Is Your Mission Inspiring Employees?

In Temkin Group’s recent consumer benchmark study, we asked a number of questions about how full-time employees view their employers. Using the dataset, I examined the effect of an organization’s mission. As you can see in the figure below, employees who are inspired by their employer’s mission are significantly more committed and productive.

1301_InspiredEmployeesIt’s clear that an inspiring mission is an incredibly valuable asset. Here are some examples of missions from organizations that are capitalizing on this phenomena:

  • Ritz-Carlton’s Credo:  The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission. We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
  • Southwest Airlines: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Cervice delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.
  • USAATo facilitate the financial security of its members, associates and their families through provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services. In so doing, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community.
  • RackspaceLearn more about how we provide Fanatical Support to our customers, our work environment and the Rackers who make it special!
  • San Diego ZooSan Diego Zoo Global is a conservation, education, and recreation organization dedicated to the reproduction, protection, and exhibition of animals, plants, and their habitats.
  • Mayo ClinicTo inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.
  • U.S. Navy SEALS: In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.
  • Amazon.comOur vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. 
  • Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
  • GoogleGoogle’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Five Questions That Define An Inspiring Mission

Words alone are not what make a mission inspiring. Here are five things to keep in minds as you examine your organization’s mission:

  1. Is it written? While the words are not what makes a mission, it needs to be written down so that it can be shared consistently across an organization.
  2. Is it real? A mission statement is only valuable if it truly embodies the mission of the company, otherwise it’s just a collection of meaningless words. The leadership team needs to consistently make decisions that optimize the mission over other objectives.
  3. Is it simple? If you want employees to understand the mission, then it needs to be easy enough for them to repeat it to others.
  4. Does it connect with employees? Every employee in an organization should feel connected to the mission; they should be able to see how they help deliver it every day.
  5. Will it create value? Missions must define the value that the organization intends to creates for customers or other key stakeholders.

The bottom line: An inspiring mission is a sustainable competitive advantage.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

5 Responses to Is Your Mission Inspiring Employees?

  1. Jeff Toister says:

    Great data! And, your list of five questions are right on target. In so many organizations, employees can’t articulate the mission. Forget getting it word for word, they can’t even describe what it means. And the primary culprit for this? It’s rarely, if ever, mentioned.

  2. Great research and content, thanks a lot for your constant contribution to our Team.

  3. Bruce Temkin says:

    Jeff and Joe: Thanks for your feedback. I love to hear that our research is resonating!

  4. Heather Fukushima says:

    DO you do any work in health care?

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