Building a strong brand through an engaged team and clear communications

Why do vision, mission and values matter? Today, as we experience one of Australia’s largest ever labour shortages, it’s never been so vital to establish your organisational purpose and values — especially across your team.The COVID pandemic has brought about immense change in the way we work — and what we’re willing to put up with on the job. Wage stagnation, cost of living, job dissatisfaction and the desire to work for companies with better remote-work policies may all contribute to what seems like mass resignation.

The recent Jobs and Skills Summit, led by the Prime Minister and Treasurer, aims to address many of these issues, including growing wages, as many struggle with rising costs of living. On the ground, forward-looking organisations are building more positive workplaces to improve staff retention — and attract new talent — by finding smarter ways to engage with their teams. As part of this overhaul, a well-crafted vision and mission statement should both clearly outline an organisation’s ultimate goals and motivate its employees to uphold them.

You can’t get much clearer, for example, than Alzheimer’s Association’s vision statement: ‘Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease’ — or Nike’s inclusive mission statement: ‘Our mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)’ But what are vision, mission and values all about when it comes to running a business — and how do you write them?

A vision statement defines an optimal desired future state and provides guidance as to what the organisations is focussed on achieving in five, ten or more years.What are your organisation’s ultimate goals for the future?

A mission statement explains why an organisation exists.What’s your organisation’s purpose? What does it do and for whom?

Values statements express the key guiding principles of an organisation/brand.What does your organisation stand for? What does it care about?

Authentic vision, mission and values statements offer a team clarity about its organisation’s core values, direction and purpose. They have the power to not only establish a company as a brand, but to provide intrinsic value to the work of the employees who strive for a shared set of organisational goals.Behind the scenes, vision, mission and values statements are fundamental to the strategic direction of an organisation and its effective governance.

Cate Jolley, CEO, Effective Governance, helps boards and leadership teams to perform at their optimum, achieve compliance and deliver best practice governance. ‘I am fortunate to work with numerous high-performing organisations’, says Cate, ‘and, without exception, these organisations share a genuine and prevailing commitment to purpose, people and process’.Yet many organisations don’t clearly articulate their stance on purpose, people and process — or have no stance at all. Such workplaces may have lofty manifestos in hollow corporate-speak that encourage cynicism or underpin employee resentment. Where a strong mission and vision statement makes a promise to its employees and clients alike — that ‘we are who we say we are’ — a meaningless one fosters only inauthentic connections to the company.

However, formalising these statements is only the beginning in supporting internal brand positioning. An organisation’s values must also resonate with its people, serving as a guide to their decisions and behaviours. Well-developed and embedded values can also help retain current employees by reminding them of the fulfilling reasons they work at an organisation.‘When vision, mission and values are challenged for relevancy — through stakeholder input and scenario testing — and an agreement is reached,’ says Cate, ‘that organisation’s underpinning decision-making framework seems to fall almost organically into place’.For this reason, in developing statements like these, Edmonds Marketing recommends a collaborative approach with input from across the whole organisation — not just senior leadership. Seeking input from key members of the leadership team, as well as cross-functional representation across all levels of the organisation, gives your people — across all roles — a stake in your organisation’s guiding statements. ‘When there is clarity and genuine commitment to these key strategic drivers,’ says Cate, the culture of the organisation benefits with trust in its leadership and direction.’Get in touch to find out how we can help you develop your brand and engage your team for success and job satisfaction.We are forward thinking strategic marketing consultants who love unpacking complex brand and marketing challenges.

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