Businesses, no matter how big or small, need to have an overarching vision and mission statement that guide every significant decision made by the company and its leadership team.
To create a compelling statement, you must first start with an understanding of what human resource mission statements are.
This article will explain what HR mission statements are, why your business needs one, and how to write an effective mission statement that best aligns with your brand's identity.
Table of Contents
- What Are Human Resources Mission Statements?
- Why Do You Need a Mission Statement?
- What Are the Components of a Good Mission Statement?
- Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
- How to Write an Effective HR Mission Statement?
- Mistakes to Avoid in Your Mission Statement
- Examples of Great HR Mission Statements
- Human Resources Mission Statements: Bottomline
What Are Human Resources Mission Statements?
Human resource mission statements are strategic management documents supporting an organization's human resources goals.
A mission statement defines the organization's purpose and helps guide employees' daily decision-making.
The human resources department is responsible for creating a culture that attracts, retains, and engages employees.
The HR mission statement sets the standards for hiring, training, and developing employees to reach their full potential as individuals and partners in the business.
Why Do You Need a Mission Statement?
You need a mission statement to guide your employees and help them understand how they fit into the big picture.
It gives them an idea of how their work fits into the big picture and helps them see how they can be successful in their job.
Imagine a potential employee applying for a job at your company, and you don't have a mission statement in place.
How would they know what goals your company is trying to achieve? How could they be sure that the job they were applying for aligns with those goals?
You can't expect employees to buy into a mission statement if there isn't one in place, which means you need to develop one as soon as possible.
What Are the Components of a Good Mission Statement?
A good mission statement will be easy to understand, inspiring, and motivating. It should help your employees know what success means for the business and how they can contribute to that success.
Your mission statement should do the following:
- Clarify what values are essential to your business
- Let people know what you stand for and why it matters
- Show new employees how the company operates and what you expect from them
- Serve as a reminder for employees at all levels who have been with the company for years
One of the most critical elements in any mission statement is a short, clear, and concise description of your company's purpose.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
Mission statements and vision statements are often confused with each other, but they have very different purposes.
A mission statement is about the present. It focuses on what you want to achieve, who you are serving, and how you plan to do so.
A vision statement is about the future: it focuses on how you want to achieve your mission statement, who will benefit from this achievement, and why those people should be interested in working with you.
A mission statement is a general definition of the business and its goals. In contrast, a vision statement is a specific description of what the company will look like when it achieves those goals.
The idea behind the difference is that your mission statement should be something everyone in the company can help put into place. In contrast, your vision statement should be specific and achievable.
How to Write an Effective HR Mission Statement?
Research and Brainstorm
Brainstorm a list of words that describe your company's culture and values.
Examples could include family-friendly, flexible, fun, supportive, etc.
Make sure this list includes words that reflect how your business operates daily and what you want it to become in the future.
Organize Your Key Factors
Now that you've identified what your mission statement is going to be, it's time to organize the information into a message.
It involves listing all the factors that will make up your mission statement in an organized fashion and ensuring they're easy to read.
There are several ways to organize your key factors:
- Listing it out by importance or priority
- Using bullet points or numbered lists (especially if there are multiple statements)
- Using paragraph form (if using more than one statement)
Write a Draft
While the two previous steps were more about the big picture, this one is how you get it done. Don't worry about other people's actions when writing your HR Mission Statement.
Instead, focus on what you want to achieve for your business. Be ambitious but realistic: there are no wrong answers at this stage.
An excellent way to make sure that you set the right goals is by using SMART criteria:
- Specific: What exactly do I want?
- Measurable: How am I going to know when I have achieved it?
- Achievable: Is it within my reach? Am I setting myself up for failure because of unrealistic expectations or deadlines? Will other people expect me to succeed at this task or goal and support me through it (or will they pull me down)? If not, we may need another way of approaching our mission statement.
- Realistic: Is there any chance that things could go wrong along the way? How can we prepare ourselves for those possibilities so they don't derail us from our overall objective?
- Time-Bound: How long do we expect this whole thing to take? If it's a specific amount of time, what are some milestones along the way that can help us measure our progress?
Edit and Revise
Once you have a mission statement draft, it is time for the editing process. Ensure all of the information in your draft is clear, concise, and effective.
If it isn't, then you need to go back and revise the document until it is.
You'll know that you have reached a point of perfection when your mission statement is clear and concise, easy to understand for everyone who reads it, and simple enough that even a child could recite it.
There is not just one way to go about writing a mission statement for your business, but it should answer these five questions:
- What are you doing?
- What makes you different?
- For whom do you do it?
- How will you do it?
- What results will you produce?
- What does success look and feel like in your business?
Mistakes to Avoid in Your Mission Statement
Avoid these common mistakes when writing a mission statement, or else your company will experience a lack of alignment, confusion, buy-in, or direction:
- Unrealistic expectations: While it's great to be ambitious when you set out to create a mission statement, unrealistic expectations could lead to disappointment.
- Using jargon: "Lateral cross-functional communication channels" instead of something simple like "talking with other departments/people within our organization" might seem impressive at first glance. However, it won't resonate with anyone unfamiliar with that jargon.
- Lack of clarity: If you can't explain your mission statement in plain language, it probably isn't apparent enough. Using ambiguous verbs: "We are committed to providing a safe, secure, and enriching environment for our students" is better than "We value the health, safety, and well-being of our students."
- Using clichés: "Commitment to excellence" and "working hard every day to achieve our goals" are both overused. Make your mission statement stand out by being memorable, sincere, and unique.
- Not being specific: If your mission statement doesn't mention how you will do something, it needs a little more work. Using vague words: "Provide" and "value" are great examples of vague verbs that don't say anything about what you'll be doing.
Examples of Great HR Mission Statements
Google: “Google’s mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. That's why Search makes it easy to discover a broad range of information from various sources. Some information is simple, like the height of the Eiffel Tower.”
Target: “To help all families discover the joy of everyday life. That’s our purpose. Our mission. The promise of surprises, fun, ease and inspiration at every turn, no matter when, where or how you shop.”
Netflix: "To entertain the world. Whatever your taste, and no matter where you live, we give you access to best-in-class TV series, documentaries, feature films, and mobile games.”
Johnson & Johnson: " Bringing science and sense of sight to life through world-class innovation and customer experience.”
Procter & Gamble: “We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world's consumers, now and for generations to come.”
Amazon: "We aim to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover, and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximize their success.”
HubSpot: “We believe businesses can grow with a conscience and succeed with a soul — and they can do it with inbound. That's why we've created an ecosystem uniting software, education, and community to help businesses grow better every day.”
Zendesk: “Zendesk is a service-first CRM company that builds software to improve customer relationships. As employees, we encourage each other to grow and innovate. As a company, we roll up our sleeves to plant roots in the communities we call home.”
Wikipedia: “To create a world where people can access the information they need to be successful in any language, on any computing device, anywhere in the world.”
Intel: "Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.”
Apple: “To bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.”
Human Resources Mission Statements: Bottomline
With the business landscape shifting and changing at an ever-increasing rate, it's more important than ever to have vision and mission statements that direct your business's growth and ensure it remains focused on its core values.
Businesses of all sizes realize the importance of having clearly-written human resource mission statements.
A well-written mission statement can help employees understand their roles in the company and how they can contribute to overall success.
Remember that mission statements require regular review and retooling to keep up with a changing business environment and evolving markets.
A professional HR outsourcing agency can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.