During delivery of team building trainings it was very surprising to discover that many employees and sometimes even managers and supervisors don’t know the company’s mission and vision. As a retail owner or manager what do you do in order to deliver this important message? 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 you display it on the company webpage? Can your customers see it? How do you empower employees to fulfill that vision and mission?
Another confusing aspect is that company’s leaders often mix up mission and vision statements. Sometimes mission/vision statements blend together. Many companies have only mission or vision statement. I also know some companies without any vision and mission!
Why it is 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 it.
What comes first? If you just start new company (store), then the vision will guide the mission statement. If you have an established business where the mission is established, then many times, the mission guides the vision statement.
A vision statement defines the desired or intended future state of company. Vision is a long-term view, it is the source of inspiration. It is how to make a difference to customers, to the community, and to the world.
Your vision could project a compelling story about the future. When Steve Jobs, the Apple founder, said “An Apple on every desk,” it was his vision of the company.
Vision statement should include:
• Vivid and clear picture
• Description of a bright future
• Memorable and engaging wording
• Realistic aspirations
• Alignment with organizational values and culture
Apple Vision Statement: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
CVS (Retail Pharmacy) Vision Statement: “We strive to improve the quality of human life.”
Mission is a formal, short, written statement purpose of an organization or a team. The company’s mission statement tells why and for what purpose the company was formed, what services, goods and ideas it offers the public, and what its standards are. It should distinguish the company from all others and be stated clearly, be 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 merchandized, offering you MORE selection, MORE value and a lot MORE FUN!”
2. How do we do it?
• A statement regards commitment and unique approach to business
Staples Mission: “What’s Staples Soul? Staples Soul reflects our commitment to corporate responsibility. It’s a holistic approach to business that recognizes the close connection between our financial success and our desire to make a positive impact on our associates, communities, and the planet by joining together the following areas: diversity, the environment, our community, and ethics. It’s how we do business – that’s Staples Soul.”
Best Buy Mission: “Our formula is simple: we’re a growth company focused on better solving the unmet needs of our customers-and we rely on our employees to solve those puzzles. Thanks for stopping.”
• A statement summarizing your company’s aspirations
“We strive to be the leaders in our region within the Men’s Wear Industry.”
3. For whom do we do it?
• A statement regards to 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 in regards to customer service, product knowledge
BC Liquor Stores Mission: “To be a customer focused, profitable retailer of beverage alcohol, dedicated to innovation, exemplary service, helpful product knowledge and social responsibility.”
Target Mission: “Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.”
• A statement in regards to your employees
“We are committed to the growth and career development of our employees. They are what makes our company great.”
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. Additionally, this statement allows for the company’s staff to be aware of the priorities and goals of the company.
Best Buy Value Statement:
We have four values that guide our actions:
* Have fun while being the best.
* Learn from challenge and change.
* Show respect, humility and integrity.
* Unleash the power of our people.