Mission Statement - Does Your Organization Need One?






"What is our Mission Statement?"

Asking this question at the very beginning of the existence of your organization helps you in the preparation of this document.

A mission statement is described as "the operational, ethical and financial reasons" why an organization exists.

There are several reasons why you need to prepare your organization's statement of what its mission is. Among them are as stated below.

  • It guides your decision-makers in planning and conducting organizational operations.
  • It gives potential employees clear indications of how they will be treated and what are expected of them.
  • It explains to interested parties and the community at large how the organization is distinct from other entities.
  • It forms a basis for decisions by customers of the organization.
  • It gives stakeholders the confidence that key personnel or people have the level of commitment and purpose necessary to make the organization financially viable.

Stating the Mission

This Statement:

  • must address the reason why your organization exists
  • is broad enough for flexibility in implementation but not too broad that you can lose focus
  • must reflect the values, beliefs, philosophy, and culture of your organization
  • provides the guidelines for decision-making with impacts on your organization
  • is clear and easily understood by everyone
  • is short and easily remembered
  • explains how your organization differs from other organizations
  • clearly indicates the scope and direction of your organization's activities

Prepare Foundation

Determine the foundation for your mission before reducing it to a written statement.

Choose the right elements that are important to your organization taking into consideration all the surrounding circumstances.

Examples:

  • Your organization's goals and intended outcomes;
  • values such as the organizational culture;
  • strategic operations approach;
  • business focus;
  • customer focus;
  • senior management leadership;
  • teamwork;
  • excellence.
and so on.

Comparison to a Vision Statement

It is written:

    "...a vision statement expresses an organization's optimal goal and reason for existence, while a mission statement provides an overview of the group's plans to realize that vision by identifying the service areas, target audience, and values and goals of the organization." (Foundation Center.org)

Carter McNamara wrote:

    "a vision statement expresses an organization's optimal goal and reason for existence, while a mission statement provides an overview of the group's plans to realize that vision by identifying the service areas, target audience, and values and goals of the organization." For more info

Many people often get confused between the two statements. However, it is said that the one similarity is that both will state the same purpose of the organization.

In a nutshell, A vision statement expresses the ultimate objective of an organization. A vision is something like a guiding star that the organization focuses upon to attain. But it is always moving further away as the organization is at the point of achieving it.

A statement of mission refers to "what" the organization must do in the short and long-term in order to attain its vision. Achieving that mission requires you to formulate strategies and tactics.

Ask the right questions to point you in the right direction.

Try to prepare these two statements at the same time.


Mission Statement in HRM

Preparing this Statement is one of the important areas of HR Strategic Planning.

Further, refer to your organization's Vision and Mission when preparing your HR Mission.

This is part of the step in linking HR to your organization's overall goal.

An organization' Mission Statements is usually found in Human Resource Policy Manual and Employee Manual.





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