Keys to Employee Engagement: 8. Mission

We’re in the home stretch now.  We’ve been discussing topics that can not only elevate your company’s image but also help attract great talent.

The eighth question in the Q12 is “Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?”

Missionaries are people who hold such a fundamental belief in a cause they feel compelled to persuade others to support their cause.

Mission, DirectionA belief that your work can benefit others can be a strong driving force behind employee engagement.  Companies who are perceived to serve a good cause also attract good quality candidates.

When we hear the term “mission” in the context of business, “mission statement” is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  While the best mission statements are clear, succinct and powerful, most are long-winded, created by committee and pasteurized to the point they no longer have any relevance.

If you go out on the shop floor and ask employees about their company’s mission statement watch for their reaction.  If they laugh or snicker, it probably means they don’t buy into the mission statement. If their eyes light up and they talk about what they do, they not only have bought into the mission statement, they’re also clearly engaged,

When I worked at Plasmatreat, customers would frequently say, “Ron, you really seem to enjoy your job!” My response was usually that our technology was very effective and made a huge difference in customers’ productivity and product reliability.  In some cases, we made what seemed impossible possible.  Very much like a missionary, I saw my job as getting as many people as possible converted to our technology, and so was very enthusiastic.  My enthusiasm translated into persuasion, which resulted in sales.

Often, some of our business came about through referrals from customers who, themselves, became missionaries for our technology. This became evident to me when I visited a plant that was part of a large multi-plant organization.  I’d sold a system to a sister plant and, when I visited this second plant, I recognized one of the operators from the first plant I’d sold to.  He was there are part of a best-practices exchange and had been telling his colleagues at this second plant about how our technology was making a difference to his home plant. With internal support like that, it’s no wonder I was able to sell our technology to multiple locations.

With a force like that behind you, it’s not hard to get up in the morning every day and to go out and try to find new converts.

Our next post will discuss the ninth question, “Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?”

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