Why a good mission statement leads to better productivity?

by Ashvini on September 27, 2012 · 13 comments

in My Personal Thoughts

Waiting for the information , in my opinion, is one of the most important productivity killer. The information lag is compounded when a person whose work is dependent upon the information from multiple sources, is stuck.

The problem is that even though something may be important for one , it may not be in the priority list of one’s co-workers . Then a lot of time gets wasted in following up and getting the required information . But is co-worker to be blamed for lack of enthusiasm. Probably not.

Any organization needs to work for a certain objective, irrespective of the size. The mission statement defines how people working for the organization behave. If the mission statement does not provide adequate direction to the employees,  they probably will not know their priorities.

But just having  a great mission statement will not create productive workforce. The objectives derived out of the mission statement needs to be clarified time and again by the senior management. The objectives derived out of mission statement need to have a direct impact on the way of working of the employees.

McDonald’s objective is for example .(from Wikipedia)

To provide the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered consistently in a low-key decor and friendly atmosphere.

This is a mission statement that sets concrete ideas for a food chain to deliver cost effective food which is tasty.

The information problem that I highlighted is often because of two factors

a) There is no concrete and clear mission statement

b) Senior management is lethargic/does not find enough time to implement the objectives

If the organizations go by their mission statement, productivity would be far higher. For example, if the objective is to provide customer a response in four hours, everyone will do his/her bit to do that. The targets would be set and the service levels could be measured easily. Then in the case of the example at the top of this post, everyone will provide information needed to fulfill the objective.

I used to be of the opinion that mission statements are only a cursory feature meant to impress stakeholders. However an excellent and concrete mission statement which leads to meaningful objectives is a far bigger gain on productivity than any other costly tool or system.

No matter if you lead a team of ten or a hundred, a good mission statement is a must.

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{ 13 comments }

Joy October 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

When drafting a mission statement, it’s important to note that it should be able to reflect the kind of identity we want our companies to uphold. It must be attainable and our customers should be able to see tangible results based on these objectives. Thanks for the enlightening read.

Kristine October 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

Hello Ashvini, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think that being specific about our objectives is an essential driving force that enables us to reach goals and meet the expectations of our clients in a timely manner. Thanks for the informative share!

DiNaRa September 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I can say that my company has a kind of mission statement, but it is not clear from my point of view and nothing is done to support the statement and make people believe in it.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi Dinara,

Thanks for your comment. I hope your company needs a rethink on the whole mission statement thing and make things better.

Jeevan Jacob John September 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I think a mission statement should also be inspiring to the employees (well, at least kind of).

You can have a great mission statement and at the same time, employees who aren’t really interested in working with it (Well, they will work because they have to, but they will start to hate the job).

Keeping a positive environment is important in the work place, don’t you think, Ashvini?

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Hi Jeevan,
A positive environment is a must, I completely agree with you.
I think mission statements are only just there for people to see and admire. They have been relegated to background. However intelligent companies often will use mission statement to drive a point with stakeholders and often use it to good force to help employees stay productive.
So a meaningless mission statement is of no use . Also a mission statement that does not lead to anything concrete is also waste of time. If you cannot derive objectives out of mission statement and move your organization towards achieving them, then better not have a mission statement.

Glad to see your comment :)

Radu September 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Your comparison with McDonald’s may not be the best example because they are operating under another sector. They are food providers which is a basic need.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Hi Radu,
It was an example where mission statement is directly linked to the objectives that every McDonald’s franchise has. Even though it is a basic need but to fulfill it the way they have done is amazing. So many countries, so many branches yet food tastes the same. To me that is the real use of driving the mission statement home.
Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it as always.

Radu October 2, 2012 at 1:11 am

Normally it should taste the same as they use the same ingredients. I have relatives which were working in different McDonald restaurants and the food was made from the same products.

Jan Bierens September 29, 2012 at 3:33 am

A well defined business plan is key. period. It sets the boundaries for customers (tell them what they may expect) and the firm (everybody knows what they should do for the customer).
Like you showed a business description does not have to be ten pages long, but has to be clear and leave no room for miss interpretation.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Hi Jan,

You are c right. The statements from a bad plan are confusing and difficult to follow. Often they are copied from somewhere else without meaningful adaption.

Layak Singh September 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Yeah, agree with you!
It defines the future goals of the firm :)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Welcome Layak to my blog and thanks for your comment :)

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