What defines a great mission? I think it’s something that employees and customers believe in, it’s something that employees are committed to and act on every day. I think a great mission helps employees make decisions each day. Here’s five mission statements that I think fit that criteria:
Patagonia – “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” This mission ensures that safe, high quality products are made, but in a way that values the environment over profit. They donate time, services and at least 1% of their sales to grassroots environmental groups around the world. Their employees are guided by this mission and their customers resonate with it too. That’s what makes it a great mission.
Nordstrom’s – “To provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time.” This mission is based on John W. Nordstrom’s founding philosophy: offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value. As a Nordstrom fan, I can attest to their exceptional customer service, whether I was from out of the country looking for an item on sale, or whether I was a local customer, their service has been consistently outstanding. In an era when staff are being cut to save money and there’s often no one to serve me, I enjoy the knowledgeable and available Nordstrom staff. I believe their mission helps them make decisions one customer at a time.
Universal Health Services – “To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.” I like this mission because of its many facets without being overly wordy. They realize they have many stakeholders that together make their services outstanding. While I don’t want to spend time in any hospital, this one seems like a place that would give caring, excellent service.
JetBlue – “To bring humanity back to air travel.” This mission tells every employee how to treat customers and each other. JetBlue believes that their culture gives them an advantage over other carriers. Instead of being a seat number, JetBlue’s mission reminds their crew to see the person in the seat. And that has made them successful in a competitive industry.
Wellspring Calgary – “No one has to face cancer alone.” I was fortunate to facilitate when the board and staff decided this was their mission. This mission guides their staff and volunteers to give extra time to the cancer patient and their family, and to design a wide variety of programs for patients and their caregivers.
I chose to end with Wellspring because when my bladder cancer reoccurred in 2010, I stopped by Wellspring in tears. They took the time to really listen to me and offered me support in a myriad of ways. As a way to give back to them, I have facilitated strategic planning sessions. Wellspring is one of the places that live their mission. I’m proud of how they do it every day.
A great mission statement is not easy to create. But a mission that guides and inspires makes a difference to your organization.
Want to create an outstanding mission statement? Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
PS: September 2018 I visited my urologist and got another cancer-free checkup. I am 8 ½ years cancer-free!