The formula for happy employees
One of the top three challenges that new employees have is unmet expectations: the job is not what they expected it to be.
That means difficult conversations where they are telling you that they expected something different, and what are you going to do about it. Or even worse: they quit.
One simple fix will prevent this problem. Write a mission statement.
How to use a mission statement
In a simple word: everywhere.
Your mission statement should be included in every step of your HR procedures.
When you are hiring, it should be part of your job descriptions and interview process.
As you onboard a new employee, it should be reinforced and used as guidance.
All your professional training objectives should include your mission statement.
Performance reviews should explain how an employee contributes to the company mission.
Use your mission statement as the unifying factor in how you run and manage your business, making it easy for people to know what they are agreeing to.
Why does it work
It works because it sets a shared destination.
By agreeing to the mission statement, employees know what they are working towards, and why they are doing the things that they are doing. It gives them a sense of purpose as well as shared commitment.
And when an employee disagrees? It makes it easy for them to raise concerns because they can use the mission statement as the basis for the conversation. If they have doubts that a certain decision contributes to the mission, they should be free to say so.
- Build your mission statement.
- Embed it in your operating procedures.
- And make sure everybody is on board.
Let’s talk about creating a new mission for your company.
Where do you start? When you’re not the leader?
Excellent question: it is possible to lead from the bottom up as well, but it is not always easy, nor the path obvious. A good starting point is to ask the questions that will get those top level leaders to have to think about the points made in this blog post.
Set up even a casual conversation, over coffee or lunch, and say you want to get more context to be better at your role. Ask about what success looks like to them, what they would like to see happen in 6 months or a year, as well as what would they like to see happening every day. Throw in a few “why”s, Why is that important, why is that the goal. And also ask them: what do they hope their employees say about the business as a place to work. Then feel free to challenge them a little bit on that: what are they doing to create that environment, how can they prove it is working.