Navigating the Terrain of Vision and Mission Statements in HR

John Cruz
Published on
November 29, 2023
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In today's competitive job market, where potential hires seek more than just a paycheck, Human Resources (HR) plays a pivotal role in shaping a company's narrative. Transparency is the key, and the gateway to this transparency often lies in well-defined mission and vision statements. These statements not only tell the story of your organization but also serve as beacons, guiding your day-to-day operations and helping align individual departments.

The Employee Perspective: Seeking Authenticity from the Get-Go

A recent survey revealed that a staggering 77% of candidates desire a comprehensive understanding of a company before applying. Additionally, 32% are willing to reach out to current or former employees to gain genuine insights. In this landscape, crafting clear mission and vision statements becomes crucial, as they serve as the initial touchpoints for potential hires to understand and connect with your organization's values.

Mission vs. Vision: Unraveling the Nuances

When delving into the world of mission and vision statements, it's essential to distinguish between the two. Think of a mission statement as a declaration of your team's current purpose and actions, while a vision statement paints a picture of the future destination and the journey to reach it.

Mission Statement:

  • Describes the present and outlines why your team exists.
  • Defines your current actions and purpose.

Vision Statement:

  • Envisions the future, detailing where your team aims to go.
  • Maps out the journey and approach to achieving long-term goals.

Your daily activities should seamlessly align with either your mission or vision, and if they don't, it's time for a reassessment.

Mission and Vision Done Right: Examples for Inspiration

Crafting effective statements is an art. Here are examples from renowned companies that succinctly capture their essence:

Mission Statements:

  1. Set people free to do great work.
  2. Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  3. We’re in business to save our home planet.
  4. Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.
  5. To save people money so they can live better.

Vision Statements:

  1. Make the best products on earth and leave the world better than we found it.
  2. Be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
  3. Create a better everyday life for the many people.
  4. Create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.
  5. To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Where to Begin: Mission or Vision?

The starting point for crafting your statements depends on your organization's context. If you're an established company, begin with your mission to articulate what you already know about your identity. For startups with ambitious goals, starting with a vision of what you want to become might be more logical.

Regardless of your business's tenure, collaboration between HR and company leadership is vital. Understand current priorities and identify gaps in understanding to confidently decide where to begin.

Tips for Crafting HR Vision and Mission Statements

HR Vision Statement:

  1. Separation from Company Vision: Craft a vision that reflects HR's unique responsibilities, such as compliance, training, paperwork, and benefits.
  2. Strategic Significance: Ensure your vision guides HR activities, helping determine the value of programs and initiatives.
  3. Emphasize the Why: Articulate why HR's work is important and how it aligns with the company's overall mission.

HR Mission Statement:

  1. Define Responsibilities: Outline all HR functions to determine highest priorities and focus areas.
  2. Highlight Uniqueness: Identify what makes your HR team unique, emphasizing particular functions or strengths.
  3. Think Like a Marketer: Consider your audience, the value of your mission statement in alignment, and the problems your HR team helps solve.

In essence, your HR vision and mission statements should not only be clear and impactful but also resonate with the unique role HR plays in your organization. Crafting these statements is not just an exercise in wordsmithing; it's a strategic endeavor that shapes your company's identity and influences its trajectory.