Every great culture needs a mission, a vision, and values. Its mission is its reason for being. Vision is its aim. And its values are how it promises to work. It describes how a firm operates and the values it upholds. But these are never static. A company must evolve as its environment changes.
As you think ahead to what may be the “new normal,” now is the time to refresh your organization’s values. Your old mission, vision, and values probably don’t fit today’s context. How can a company refresh its mission, vision, and values?
First, ask a series of basic questions: What is our mission? What do we want to accomplish together? What basic concepts or beliefs will guide the way we work together as colleagues and for clients? Finally, what’s changed? What’s outdated and must be left behind? What’s new that needs to be embraced?
Leadership teams at companies should ask these questions in communities and embed the responses in culture. Answers should be simple, memorable, and authentic. A company’s goal is not to put these things on a blank canvas but to chisel, shape, and improve what’s already there.
Furthermore, author John Coleman shares a few tips for engaging your employees when you ask the above questions.
- Engage the organization completely: Rethink your purpose, vision, and values. Formalize and publicize the process as a pleasant opportunity to reengage with the company’s goal and principles. This may help re-connect colleagues in hybrid or remote workplaces.
- Listen extensively and authentically: Engage top executives with a large group of employees. Some of this can be tech-enabled, but much should be in-person. Highlight employee feedback. Cultivate a culture of receptivity to feedback on mission, vision, and values that will long outlast the formal exercise.
- Introduce the new statements and then communicate systematically: Spread the vision, purpose, and values throughout the firm. Consider “swag” (t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.) to celebrate their release. Post them at workplaces and give each employee a wallet-sized card. Leaders should include them thoroughly in workplace discussions, presentations, and activities.
- Reward those who live the company’s purpose and values: Create company awards to recognize cultural carriers’ contributions. Employees who live the company’s vision and values are role models. More than ever, review your company’s mission, vision, and principles. A well-planned approach to these topics may lead to a focused culture.
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