Launching your company vision, mission or purpose and accompanying values is a great start. It helps align your employees toward a common goal, helps them see that their roles contribute to the overall success of the company and gives them guidance for their own actions and decisions.
But once you start, you have to keep rowing
Just because you’ve told employees once, that doesn’t mean the job is done. In fact, the job of communicating the vision and values is never done. To truly embed those things in an organization, to have employees internalize them so that they use the vision and values as guidance for the actions they take and decisions they make in their day-to-day work, will require an ongoing effort.
Begin by putting a stake in the ground
Launch with enough communications to make the mission and values highly visible, and make sure they clearly articulate these foundational elements. You might include a vision book, a new page on the intranet, digital signage or pop-up banners, maybe a video or an employee event. Zappos revisits this each year with an employee-written culture book.
Weave the mission and values into ongoing channels
Sustaining communications for mission and values requires more than one channel. Or even more than one facet of each channel. If innovation is a value, for instance, you might have a feature story in your employee magazine about the team behind a new technology your company is introducing. In the same issue, you might have a profile on an employee who came up with a new idea for reducing plastics waste in the warehouse. The goal is to infuse all your communications with the vision and values, so that they become common reference points and part of the day-to-day conversation.
Bring them to life with concrete examples
Give employees examples of the mission and values being applied to the day-to-day work of the company. Leadership can tie major business decisions, from acquisitions to a major re-org, back to the vision. The way employees of those acquired companies or those impacted by layoffs are treated speaks to leadership’s dedication to the values. Frame the volunteer program in terms of the company’s values. Same with the wellness program, or on-site childcare, or just about any other aspect of your employee value proposition.
It’s also important to showcase employees’ alignment with the vision or embodiment of the values. That could be through magazine articles like the ones described above, employee spotlights on the intranet or in internal publications, a formal recognition program tied back to the values or ongoing videos that feature actual employees talking about how their roles support the vision.
Calendarize the messaging to avoid the firehose effect
By weaving the mission and values into various communications throughout the year, we not only sustain that messaging but avoid overwhelming employees with a sudden gush of purpose-driven communications. Each issue of a quarterly magazine, or each video in a monthly series, for instance, might be themed with one element of that messaging. Not only does this help thread the vision and values through multiple channels over a quarter or a year, it also allows for a closer look at one element at a time and drives more interesting content. For help on calendarizing your messaging, you might like this blog.
Interested in building the mission and values into your ongoing internal communications? Tribe can help.