Your organization has a mission and your employees desire purpose in their work. But how do those two align?
To some, this might seem like an easy question to answer, while others might find it impossible. The details will be specific to your organization, but there are steps you can take to create a positive culture with employee buy-in. This means not only your new hires need to believe in your vision, but all employees from the top down, in order for your organization to achieve its goals and mission.
Determine your mission and goals
The first step is to establish purpose. You can’t expect your employees to believe in your mission if there isn’t one or you aren’t completely sure of it yourself, so the first step is to establish a purpose. ClearPoint Strategy states, "Organizations with clear mission and vision statements as part of a defined strategy are more successful. It shouldn’t be a choice of mission statement versus vision statement - these are two pieces of the same puzzle you’ll fit together when creating your strategic plan."
Both Mayo Clinic and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are known for their quality of care and advances in treatment. Their vision and mission statements are clear and speak to their values:
Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic will provide an unparalleled experience as the most trusted partner for health care.
St. Jude: To accelerate progress against catastrophic disease at a global level.
Mayo Clinic: To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.
St. Jude: The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
When you hear Mayo Clinic or St. Jude’s, you may not know their vision and mission statements off the top of your head, but you do know who they are and what they do. That is not only because they have a mission statement, but because it is clear, and they present themselves in a way that aligns with their values.
You might already have a mission statement or set of goals your employees strive to reach, but if you don’t, work with leadership and staff to create a shared vision and set of goals toward which the organization can collectively work.
Communicate your purpose with employees - and potential employees
How you present your mission is just as important as the statement itself, especially to your staff. Candidates and employees want their values to link with that of the company for which they work, so make sure your purpose is clear and defined. You’ll want to be able to share it with others when they ask, and you’ll also want to know how it can relate to them.
A candidate won’t be a good fit if they do not believe in your vision, and a hire won’t be successful if their personal values are not in sync with those of the organization. It’s OK if someone isn’t a good fit based on beliefs and values, but it won’t be good if they don’t realize it until it’s too late because they didn’t know the health care system’s core beliefs.
In order to retain employees and recruit quality talent that will mesh well, get to know your staff and candidates and what is important to them. When their values match those of your organization, you will receive buy-in from employees and everyone can work together for a common purpose.
Create the culture
Your values and mission statement don’t mean anything if the organization doesn’t follow them and employees don’t believe them. It’s important to emulate the culture outlined in your core beliefs.
LinkedIn recently conducted a survey and found 65% of employees would rather have lower pay and a lower-ranking title than deal with a negative workplace. In the same survey, employees said they want to work where companies foster positive environments, they can be themselves and they have a positive impact on society.
People want to work where they are valued and where their work has a purpose. It’s difficult to get buy-in from your employees when they don’t share in the goals and vision or may feel as though they are artificial. If your leadership and staff pursue the mission, values and goals of the organization in their daily work, you will begin to build a positive culture.