Posted on July 9, 2014

6 Tips from an Expert: How to Put Mission in Motion

Most organizations have a mission statement, maybe even a bulleted list of phrases or concepts that hangs on the wall to remind employees why they’re there and what they’re trying to do.

But how many employees feel that mission means something in their daily work? How many can even recite all the phrases?

Karen Crone is Chief HR Officer at Paycor, where she believes strongly in the company’s mission and integrates it into her daily practices—and those of the organization overall. Here’s her advice for tying mission to everyday work for the good of the business and its employees:

1. Make the guiding principles really mean something.

At Paycor, we focus on caring for each other and caring for clients. We’re purposeful about growth and service: the growth of the business and the growth of the individual; service to clients and service to each other.

2. Demonstrate the guiding principles from the top down.

Paycor is open about what we're trying to accomplish. We communicate about successes. We communicate about failures. We encourage development.

3. Keep the customer right out in front.

When you're one heartbeat from the customer, it makes it clearer what your mission and purpose are.

4. Make it all about people.

Our leadership team talks about this all the time: How do you onboard people and make sure they understand what they're trying to accomplish? We want to help them make a better connection between people and work. That can be challenging in larger companies and growing companies, like ours.

5. Bring the meaning home.

We make our guiding principles a part of the performance review process to ensure we’re all keeping them in the forefront.

6. Focus on the "why."

We talk a lot about “The Golden Circle” and focus on the “why” behind what we’re doing. For example, if we’re exploring a relationship with another party, we’ll first ask, “Why?” In that case, it would be to extend our product offerings and make them better for our clients. Then we’d look at the “how”—how would that relationship help us grow and improve client satisfaction?

The idea is to know the why, see the outcome and then measure it. Regardless of what line of work you’re in, when your people know the “why” and understand the mission, they’re far more likely to be engaged and give their all for the organization and their colleagues.

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