Amongst the few things in common between successful business leaders across the globe is the fact that they have a very clearly defined vision and mission for the company and also clearly articulate and demonstrate the values that form a part of the company’s DNA.
What better way to drive the same passion as the founder in each member who is part of the startup, and develop a consistent approach to realise the ultimate goal the founder had set for the business. There’s no contesting the fact that with a common purpose and values to bind and guide the entire team, the synergies derived can multiply manifold.
Vision, Mission, Values Matter
Keeping this in mind, it is imperative that the vision of the startup is communicated to potential employees even before they come on board. By doing so as part of the hiring process, you can gauge how well they are aligned with the vision, or are willing to align themselves once they join, so they can actively contribute towards realizing it.
Any disagreement on this front can cause conflict, and therefore, a sense of demotivation, at a later stage. The situation can affect not just the concerned individual, but can take a toll on the entire team and the startup itself. The USP of most startups is the camaraderie that the team members share, given the limited number of people. So a situation like this can impact the overall ‘atmosphere’ there and play spoilsport.
Moreover, if the hiring team itself is clear about the vision, mission and values of the company and considers it important while hiring someone at a key position (and even for any other position), they would be in a better position to pick the right candidate who is aligned to the company’s goals and values. So, there’ll be fewer chances of having any regrets later.
How They Matter
Clearly, these three factors play a vital role in the success of the business or the person assigned a particular role, and if not communicated properly, can jeopardise the fate of both. Even the most celebrated business leaders are doomed and cannot perform well, if not aligned properly with the company’s vision, mission and values.
Unless they are given the yardstick against which their performance will be measured and clear expectations set, they are bound to fail. Even in terms of immeasurable aspects such as the values and code of conduct etc., the expectations need to be clearly communicated, else they will end up doing what they feel is ‘right’. But that may actually be far from what is expected of them, thus leading to a disconnect in the long run.
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Above all, it is not only important to hire people who can align themselves with the company’s vision, mission and values, it is also important to constantly reinforce these aspects in the minds of all the team members from time to time, so they start living and breathing the same values. Once they become part of a person’s DNA, it’s less likely that they falter.
In fact, the vision, mission and values are not just important for large and establish businesses. If defined right at the time of inception, and clearly communicated both within and outside the organisation, it ensures that things are more streamlined and you are taken more seriously by your team and other stakeholders.
How They Hold The Organisation Together
It is the duty of a startup founder or business leader to create value for a company by aligning its vision with the business strategies, culture, branding and performance milestones. The leaders have to be clear about what they want to accomplish (vision and mission) and how they are going to go about it (values).
Once these basics tenets are formed, they act as a binder to hold an organisation together. Together, they form a vital pillar on which the foundation of the business rests. Although, over a period of time, a company’s strategies and goals may change depending on market conditions, this base remains the same. Without it, an organisation would be more like a rudderless ship that’ll eventually capsize.
Communication Is Important
Remember, just defining the vision, mission and values is not enough. Founders must also be able to communicate these three values well to their team members. Clear and precise vision and mission statements ensure that each aspect of the strategic management process is aligned to the company’s long-term goals.
Communicating these to the team from time to time will ensure that they are fully aware of the expectations. It can prove to be a great asset in improving the performance and profitability of a startup since it gives everyone a common direction to work towards, thus saving valuable time and resources. It is also a great tool to instil passion for the company’s purpose among the team members.
In the long run, a clear cut vision, mission and value system also helps improve employee retention and promote employee referrals. Committed employees eventually move beyond performing the mere basics and start viewing their contribution to the organisation on a more personal level.
Due to this, they are more likely to take proactive steps to create a safer and better work environment, innovate, increase productivity, have better relationships with their customers and other stakeholders and take ownership of their actions in the organisation. It is this sense of ownership and loyalty among members that adds true value to an organisation.
Clearly defined vision and mission statements also allow customers, suppliers and shareholders to decide whether or not they wish to be associated with your startup. It is a mirror for all to observe the clarity of purpose and value of a company to all outsiders. Without a clearly defined intent, a startup will be disorganised and appear fickle to third parties.
This lack of clear-cut guidelines will reflect in its services towards their clients, quality of work executed, and how problems and glitches are tackled, thus having a direct bearing on its credibility and longevity.
What is also of utmost importance is that in the day-to-day practice, a founder must walk the talk by embodying and enacting the vision and values in actual management practices. Just talking about it may not be enough. Since others look up to him/her, he/she should become the role model for others to emulate. It is also important to relate and reinforce actual success stories to your team to relate to replicate.
However, do remember to periodically review these in the context of the competition in the market, the possible changes which can happen in the near future and the pace of growth of the organisation. The mission, vision and value statements are not straight jackets. Rather, they are meant to be road maps for your startup where new routes and stops can be created as per the need of the hour.