There are very many good reasons why companies need to have a mission. Here are just a few: a clear mission can motivate employees and retain them, attract top talent, guide culture and facilitate strong relationships. It will also result in improved performance.
A mission is so important that any company worth their salt will condense their mission into a statement. But companies aren’t the only ones who benefit from having a mission. All these results can be replicated in teams. Here we discuss reasons why you should create a mission for your team and tips on how to do it.
To define the purpose of the team
Several teams can exist within a given company. These will include teams created to tackle short term projects and those that are in place more permanently. A temporary team could be created to support a change management objective.
Another team, for instance a culture management team, may be put in place for recurring duties around culture. While both these teams will follow the wider mission of the company, they both have different reasons for existing. Individual missions will clarify the purpose of each thus boosting productivity.
In addition, a team mission lets other staff know the mandate of a specific team. For instance, when someone has a query on culture, they will know which team to approach for help.
To guide how team members interact with each other and other stakeholders
Creating a team mission doesn’t simply lay out what a team’s core purpose is. It also guides how team members should treat each other. A good mission can boost collaboration, team work and job satisfaction. In a similar way, a team mission can guide employees on how they should relate with other colleagues, customers and different stakeholders.
To give direction in uncertain times
A lot of unforeseen circumstances can disrupt plans and bring work to a stop. A few years ago, the entire world experienced this during the COVID pandemic. The upheavals that it brought meant teams had to do things differently. In a situation such as this, a clear mission will help the team remain on course despite the changes going on around them.
To inspire the team
In addition to giving direction in uncertain times, a team mission will inspire members to give their best. On a day when motivation is low or there is confusion around a job, the team mission may be just what is needed to help people make it to the finish line.
Take an example of Microsoft’s organisation wide mission: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.” Employees can always look to the mission for the motivation needed to go that extra mile.
Creating a team mission gives everyone a shared goal
While team members may each have specific tasks, creating a team mission gives everyone a shared goal. Take an example of department store Nordstrom’s ‘To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.’ With this mission statement, every employee, regardless of what task they are doing or what part of the project they are executing, knows that their main goal is to give the customer a great shopping experience.
To ensure continuance of the team
Creating a team mission gives the team stability beyond its individual members. Should the team leader or another integral member leave the team, this shouldn’t cause it to fall apart. By looking at their mission, the rest of the team members should be able to continue executing their tasks. New members will also be able to assimilate into the group easier if a mission is clearly defined.
How to create a team mission
Involve the entire team
When it comes to creating a team mission, get the input of the entire team. Have a brainstorm with mind maps and surveys to ensure you get contributions from everyone. This will help in the creation of a mission the team can own and one they will feel connected to. Plus, you can use the process as an exercise in collaboration.
Incorporate the company objectives
In creating a team mission, do not forget that the team exists to serve the larger organisational goals. This awareness should be reflected in the team mission. Team members should be aware that their efforts lead to the success of the team and thus the success of the entire company.
Make it unique to your team
You don’t want the mission to be bland. It should reflect the character of the team. If for instance the team is made up of fun loving individuals, the mission shouldn’t take that away from them. The team members need to feel that they resonate with the mission. When it comes to writing the mission statement, ensure to word it with the team character in mind.
Make sure it is actionable
Missions are action oriented. They point people in a particular direction and tell them what they need to do to get there. Therefore, the team mission should be actionable. An example of an actionable mission statement is LinkedIn’s ‘To connect the world’s professionals, to make them more productive and successful’ or TED talks’ ‘To spread ideas’.
Share it with everyone
The process of creating a team mission may require some editing and refining. Once you have zeroed in on your team mission, share it with team members and others in the organisation.
Now that you know teams thrive when they have a mission, why not float the idea of creating one to your team? You don’t have to be the team leader to do this. A team mission will help to clarify what the team is doing and what their end goal is.
To ensure that the members remember their mission, put it in a mission statement. This should be worded with action focused words that will inspire team members every day.