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A Purpose to Rally Around

Over the last several months, I have blogged to you all about ways to engage your employees to do their very best.  This month I would like to focus on how connecting your employees to the company’s purpose will also help engage and inspire your workforce.  Don’t worry – I am not going to wax poetic about missions, visions and values (well, at least not a lot!). 

Unless you are a company curing cancer or saving the world on a daily basis, it can seem daunting to actually come up with a company’s purpose – much less rally everyone around it.  However, there is a reason your company exists and people are buying your product.  There is a need that you provide a solution for. 

Companies of all types have found their purposes.  Nike doesn’t just say they are a shoe maker.  Their mission statement is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”  The company’s founder Bill Bowerman even adds that “if you have a body, you are an athlete.”  John Deere isn’t satisfied just being a tractor manufacturer.  They believe that the purpose of every piece of equipment they sell helps feed the world.  Now these are some company purposes that employees can engage with!

Here at Dion, we also struggled at one time to come up with our purpose.  Yes – in the day-to-day world we are a manufacturer of custom corporate jewelry.  However, our jewelry products are not something you can just buy off the street.  You have to earn them!  They are recognition for years of service, or for meeting a sales goal, or moving to a new career path level, etc.  They are actually symbols of appreciation and acknowledgement of a job well done.  With this in mind, we came up with our current mission statements – “Making the Intangible Tangible” and “Improving People’s Lives Through Recognition.” 

This new realization of our company’s purpose is emblazoned on the wall in our cafeteria, posted around the factory and included in employee communications.  Over the years, it has had a positive effect on personnel at all levels of the company.  From machine operators to stone setters, there is a pride in making a high quality product.  Order Entry and Engineering pride themselves on delivering world class customer service and dependable delivery.  Whenever we are sent photos or video of an awards presentation, our employees eat up the chance to see our products being presented to recipients.

If your company does not have a strong mission or purpose, reconsider the importance of this statement.  It is not just some kumbaya baloney. It has real impact – on your employees, and on how your customers and the world see you.  Let me know what some of your company mission statements are.

By Ann Condon, Communications Manager, E.A. Dion, Inc.