During the delivery of team building trainings, it was very surprising to find out that many employees and sometimes even managers and supervisors do not know the mission and vision of the company. As a retail owner or manager, what do you do to get this important message across? How do you support your company’s vision and mission every day? Is it written on the board? Do you talk about it during meetings? Do they show it on the company website? Can your customers see it? How to empower employees to fulfill that vision and mission?
Another confusing aspect is that company leaders often confuse mission and vision statements. Sometimes mission/vision statements get mixed up. Many companies only have a mission or vision statement. I also know some companies without any vision and mission!
Why is it important to identify it? Because it is essential to understand where you are going, where your company is going to be in the future (vision) and how to get there (vision). You also want your stakeholders, employees, and customers to know, understand, and share.
What comes first? If you have just started a new company (store), then the vision will guide the mission statement. If you have an established business where the mission is stated, many times, the mission guides the vision statement.
A vision statement defines the desired or anticipated future state of the company. The vision is a long-term vision, it is the source of inspiration. It’s how to make a difference for customers, for the community and for the world.
Your vision could project a compelling story into the future. When Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, said “An Apple on every desk,” it was his vision of the company.
The vision statement should include:
• Vivid and clear image
• Description of a bright future
• Memorable and engaging writing
• Realistic aspirations
• Alignment with organizational values and culture
Apple Vision Statement: “To make a contribution to the world by creating tools for the mind that move humanity forward.”
CVS (Retail Pharmacy) Vision Statement: “We strive to improve the quality of human life.”
The mission is a formal, brief, written statement of the purpose of an organization or a team. The company’s mission statement explains why and for what purpose the company was formed, what services, goods, and ideas it offers to the public, and what its standards are. It must distinguish the company from all the others and be clear, brief and simple so that it is understood by all (employees and customers).
A mission statement should answer three questions:
1. What do we do?
• A summary of your products and services
Dollar Store Mission: “Brighter, Cleaner Stores, Professionally Merchandised, Giving You MORE Selection, MORE Value, and Much MORE FUN!”
2. How do we do it?
• A statement of commitment and unique approach to business.
Staples Mission Statement: “What is Staples Soul? Staples Soul reflects our commitment to corporate responsibility. It is a holistic approach to business that recognizes the close connection between our financial success and our desire to positively impact our associates, communities and the planet by uniting the following areas: diversity, environment, our community and ethics. That’s how we do business, that’s Staples Soul.”
Best Buy Mission Statement: “Our formula is simple: We’re a growing company focused on better solving our customers’ unmet needs, and we trust our employees to solve those puzzles. Thanks for visiting.”
• A statement summarizing your company’s aspirations
“We strive to be the leader in our region within the men’s apparel industry.”
3. Who do we do it for?
• A statement regarding customers
“Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software, and Internet offerings.”
• A statement regarding customer service, product knowledge
BC Liquor Stores Mission: “To be a customer-focused and profitable spirits retailer dedicated to innovation, exemplary service, actionable product knowledge and social responsibility.”
Target Mission: “Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering exceptional value, continuous innovation, and an exceptional guest experience while consistently delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.” .
• A statement regarding your employees
“We are committed to the growth and professional development of our employees. They are what makes our company great.”
The value statement is an expression of a company’s core beliefs. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities. Companies write the value statement to identify and connect with the consumer. In addition, this statement allows company personnel to be aware of the company’s priorities and goals.
Best Buy Value Statement:
We have four values that guide our actions:
* Have fun being the best.
* Learn from challenge and change.
* Show respect, humility and integrity.
* Unleash the power of our people.