Defining a company’s mission, vision and values is to have the basis for all strategic planning and decision-making to follow the ideal direction to guarantee better results and the success of the organization. Mission vision and values of a company
Have you ever entered a company’s website and come across a section presenting the organization’s mission, vision and values? Believe me, this is more than a mere formality.
Today, not all companies share this information on their websites. However, it is still recommended that, internally, these concepts are defined and guide the organizational culture.
Knowing that, we made this post to let you know how and what each concept means. Going further, we want you to understand how to define your own company’s mission, vision and values.
What does each of the concepts mean?
To start this conversation, we need you to understand what mission, vision and values are clearly.
The concepts have been known for a long time in the corporate world, but it is common for us not to understand exactly what each one represents.
That’s because many people still see a company’s mission, vision and values as ideas that need to be put on paper at someone’s request, but that end up being forgotten later.
As a consequence, concepts also end up forgotten, confused with each other or little considered. This needs to change!
They are essential when defining strategies to be followed at each stage experienced by the company. So, on to the settings.
What is a company’s mission
It is quite likely that you already know, but if you research, you will confirm that one of the meanings for mission is “what one must do, fulfill; obligation”.
This definition is a good start to talk about what this concept represents from a corporate perspective.
In a company, the mission represents the purpose, the reason to exist , that is, what the organization needs to do to justify its existence.
It is something that is linked to your focus of action and, consequently, to the product or service offered..
In order for us to strengthen this connection, we need to help transform companies’ HR and DP into truly strategic areas . That’s what we’re here for!
So much so that one of the paths we follow is the sharing of “information on real-time productivity, mobility and simplified management”, among others.
This is something that is part of a macro vision of our company’s mission.
What is a company vision
We can say that the mission is the foundation of a company, something that the organization must always rely on to define objectives and outline strategies. Vision, in turn, is something that can be less definitive and vary over time.
That’s because the vision tells where the company wants to go in the future . Therefore, it is like the dream to be pursued, what motivates the organization to continue existing.
It is important to know that vision should not be something utopian, quite the opposite. Imagine you can travel to the future and take a picture of your company five years from now, for example.
It is this image of something concrete—that is, of a possible reality—that must be used to define the vision. Despite this, the vision can be grandiose, because it needs to be inspiring .
We know this is an audacious goal, but it is precisely because we have full knowledge of what we are looking for that we are able to direct our actions on a daily basis.
Each company must determine a vision that it believes to be relevant to its reality and to its aspirations. Over time, once the goal is achieved, the vision can and should change.
For example, a company that dreams of becoming a national reference, upon achieving this feat, can start to pursue the dream of consolidating itself as the greatest authority in the sector or being an international reference.
In general, companies make mistakes for not knowing or for ignoring the possibility of evolution of the vision and, eventually, they end up running out of perspectives or losing motivation.
This risk must be avoided, because mission, vision and values are concepts that must permeate the life of the organization’s internal public .
The vision should show something that inspires everyone involved in getting the company where it wants to go. So it needs to be both realistic and challenging.
What are company values
A company ‘s values act as a bridge between who it is, that is, its mission, and where it wants to go, that is, its vision .
Thus, they translate into the definition of rules to be followed so that the existence of the company is justified and achieves the expected objectives.
We talk about rules of conduct and also the definition of principles and ideas that should permeate the entire organization.
A company can have different values, but it is always good to have the main ones very clear, so that they are known and applied by everyone.
Based on this, we highlight a “top 3” that we consider to deserve even greater prominence among our rules of conduct and we present them as follows:
- team spirit : collaboration and engagement at all points of contact with customers, employees, suppliers create real and trusting relationships;
- innovation : innovating is understanding customer needs and creating solutions before they even realize it;
- respect : differentiated service, respect for consumers, partners and channels create a brand that generates credibility and trust.
Can you see how we outline a “how to” so that we are able to fulfill our purposes and objectives? It is something like this that you need to look for for your company.
What is the importance of mission, vision and values
All very beautiful, all very interesting, but do you still want to understand what the mission, vision and values of a company are for in practice? Come on!
Considering the internal context
Every strategy to be developed by a company must start or go through the mission, vision and values. So, if your company still hasn’t defined what each of these concepts represents, the time has come.
If this definition is ready, you are ready to start using it on a daily basis. This is the best way to keep the company faithful to what motivated its existence and on the right path to get where it wants to be .
You know that story of looking for professionals who have a profile suitable for the company? It goes through values!
What you are looking for are employees who identify with the rules that the organization has decided to abide by in order to achieve its goals.
You know that desire to have employees engaged and wearing the company shirt? It involves identification with the company’s mission and vision.
They are capable of motivating professionals to contribute in the best way so that the company fulfills its purpose and evolves every day.
For employees to be able to connect with the vision, mission and values, top management must also apply these concepts in their daily lives.
Thus, we are talking about definitions that will guide the culture and everything that is done by the company and on behalf of the company .
Considering the external context
We clarify why mission, vision and values are important internally. Now, we are going to tell you why these definitions are often shared with external audiences and how they impact the company.
First, consider the market the company is in. This is how the organization will get employees, partners, sponsors and others.
All these stakeholders can take the company’s mission, vision and values into account when making their decisions .
We say that this can happen because, in fact, not everyone is concerned about this issue. However, this is not something you should consider to be an advantage.
Remember what we talked about learning about strategic planning through pain? There are those who did not have to go through this and already recognized the importance of the basic definitions and those who went through it and then understood.
It is this stakeholder group that has a more mature understanding of professional and business relationships. In general, they are the ones that have the most to offer your company.
Agents with this more mature understanding are concerned with seeking partners whose mission, vision and values make sense to them.
This is even true for the best professionals in the market who can, yes, refuse a job that pays well because they do not identify with the purpose of a company.
All of this means that it is good for the company to know who it is, where it wants to go and how it is going to do so in order to attract, from the external public, who can really add to this trajectory.
Now, also consider the consuming public. If your company offers a product or a service, the way the internal public perceives mission, vision and values impacts what is passed on to customers and potential customers.
If an employee does not identify with the company because he does not understand its mission, vision and values, he will hardly be able to engage consumers as well.
Not to mention that customers are also looking for companies whose raison d’être and way of being make sense.
This is one of the reasons why, in recent times, so many organizations have become concerned with topics such as sustainability , diversity and inclusion .
What does your company lose without mission, vision and values
In contrast to what we presented about the importance of a company’s mission, vision and values, we will also talk about the consequences of not having these definitions.
Mission, vision and values serve as the basis for decision-making and for creating a company’s culture.
Organizational culture is defined as the set of beliefs, customs, values, assumptions, habits, behaviors, experiences and rules shared by everyone within a company.
It considers the expectations of employees, is based on the attitudes of those who make up the organization and, thus, forms the work environment.
A company’s culture is based on defined and documented rules and habits and practices that almost go unnoticed if not observed, but which are part of its identity.
If in a company, employees and managers are in the habit of making “bad jokes”, the lack of inclusion can be a trait of the organizational culture.
Based on this example, the factors that define this culture can be negative or positive.
It’s good to have that clear, because mission, vision and values are part of the company’s culture. Having these clear definitions helps guide what image the agents who are part of the organization will create about the company.
It is worth remembering that culture is impacted by the way of being of employees and managers, in the same way that it impacts the behavior of these people.
Understanding that mission, vision and values are the basis of everything, a manager is able to direct every aspect of the company .
As a result, without defining what each concept represents, your company misses the opportunity to set the tone, to establish a profile, to shape its own image in the most positive and appropriate way possible.
There are still other losses that deserve to be considered. Without a clear mission, vision and values, a company can:
- losing its essence, wasting resources and dealing with inconsistent results that distance it from the purpose that justifies its existence;
- lose focus and, immersed in the midst of so many possibilities, move away from the desired goals and act in an increasingly less strategic way ;
- not having clarity on how to achieve the objectives, making mistakes that lead to mistaken questions about the company’s purpose , risking that the business comes to an early end;
- making the wrong hires for not even being able to identify which professionals have profiles in line with the company’s profile ;
- losing partnerships and talents who, for not knowing the mission, vision and values of the company, believe that the relationship is not worth it;
- having difficulties to see valid growth opportunities for not knowing how to evaluate which possibilities are really suitable for the company and more.
How to define the company’s mission, vision and values
When we talk about defining mission, vision and values, we talk about something that involves a process of analysis, critical thinking, evaluations and deliberation. In short, it demands dedication, involvement and effort.
This is because it is not enough to have an idea of what the company is, where it would like to go and what rules are essential for this to happen.
It is necessary to put it on paper, document it so that it is clear enough and can always serve as a reference for all the actions and people of the organization. Next, you’ll find out how to do that!
Defining the company’s mission
“What do we exist for?” or “why was the company created?” or even “what should the company do?” . These are some basic questions that can be used to define the mission that, as we have seen, is the company’s reason for existing.
In this regard, there are two types of response you should avoid:
- responses that do not serve to create a purpose for the company;
- answers that use pretty adjectives, but that are vague.
So that you have a clearer idea of the type of answer you should look for, check out some examples that we have selected:
- Google : “Our mission is to organize the world’s information so that it is universally accessible and useful to everyone”;
- Natura : “Promoting well-being-well — harmonious relationships of the individual with himself, with others and with nature”
- Fiat : “To develop, produce and market cars and services that people prefer to buy and are proud to own, ensuring the creation of value and the sustainability of the business”.
Based on the examples, realize that the mission should be clear and objective, preferably customer-focused . Note how each of the three missions we’ve separated talks about what the company wants to deliver to others.
This is relevant because, even if your company exists so that you can have a source of income and survival, this is only possible if the organization has something to deliver to society or a part of it.
Famed author of business books and CEO of one of the world’s first digital marketing companies, Seth Godin shares the following guideline: “don’t look for customers for your product, look for products for your customer”.
Considering that the triad mission, vision and values is the first definition that will guide the company throughout its existence, the idea is to look for something that can be a definitive compass .
So it’s best to focus on what your company wants to give people to determine its mission.
Over the years, Google has changed the way we consume, find, and even handle information.
The mission we saw in the example, however, still makes sense if we place it at any point in the history of the multinational giant.
With this in mind, when elaborating the company’s mission, consider that the result needs to be something suitable to guide the actions that will be taken, the strategies that will be defined at each stage of the organization’s journey.
Defining the company’s vision
Although it should not be confused with organizational goals, the vision must indicate where the company wants to go, that is, what future it expects for itself .
With that, we talk about a definition that can be considered the first step or the most decisive initial step for a company’s strategies .
“How does the company see itself in the long term?” or “ How does the company want to be seen by its customers?” or even “where does the company want to go, who would it like to serve and what does it want to offer?” .
All these questions can guide the definition of the company’s vision, remembering that it is important to establish something that is viable.
Otherwise, vision loses its ability to motivate managers and employees .
We’ve selected a larger list of examples that might inspire you to make it clear what kind of answer the vision definition can give to the questions we’ve highlighted above. Check out:
- Google : “To provide an important service to the world ― instantly providing relevant information on virtually any topic”;
- Natura : “Natura, due to its business behavior, the quality of the relationships it establishes and its products and services, will be a world-renowned brand, identified with the community of people who are committed to building a better world through better relationship with themselves, with the other, with the nature of which they are part and with the whole”;
- Fiat : “To be among the main players in the market and to be a reference of excellence in automotive products and services”;
- Disney : “Creating a world where everyone can feel like a child”;
- Nike : “To be a reference in sporting goods, thus maintaining a link with quality of life and people”;
- 3M : “To be recognized as the most creative company in the world”.
In creating their visions, what these companies did was project the image they would like to have in the future.
The examples are inspiring, but we understand that the process of creating mission, vision and values for the company itself may seem more difficult than expected.
With that, here are some tips on what you should consider for this definition. Your organization’s vision:
- it needs to be viable but challenging ;
- must be able to mobilize people , that is, gain their sympathy and support around a common cause;
- it should allow people to create an image of the future , that is, make them able to see the company achieving the goals set;
- it needs to arouse a positive feeling about what the company proposes to do.
It is critical that the vision is easily understood by anyone who comes into contact with it.
Especially considering the internal public, it is of great importance that the company’s vision is assimilated by leaders and managers. They are the ones who will guide the fulfillment of actions in pursuit of the defined objective.
Still, this vision must be passed on to all employees so that they know where the company wants to go and have clarity on how their skills and work can be used.
Defining company values
Values represent the set of rules of conduct, philosophy and beliefs that a company has.
To define them, it is good to look inside, but it is also important to look outside and understand what kind of value should serve as a basis for the organization to conquer its space in the market.
As we explained earlier, mission, vision and values are linked to the company’s culture.
It is a factor that defines how the organization is seen by those who compose it and also by those outside.
In order for you to understand why this critical look is important, here are some examples of values that can be adopted by organizations:
- customer satisfaction : considering Steph Godin’s tip, it is worth remembering that the customer is part of a company’s reason for existing. Therefore, having it as the focus of your values is almost a premise;
- valuing people : still, not only customers are made of a company. Thus, the idea of valuing people can also cover the internal public, considering the importance of human capital ;
- social responsibility : each and every company is part of a society that wants to count on the most diverse agents to promote positive changes.
Social responsibility involves, among others, guidelines such as diversity, inclusion and the fight against inequality that can be promoted through the creation of opportunities and more;
- respect for the environment : a company can only define how it wants to reach the future if, in fact, it thinks about what gives us perspectives for that future.
For this reason, concerns about environmental issues are charged and are increasingly present in the way of being of companies.
“What do we care about?” or “what will guide the conduct of the company on a day-to-day basis?” or even “what do we consider essential for our company?” .
These are some questions that can help you define which values your organization will be guided by throughout its existence.
Now, check out some examples of answers that can serve as inspiration:
- Nike : “Innovative company, which provides modernity, thus meeting the public’s needs”;
- HSBC : “Our conduct must reflect the highest ethical standards. Our communication must be clear and accurate. Our management must be as a team; consistent and focused. Our relationship with customers and employees must be transparent and based on trust between the parties”;
- Gerdau : “To have the customer‘s preference. People safety above all. People respected, committed and accomplished. Excellence with simplicity. Focus on results. Integrity with all audiences. Economic, social and environmental sustainability”.
The values must transform or base norms of conduct for the company. With that in mind, here are some tips that can help you know how to create them and how to present them:
- have clarity and objectivity so that the values, which should guide everyone, are easily understood;
- allow the company’s values to be public and easily accessed by the agents that make up the company, and may also be available to customers and society as a whole;
- establish that, in addition to being known, the values must be respected by all partners, managers and employees of the company.
These guidelines make it clear, if there was still any doubt, why the process of defining a company’s mission, vision and values demands dedication and needs to be documented.
As we said before and we reinforce it now, concepts are not just formality.
These are definitions that should really guide the company in its day to day, and should even be remembered in meetings, conversations about new projects and in other appropriate situations.
All sectors of the company need to know its mission, vision and values to always have a direction in the execution of its tasks, in the definition of goals, in the analysis of internal and external scenarios and so on.
Seeking validation of definitions
This all indicates that, once the definitions are made, it is convenient for the company to look for ways to validate them.
This means that it is necessary to make sure that your mission, vision and values are really adequate.
The idea is to have them as a basis for any planning, decision and strategic action.
Thus, the best thing to do is to make sure that what has been defined is the most appropriate to guide the organization on its trajectory.
To this end, an alternative is to use the Mission, Vision and Values tool developed by Sebrae.
The validation test has 15 questions that must be answered based on the definitions made.
An example is the question “is it easy to communicate the mission to employees, partners and customers?” . In this case, the answer may be “no”, “don’t know” or “yes. Easy understanding”.
The first two options lead to a review of the defined mission and so on until all definitions are in place.
Why do frequent reviews
The last tip we have to give about mission, vision and values is that the definitions be reviewed frequently.
The mission must be constantly revisited so that the company and the people who compose it do not deviate from the defined essence , from the reason for being that was determined for the organization.
In turn, the vision must be reviewed so that a critical assessment is made of the decisions and actions being taken .
The company needs to make sure that the paths it is choosing really target the objective that was defined when creating an image of the future.
Finally, values need to be consulted so that every company is reminded of what is essential in its conduct , in its way of being.
This needs to be done so that its existence is justified and its long-term goals are achieved.
There are specific moments when these reviews must be carried out, such as the definition of a new project, a new product or the adoption of a new management method.
But that is not all. Consultations can and should be made whenever doubt is in the air and mission, vision and values are useful to put the company back on track.