Building a Magnetic Employer Brand: What’s your mission got to do with it?


By Brenda Ostlie | Posted April 16th, 2021

If your organization is like most, you have a mission statement and corresponding vision statement. As proof, it hangs etched into a plaque on the wall. And it’s likely stated somewhere on your company website. True so far?

Again, if your organization is like many, those statements were created by a committee. The original sentiment, however noble, morphed into an eloquent list of ambiguous platitudes about deep concern for customers and shareholders as well continually striving to achieve best-in-class alignment to long-term strategy. Oh, and innovation. Don’t forget innovation.

The problem is that the people in the trenches who are breathing life into your mission and vision are employees not skilled in platitude interpretation.

Quick … what’s your mission statement? (No peeking)

If employees can’t recall the mission without looking, if they can’t connect the dots between their individual jobs and the company vision, it’s a disconnect.

The answer is not to require employee memorization of meaningless mission statements, but to rethink the approach. After all, mission and vision statements are meant to motivate. To inspire. To provide a path to the future.

Meaningful mission statements result in meaningful work.

Employees come and stay when they have work worth doing

Employees want to feel connected to a purpose.

How bad do they want it?

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 2018 reported 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work. That’s good news if you don’t have the budget for the highest salaries in your industry. In their Meaning and Purpose at Work report, HBR also reported that employees who find work meaningful are more productive, more satisfied and less likely to leave.

“9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work” –HBR

The challenge and the opportunity

The benefits of an engaged workforce are evident. The flip side of the equation is that employers need to live the mission and inspire employees to do the same. A clearly articulated mission and vision is a great place to begin.

If your organization could benefit from an energy-infused, authentic mission statement to replace its plaque-on-the-wall-excellence-in-customer-service-and stakeholder-value and blah-bity blah blah mission statement, we can help.

If you need some help attracting and retaining employees, we can help with that too.

The way we find meaning in our work is to help you identify your story, tell your story and live your story.

Ready to learn more? Check out our 5-step process for branding so you stand out from competitors.