprise that their mission statement focuses on providing objective information to teach and inspire their audience. And, of course, they couldn’t leave out entertainment. The BBC has created some of the world’s most beloved TV shows and movies, highlighting the diverse communities within the United Kingdom and showcasing the UK’s unique culture and values.
“We engineer solutions for our customers’ greatest challenges with reliable, cloud to edge computing, inspired by Moore’s Law.”
One of Intel’s co-founders, Gordon Moore, still has a huge influence on the company, as well as on the entire technology industry. While forming Intel, he observed patterns in chip manufacturing that became the foundation for every tech giant’s supply chain and product strategy: the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, while the cost of computers gets cut in half. Today, Intel remains guided by Moore’s Law. With a specific focus on creating the most cost-effective, advanced devices, Intel has attracted top talent, fine-tuned its operations, and turned into a global powerhouse.
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
If you like coffee, you probably know where the nearest Starbucks is at all times. The sweet aroma of coffee greets you at the door, while the friendly baristas and jazz music create an ambiance that’s hard to beat. And that’s not by accident. Starbucks puts individual customers at the center of its business and, as a result, has become a staple for coffee lovers all over the world. Starbucks also strives to create a sense of community. Starbucks’ mission statement stresses the importance of warmth and connection, and it shines through in the staff members that memorize your order, give out puppuccinos, and ask you about your day.
12. American Red Cross
“The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.”
For the past 140 years, the American Red Cross has been a symbol of hope and safety, providing disaster relief, biomedical services, first aid training, and more. It should come as no surprise that its mission statement alludes to the myriad ways it addresses humanitarian issues at home and abroad. But it can’t accomplish these life-saving feats without the help of volunteers and donors. The American Red Cross’ mission statement not only underscores the need for emergency services across the globe, it also recognizes that its work wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of others. This bold, appreciative mission statement drives both donors and team members to serve and protect those in need.
“To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America.”
Toyota is known for its durable, reliable vehicles, and, judging from the mission statement of its American branch, they plan to keep it that way. Besides implying that they take great pride in producing top-tier cars, Toyota’s mission statement also hints that they are in the business of creating life-long customers. They want to guide clients through every stage of their car-buying journey, serving as a trusted advisor. This strategy has paid off — with so many different cars to choose from and excellent service to boot, Toyotas have become a solid option for customers at any life stage or price point.
“To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
IKEA’s goal is to sell a wide range of products to a wide range of people. Its modular designs and signature styles are a staple of college dorms, family homes, Airbnbs, and more. But IKEA’s products aren’t the only thing getting and keeping them ahead. They distinguish themselves from other furniture stores with their extremely competitive prices. Each of these unique elements is featured prominently in their mission statement, reminding employees and customers that IKEA continues to stay true to its vision.
How to create your own great mission statement
Now that you’ve seen a few fantastic mission statements, it’s time to write your own. Doing so can be daunting, but luckily, there are similarities between all great mission statements that you can keep in mind.
The best mission statements are short and punchy. Because mission statements are designed to inspire your employees and move customers, they shouldn’t be hard to remember. And they shouldn’t include jargon that’s difficult to understand.
To maximize the statement’s impact, start with an action verb. After “to,” you’ll often see words like “offer,” “prevent,” “empower,” and “entertain,” demonstrating the organization’s commitment to actually put their vision into practice.
Superb mission statements are specific as well, detailing exactly what the company does and how they do it while connecting to its core values. They address the company’s internal and external impacts, bringing staff, stakeholders, and customers into the equation.
Finally, mission statements aren’t set in stone. The best ones get updated every few years to ensure they accurately represent the company’s current goals and values.
Put your mission statement into practice
Developing a powerful mission statement is key to creating a phenomenal organizational culture and employee experience. Team members and customers yearn to feel connected to what your company does. They want to feel like they’re making a positive impact on the world just by working with or buying from your business.
But just writing a great mission statement doesn’t immediately bring about a sense of connection. You need to recognize the staff who follow through on each part of your mission, and listen to employees when they feel that your company and its mission aren’t aligned.
The Achievers Employee Experience Platform empowers your organization to do just that. Its ecosystem of products make employees feel valued and heard, fostering a feeling of belonging and supporting a winning culture. It comes with Achievers Recognize, enabling your entire workforce to provide frequent, meaningful recognition to reinforce behavior that aligns with your mission. Recognize even allows employees to redeem hard-earned recognition points for rewards of their choice. Meanwhile, Achievers Listen, a state-of-the-art employee engagement platform, uses pulse surveys and and always-on feedback channels to surface and help address problems before they impact your business and its mission.
Find out more about how Achievers can help your organization make its mission a reality by scheduling a free demo today.