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12 Indicators That You’re Working For a Great Company

12 Indicators That You’re Working For a Great Company

There has been a new fad rising among companies around the world. It benefits the customers, the employees and the management. This new popular trend is catching on from company to company and is spreading like wildfire. What is this new trend? It is the focus on employee happiness.

Great companies are changing the way they operate by developing policies to create a happy work place. The University of Warwick conducted experiments in a recent study that proved happy workers are 12% more productive. It is easier to work a company that treats you well, does yours? Here are some indicators that you work for a great company.

1. The leadership is honest, approachable and fair.

It is easier to follow someone that you think is honestly wanting the best for you, themselves and the company. They are there to answer any questions that you have and if they do not know the answer, they will find it for you.

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2. There is room for growth.

Room for growth can be with promotions or education for the benefit of you and also the company. There are some companies that are willing to give scholarships away, as long as it is for classes in the same field of work. Why are they doing this? Simply because it will help your credentials, your pay and their customers by giving them trained professionals.

3. There is open collaboration between everyone.

Occasional meetings to collaborate on what needs to be addressed between you and the rest of the office are important. Your voice is important to management and they are there to hear what you have to say and what has been bothering you.

4. There is constructive feedback.

If you work for a company that gives you monthly, quarterly or annual reports of progress, it is a good thing. This means that they care about keeping you around and making sure you know what steps need to be taken in order to go further into the company. It is important to take this as constructive criticism and not personally. Your management is giving you an opportunity to find out what needs to be done in order to move forward with the company and genuinely care that you make it as far as you can.

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5. There is an extensive hiring process to prevent toxic workers.

If you had to go through a couple interviews to start working for your job, it is more than likely they are putting a lot of effort into the hiring process to prevent any toxic workers coming into the office. These are the ones that are negative and spread it quicker than a cold in preschool. They are the ones that call in sick all the time and make you work doubles because there isn’t any coverage. They are the ones that put office politics into play because they love the drama and most of all, they do not have any passion to do a job well done. Companies that focus on employee happiness will make sure that you are working with passionate and hardworking people just like yourself.

6. There is a small company feel.

If you interact with your upper management with more than just the occasional policy change email, it’s definitely a good thing. Companies that have their CEO or general manager do little things like friendly competitions with a bonus for a prize or a friendly dinner to touch base with a group of employees shows that they really care about how their employees are feeling.

7. There is a large focus on morale between employees, management and their families.

It is a good thing if you find yourself at an occasional family day or event that includes your work and home life. That means they really want to know who you are as a person, not just an employee. It boost moral and gives a sense of community in and outside of the office.

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8. The atmosphere is fun and rewarding.

It is a great feeling to be appreciated and rewarded occasionally for a job well done. Some companies are starting to do raffles for TV’s, vacations and gift cards to boost employee happiness and activities. If you have been given a pat on the back, words of appreciation or even have won a TV, it means you are working for a great company.

9. There is a diverse environment.

A diverse environment means that your company hires based on who will best match the goals of the company and boost the moral of the team. This is regardless of their race, age, sex, experience and occasionally education.

10. The pay is fair for the job that is asked.

Nobody likes being paid very little for a lot of effort. A company that makes sure their wages are fair and puts the occasional bonus out there cares about their employees and their welfare.

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11. There are clear expectations set and instructions on how to meet those expectations.

It is very simple to stick to expectations and follow instructions. When you are given a clear goal and the steps you need to take to get there, that means your job isn’t just throwing numbers, tasks or meetings at you just to keep you busy. They really do want to see you succeed and will work with you every step of the way to make sure that happens.

12. There are occasional breaks in the work-day.

Though it doesn’t seem logical to take more breaks to be more productive, some companies believe that it does. If you have more than that one lunch break, it means they care about more than just your nutrition needs. They care about your productivity, stress levels and efficiency. Everyone needs that occasional coffee break, or just that fifteen minutes to talk a walk after a bad moment.

In conclusion, if you find that you are working at one of these companies, consider yourself lucky. They are there for the welfare of everyone in the organization and care about your happiness specifically. Some don’t have it so luckily, but who knows, maybe that will change in a few years.

Featured photo credit: Team Spirit- Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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