Businesses can expect to earn revenues and become profitable only when they provide real value to their clients and customers.
While all entrepreneurs and managers inherently understand this, they often lose sight of value creation and get distracted by competitors, profits, or creating more products.
If you want your business to be a runaway success, it is essential to have a purpose that unites and excites your stakeholders, and “We’ll Make More Money” isn’t it!
This is why organizations spend so much time and resources on creating vision statements.
As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it!”
A strong vision statement can not only unify your organization, but it also offers your prospects and buyers a look into what matters to your business. Get it right, and the money will follow.
See how successful organizations like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google have such a loyal customer base and superior levels of employee engagement and productivity. This can be attributed to their spirit of innovation, i.e., finding new and exciting ways to serve their customer base.
Their road to success is no secret. And for them it all began with a strategic vision.
Let’s see in more detail how having an inspirational vision statement can help you achieve your goals.
What Is A Vision Statement?
It is a short description of your business’s aspirations and the broader impact it aims to have.
Your vision statement essentially highlights your mission statement, telling stakeholders and employees why your brand exists, your long-term goals, and how your brand aligns its operations with these values.
What distinguishes a vision statement from a mission statement is that while the latter defines the who, what and why of the business, the vision statement describes what a company aims to achieve in the long-run. For example, Microsoft’s vision statement says, “A computer at every desk and in every home.”
So why exactly is a vision statement important for companies?
The Importance of Vision Statements
Since a vision statement highlights the company’s goals, it sets a clear boundary for employees and stakeholders to work as a team and accomplish common goals.
According to research, employees with a clear vision statement to inspire them, experience a 68% increase in their productivity and engagement levels. They also emerge as cooperative ambassadors in the larger community.
As a result, a vision statement can attract candidates who feel their talent and expertise can align with your company’s goals and connect with your brand.
Research conducted by the University of Iowa confirms that employees who feel that their skills and expertise are well-matched with their goals enjoy higher satisfaction levels.
So given the positive impact that a vision statement can have on your work culture and your company’s long-term success, it is imperative that you spend time crafting the perfect vision statement.
Revisit it occasionally to measure your progress against it, and use it to inspire critical business decisions when you don’t know the right direction to take.
For many businesses, the vision statement is the heart and soul of their operations. They use it to create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which then powers their marketing statement and selling strategies.
The Key Components Of An Effective Vision Statement
Writing a vision statement can be tricky, even for experienced entrepreneurs.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before getting together with your staff to construct a meaningful vision statement.
A vision statement articulates the traits and characteristics that give the company its personality.
Take for example, McDonald’s value statement: “To be the best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”
This vision statement stands out because it highlights the brand’s purpose within the first few words only. After that, you get a quick checklist of what else you’ll get at McDonald’s. This approach makes the statement easier to read and follow for consumers.
Goals For The Future
Your vision statement acts as a roadmap between your company’s present and its future. When constructing a vision statement, keep in mind the destination that you’re aiming for. What is your end-goal? Where do you see your company in 10, 20, or any set amount of years?
For example, in 1961, when President John F. Kennedy declared that the U.S. would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, it became a vision statement for NASA.
Everyone within the organization got to work no matter what their role was; their efforts played a significant role in putting a man on the moon.
And just to showcase that vision statements can be fluid, here’s what their’s says now:
“NASA’s Vision leads to a future with an American-made launch capability supporting cutting-edge science, technology, and human exploration with strong technology and aeronautics programs. We will continue to push the frontier of space. We will develop new technologies for use in air, space, and on the ground.”
Your vision statement should be considered part of a strategic business plan that aligns your employee’s goals with that of the company’s. As such, it should be something that is also reflected by your company’s culture and makes employees easy to believe in.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of employees are willing to give up a higher salary for more meaningful work and work culture. And the best way companies can instill meaning in their work is by translating their vision and values to the real world.
One way to integrate these visionary values in employees’ work ethic is to conduct company workshops and activity sessions. In these workshops, you can try to inculcate values that are part of the vision statement. Moreover, you can also ask employees to give suggestions on making the work culture or work ethic adaptable to suit this vision.
You can then introduce a reward system for employees who are seen incorporating these visionary elements in their work-life.
Guidelines For Writing A Vision Statement
Make sure that your vision statement does all of the following:
Your vision statement should not represent what your company is engaged in or how it does it. Instead, it should focus on the future objectives that you aim to achieve.
Your vision statement can inspire employees to work towards long-term goals for the company if it is easy enough for employees to understand. Your message should be clear and straightforward and not something that the employees have to try and decipher between the lines.
For example, if your company is a new vegan deli in the town, your vision statement can look something like this:
“We aim to inspire a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle through locally-produced goods.”
This is a perfectly ambitious and goal-oriented vision statement that clearly communicates the deli’s three significant aims: being healthy, sustainable, and supporting local manufacturers.
Inspire Commitment And Enthusiasm
Your vision statement isn’t also something that you’re bound to achieve within a particular period of time. Instead, it is something that your company is continuously working towards.
It should drive behaviors, creativity, commitment, engagement, and determination that excite employees to work towards accomplishing their and your goals.
Reflect Your Organization’s Values
Your company’s vision should be revisited annually to ensure that your business operations are on track and are not deviating from your business goals. If you’ve undertaken new initiatives, are they still keeping up with your company’s core values? Will these new measures increase your alignment with your goals and help you achieve them faster?
Your vision for your company should be consistent regardless of any technological or market changes.
It is the leader’s role to communicate and breathe life into the company’s vision and provide a direction for the employees. Leaders who can share their plans effectively and focus on boosting employee inspiration have seen a 15% increase in profits and a 6% increase in engaged employees!
Crafting a meaningful, inspirational vision statement is a project of itself, and as such, ample time and thought should be given to it. Remember that even though your mission statement or brand’s design would change in the following years, your vision statement is here for a long time.
It should have enough depth to build a motivated community that is driven to achieve this vision.
We hope this guide has given you a good understanding of vision statements so you can be well on your way to building one for your business.