Picture this. You walk into the office early Monday morning. Coffee in hand, you are greeted by upbeat employees. There’s a notable energy in the air - your staff are excited to be at work and to solve your customer’s problems. The enthusiasm is contagious.
Unfortunately, for most businesses, Monday mornings are the start of the countdown to the weekend. Research shows that 70% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged from their jobs. Because these employees dislike or even hate their jobs, they are less productive than their engaged counterparts. The financial impact on the US economy is striking—Gallup estimates that active disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year.
Engaged workers, the ones who jump out of bed in the morning and bring passion to what they do, are critical to a business’s long term success. That means aligning employees’ talents with organizational strategy is key to a thriving business, and it starts with the mission statement.
I’ll admit it, writing a mission statement that ignites is no easy task. It takes time, it requires creativity, and you need passion to do it right. You should think of it as the first and most important piece of content your company should have. And it shouldn’t just state your company’s purpose, it should act as a rallying cry to inspire your team.
It may at first seem counterintuitive to write a mission statement with your employees, and not your customers, at the forefront of your mind. But according to the 2013 State of the American Workforce report, “to win customers — and a bigger share of the marketplace — companies must first win the hearts and minds of their employees.”
When an employee feels connected to the mission of their organization, they bring more of themselves to their work. This authentic connection with the purpose of their company makes even mundane day-to-day tasks worthwhile and important. It elevates an employee’s dedication to finding realistic and creative solutions to your organization’s problems. It gives them the psychological and social fulfillment that keeps them from burning out or getting bored.
There is no more powerful way to motivate your employees than by connecting with their values. When employees feel aligned to a company's mission, they are in return more engaged, passionate, and ultimately productive. And it’s not just any kind of productivity—it’s the kind that has a purpose.
Don’t skip creating your rallying cry. You need it to make your employees, and ultimately your business, thrive. You need it for that Monday morning energy boost.
Vicky Cassidy is the founder of Grid, a productivity training company that helps busy professionals get their sh_t together. She focuses on all factors that enable people to get things done, from managing their email to finding meaning in their work. She regularly rants about productivity, organization, and useful tools and products on Grid’s blog.