The people you employ contribute – directly or indirectly – on a daily basis to the strength and vitality of your business. You can’t run your business alone, so you rely on their skills and support.
In simpler words, your employees help you to make money.
But your employees are not just the people who arrive at your office every day and exchange effort for a paycheck. Their role is not just to build capacity and sell more or serve more.
Your employees are part of a potentially powerful group of people that you can leverage to put your business on the fast track to success. Your staff is more than the people who work for you. They are actually members of your team – the group of people who are collectively working to achieve the same objective, or reach the same vision.
I say they are more than just employees because their collective, cohesive value is actually much higher than their individual worth.
We all know that more people working on the same task will ensure the task is completed faster. In business, when you have more people working together on the same task, you save time, increase brainpower, and ultimately, make more money.
Corporate Culture has become a common buzzword when it comes to building a successful business, and rightly so.
Your corporate culture is the environment in which you run your business, and the environment in which your team members work. It is rooted in the vision, mission and beliefs of the organization, and dictates the “kind of office” and “kind of people” that work in that office.
Corporate culture is something that typically develops organically. The business owner and senior employees create a positive or negative environment based solely on who they are as people and how they behave as leaders. You simply can’t avoid creating some type of corporate culture when you run a business.
You can, however, avoid creating a negative or unproductive corporate culture. Whether you are just starting out, or seeking to improve your workplace, you do have control over the type of environment in which you run your business.
Like most things in business, this won’t happen overnight. However, with a clear idea of where you want to go, and what you want to create, you’ll be well on your way to getting there.
Your company’s vision statement should be a bold, clear, short sentence that every single one of your employees knows and understands. It is a roadmap to your idea of success; if you don’t know what that looks like, how will you know when you achieve it?
If your goal is to create a highly profitable company – what does highly profitable mean? $1 million in annual sales? $3 million in annual profit?
Do you seek to become the industry leader in sprocket production? How will this be measured? How many sprockets will you have to produce to reach this goal?
The vision statement is a short summary of the long-term objective of the company. What the company will look like, produce, achieve; it is how you know the company is “successful.”
Many companies either do not have a vision statement or they keep it a secret from their employees. It is only discussed in board meetings or management meetings. For a team to collectively work toward a goal, they need to know what the big picture objective is. They need to have buy-in in the company’s direction, and be communicated with on a regular basis.
Be proud of your vision. Keep it visible for staff – post it on the wall, include it in internal communications, and connect day to day activities too it as often as possible.
Sample Vision Statements
Here are some real examples of corporate vision statements:
“At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses through the world realize their potential.” – Microsoft
“Give every customer a reason to believe…STAPLES Business Depot—That was easy!” – Staples Canada
"To build the largest and most complete Amateur Radio community site on the Internet." – eHam.net
Creating a Vision Statement
The process of creating a vision statement is something that you can work through alone, or in collaboration with your team. It is highly recommended to review the draft vision statement with your employees to ensure they understand and support the goals and objectives of the company.
Keep the following points in mind when crafting your vision statement:
· Think big – Why did you start or buy this business? What was your dream or purpose in doing so?
· Think long-term – Vision statements should last five to 10 or even 25 years
· Be specific – Use numbers, dates, ratings systems and other ways of measuring success
· Be succinct – Use clear, short, simple sentences that are easy to repeat and remember
Your mission statement is a general description of how you are going to achieve your vision. This is a longer and more detailed statement that should include what your business is, who your customers are, and how you are different from (better than!) the competition.
Sample Mission Statements
“Starbucks purchases and roasts high-quality whole bean coffees and sells them along with fresh, rich-brewed, Italian style espresso beverages, a variety of pastries and confections, and coffee-related accessories and equipment -- primarily through its company-operated retail stores. In addition to sales through our company-operated retail stores, Starbucks sells whole bean coffees through a specialty sales group and supermarkets. Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink and a line of premium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships and offers a line of innovative premium teas produced by its wholly owned subsidiary, Tazo Tea Company. The Company's objective is to establish Starbucks as the most recognized and respected brand in the world.” – Starbucks
Creating Your Mission Statement:
Here is a recommended process for completing your mission statement:
Step One: List your company’s core strengths and weaknesses; what do you do well? What do you need to work on, or avoid doing?
Step Two: Who are your primary customers? Describe the types of customers you serve – both internal and external.
Step Three: What do your customers think of your strengths? What strengths are most important to them? Go ahead and ask them if you need to.
Step Four: Connect the strength that each customer values with its customer type. Write it in a sentence. Combine any redundancies.
Step Five: Organize your sentences in order of importance
Step Six: Combine your sentences into a paragraph or two. Elaborate on points as needed. This is your draft mission statement.
Step Six: Consult with your staff and customers, and ask for their feedback. Do employees support the statement? Can they act on it? Do customers want to do business with a company with this mission statement? Does it make sense?
Step Seven: Incorporate the feedback received, and refine the statement until you are happy with it. Then publish it – everywhere.
Culture or Values Statements
Your culture or values statement is the next step in the process. It describes how you and your staff will go about taking action (your mission statement) to achieve your objective (your vision statement).
Much like every family has their own belief system and way of doing things – from cooking to cleaning to raising kids – every company has their own set of values when it comes to running a business. It reflects the unique personality of the organization.
Sample Culture Statement
* Values-based leadership. Our Credo outlines the values that provide the foundation of how we act as a corporation and as individual employees so that we continue to put the needs of the people we serve first.
* Diversity. It’s our individual differences that make us stronger as a whole. We recognize the strength and value that comes when collaborative relationships are built between people of different ages, race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thinking style, personal backgrounds and all other attributes that make each person unique.
* Innovation. True innovation can only be fostered within a supportive environment that values calculated risk in order to achieve the maximum reward. At Johnson & Johnson Inc., we encourage and reward innovative thinking, innovative solutions and an innovative approach in all that we do.
* Passion. The deep desire to enrich people’s lives – by delivering quality products and remarkable experiences that make their lives easier, healthier and more joyful.
* Collaboration. The unwavering belief that great results depend on the ability to create trusting relationships.
* Courage. The fearless pursuit of the unproven, unknown possibility – the willingness to take great risks for the benefit of the greater good.
- Johnson & Johnson Canada
Creating Your Culture Statement
Involve your team in creating your company’s culture or values statement. Generally, this is a point-form document that reflects the beliefs of the company, its employees, and its customers.
It can be helpful to think about the type of people you currently employ, as well as the ones you may wish to employ. What are they like? What are their belief systems? What are their most important values?
Remember that the culture or values statement is usually the longest of the three statements – and that’s okay.
Your Team Leaders
The strength of a team lies in the strength of the people who lead it. No group of people is effective without strong leadership, just like no business is effective without a strong owner or management team.
Building a strong team means knowing who your leaders are – both in job description and natural ability.
Understanding the strength of your natural leaders and the skills of your natural followers will allow you to strategically structure your team for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. It will give you insight into who is best suited for management promotions and project management; which team members have the ability to assemble and motivate their peers.
Your leaders need to have a high degree of passion for your product or service, and truly believe in the company’s vision. They need to be able to handle a high level of responsibility, and manage a range of people to achieve a common goal.
Your leaders are your team builders. They present new ideas, build consensus, and encourage the involvement of others.
Visit us atwww.cbms.co for more information or to contact us to discuss your situation and how CBMS can help! Control Your Business Before It Controls You!