In your work place somewhere hanging on a wall you will find a framed document that reads “Company Mission Statement”. It might also read, “Company Vision” or “Company Values”. Like most people, I am sure you have walked by it several times and not really ever noticed it or read it.
Studies show that 74% of employees in companies with mission statements have never read them. The fact is most companies have their mission statements written out and hanging on the wall for all to see. However, on the floor, their company culture bares little resemblance to the ideals hanging on the wall. How do leaders get their core mission, values, vision and ideas baked into the company culture?
First a Story About NASA and a Custodian
In 1969 Apollo 11 touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped off the craft and onto the surface of the moon. It was a great victory and a huge accomplishment for our country and for the world. Seven years earlier, as NASA was working feverishly to complete their preparations to land a man on the moon, a popular story was reported about President Kennedy. It occurred as he was making a routine visit to the NASA space center. During one particular part of the tour the President noticed a custodian working diligently at his duties. President Kennedy interrupted the tour and walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?” The custodian responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon, Mr. President.” President Kennedy shook the man’s hand and thanked him for his diligence and hard work.
Wow! A custodian that said he was helping to put a man on the moon! Now that was a man who understood what he was doing and why. More importantly his managers also knew what they were doing and why and they make diligent efforts to share that vision with everyone on their team. Everyone was working towards the same goal no matter their job description. The custodian could have answered, “My job is to sweep floors, empty the trash, and clean the bathrooms,” however; he didn’t. His attitude and mind were clear. He knew he was part of a team that was helping to put a man on the moon. And so they did.
What if your employees, regardless of their job descriptions, truly felt like they were part of a team working towards the same goal? What if they had that same kind of clarity and purpose in their every day responsibilities? What impact would that sort of clarity and passion have on your organization? What issues or problems would be solved? How much more could be accomplished? What if you could get your company mission off the wall and into the culture of your team on the floor?
From the Wall to the Floor
Let me share with you five steps that will help you convert your company ideals into tangible attitudes and a culture that makes a difference in your company.
Step 1: Convert your mission into one or two vital results that you would like to accomplish. If everything else in your company stayed the same, what would be one or two things that if they were to improve significantly, would make the greatest impact on your organization?
Step 2: Articulate those one or two vital results in the following format: “From (where) to (where) by (when)”. For example, you might have determined that client retention is one of your vital results. You could express it this way, “We will improve our client retention from 23% to 60% by Dec 31, 2015.” Articulating your vital result in this way will help you and your teams gain a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish.
Step 3: Identify the actions and behaviors that will have the highest impact on achieving your vital result. These actions and behaviors must be something that can be done every day. You must have 100% control over your ability to do them. They must directly impact progress towards achieving your vital result.
Step 4: You must keep score. You must track and measure how consistently you and your team are doing each week at performing those basic leading behaviors that will impact your progress towards achieving your vital result. Identify what you are going to measure. Then identify how you will measure it. Then create a simple score card that you and your team can use to keep track of how you are doing on those lead behaviors.
Step 5: Lastly you will need to have a “W.A.M”. What is a W.A.M? It is a short Weekly Accountability Meeting to review your score cards. It is important to determine who your accountability partner will be and when you will meet each week to review your score card. Having someone to check in with helps you and your team avoid procrastinating and justifying not doing the basic things that will make the biggest difference in helping your organization reach its vital results.
Achieving Your Results
A lot of thought and care went into crafting your company mission statement, vision and values. It can be a difficult thing to convert those ideas into real attitudes that impact the way employees work with each other and their customers. Companies with the most successful cultures work to translate their intangible “missions” and “visions” into tangible results. They work to achieve those vital results by focusing on one or two simple behaviors that directly impact their ability to achieve those results. They are also very diligent at measuring their consistency on performing those behaviors. They find ways to improve and be even more consistent on performing those lead behaviors as they meet each week with their accountability partners to discuss their progress. Following these five steps will help you and your team be able to create a culture that is unified and focused on the same result and mission.
Terry Hansen is the founder of Hansen Group Company, Inc. and is regularly asked to train sales and management teams and consult with companies on their marketing strategies. You can learn more about Hansen Group Company by visiting www.HansenGroupCompany.com or by calling 208-346-1005.