Strategic communication is essential for an organization’s purpose, mission, and values to come to life. It creates clarity and alignment, sets expectations, and motivates employees to work toward a common goal. Purpose, mission, and values are woven into ongoing strategic communication initiatives by effective organizations.
The purpose or mission of an organization describes why it exists and for whom it is meant to make a difference. Values set the expectations for how employees think, act, make decisions, and behave when interacting with customers, colleagues, and partners. These critical business elements risk being left untouched in a business plan and becoming stale if strategic communications do not support them.
Why is it important to communicate about purpose, mission, and values?
Strategic communication that engages employees in the organization’s purpose, mission, and values can increase the speed at which an organization achieves its goals. It can educate, motivate and inspire.
Employees need clear communication about the company’s purpose or mission to be productive and work toward what the company is trying to accomplish. Employees’ values-aligned thoughts, attitudes, and behavior should be communicated to help the organization realize its purpose or mission.
People are three and a half times more engaged when they understand how their work contributes to achieving goals. High employee engagement leads to a better customer experience, productivity, employee retention, and profitability – all metrics that influence the success of an organization.
Find common understanding between leadership and employees
When employees understand their employer’s purpose or mission, they are more productive, motivated, and engaged. Yet less than half of employees know what their company stands for and what sets it apart from the competition. By explicitly describing what each statement means and why it is crucial, strategic communication engages employees in the purpose, mission, and values.
Clear and consistent communication about the organization’s purpose, mission, and values fosters a shared knowledge of what the company aims for, why it’s vital for business success, and what role each person plays in getting there.
Employers should regularly demonstrate their purpose or mission in action, report to employees on their progress toward the specific purpose or mission, and provide engaging opportunities for employees to experience the values in action.
Align leadership with company values
Strategic communication aligns leaders with what is needed to achieve the purpose or mission and activate the values internally and in the marketplace. Aligning an organization around a purpose or mission and supporting values frequently necessitates business operations and process adjustments. Leaders who communicate consistently, clearly, and often are better able to resolve these issues.
Leaders should also communicate regularly with employees about the purpose, mission, and values. Aligning leaders on key messages ensures that clear, consistent language is used so that employees can easily see the purpose or mission and experience the values in action. This messaging is critical for establishing trust and commitment and attaining the organization’s goal or mission.
Communication coaching for leaders is an effective way to train leaders on how to communicate with employees. Strategic communication ensures that leaders are involved, engaged, and effectively communicate with employees about the purpose, mission, and values.
Inspire employee engagement
Strategic communication is also necessary to activate employee behaviors to support the purpose, mission, and values. Organizations use communication to inspire people to showcase their responsibilities, monitor their performance, and celebrate achievements. When employees work for companies that demonstrate and communicate their value to the world or its stakeholders, they are substantially more driven and engaged. Employees who are motivated and passionate are more likely to be loyal to the company and utilize the principles to guide their everyday decisions and activities.
Organizations that successfully use strategic communication to inspire employees about purpose, mission, and values use open, collaborative two-way dialog. They share information with employees and solicit feedback through surveys, focus groups, annual reviews, and personal conversations. Soliciting input and then demonstrating that the organization is taking action based on that feedback builds trust and ensures that employees identify with the organization’s purpose, mission, and values.
Organizations can also use multiple communication channels and tactics to embed purpose, mission, and values throughout the organization. These tactics can include company-wide presentations and town hall meetings, new product or service launches, events (e.g., volunteer opportunities, celebrations, recognitions), and visual displays in the physical office space (e.g., posters in the cafeteria or conference rooms, screensavers). Employee activation is more effective and sustainable when strategic communications span multiple channels and initiatives.
By bringing clarity and alignment and setting expectations, strategic communication engages employees in the company’s purpose, mission, and values. It increases employee enthusiasm, performance, and engagement. Strategic communication also helps companies review how well their purpose, mission, and values are integrated across the organization by aligning leadership, engaging employees, and assessing how well their value statements are integrated. It is a critical component in achieving a purpose or mission.
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