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Yes, We Have a Mission Statement. Is That Cheesy?

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Business mission statements and vision statements have moved from the board room to the funny pages. We try to define what our organization is about, but is this a joke to most people?

Yes. For lots of employees, the “company mission statement” is something which makes them roll their eyes.

In a post for Unreasonable, Cheryl Heller writes:

One common misconception among entrepreneurs is the belief (because they’re told repeatedly) that they need to capture their business idea – however radical – in the structured and declarative statements called mission, vision and values. I know this, because I used to tell clients the same thing.

Or, as a somewhat ironic pull-quote with a “tweet this” header says from her post:

You don’t need to capture your business idea in a single declarative statement.

Happy Worker

© Flickr user d.aniela

But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to spend time trying to define what you want from your business. Phrases like “vision statement” and “mission statement” and even words like “values” can help generate meaningful discussion about what is most important.

Because even though “delivering amazing customer service” and “providing the best quality products” and “having a great work culture” are all important, they are not all equally important to everyone—even in the same company.

And a mission statement is different: it’s a description of what a company is trying to do day-to-day. It’s the how more than the why.

So just like with our discussion about our vision statement: here is our mission statement:

to help people experience the joy of being more productive, more efficient, more engaged and more satisfied at work

We’re proud of that. But at the same time, it might cause some people to roll their eyes. That’s because work is such an uncomfortable, frustrating experience for so many people, any official statement just seems to be propaganda rather than an earnest expression of intentions.

Let’s break it down our mission.

Experiencing Joy

In the book Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun on the Job author Dennis W. Bakke writes:

A joy-filled workplace gives people the freedom to use their talents and skills for the benefit of society, without being crushed or controlled by autocratic supervisors.

This is something that we aspire to at AccelaWork. We avoid work assignments that don’t align well to a team member’s talents and skills. And we use their feedback rather than deciding what’s best.

This is part of being non-autocratic. That’s not to say that people don’t need to make decisions, but that we’re not interested in controlling others.

Being More Productive

You don’t have to read much here on The Methodology Blog to know how much we love productivity. We of course want everyone on our team to be more productive too; but not just so that the business can get more done.

That’s because there is a direct connection between getting things done and feeling good about yourself. We all enjoy checking items off our lists or completing projects. Productivity is important at AccelaWork because we care about helping people feel accomplished.

Being More Satisfied

This might be the part of our mission statement that raises the most eyebrows. Who cares if employees are satisfied? Happiness, as many of the managers of yesteryear might say, is overrated. People are supposed to do their job and get paid. If you want to have fun, take a vacation.

And yet, research proves that employee satisfaction is connected to everything for performance to attendance to retention. We want our people to be happy so they feel challenged and engaged. We want them feeling good so they keep coming back!

Yes, But Some Mission Statements Still Stink

Just because you have one of these emblazoned on your HR paperwork doesn’t mean it’s any good. The folks at Inc. magazine put together a lit of the nine worst mission statements of all time.

What’s the difference? How much you actually care about living out your mission.

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
Robby Slaughter


Troublemaker and productivity/workflow expert. Slightly more complex than 140 characters will permit.
Hey. Does anyone else remember having a five year plan? I just thought about that. Life was different then. - 4 days ago
Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter

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