Your Mission Statement Holds the Key to Boosting Team Accountability
You spent a lot of time constructing an eloquent mission statement — one full of promises and overflowing with trendy jargon. Top management applauds it, and clients appreciate it. But do your employees see it merely as rambling, meaningless verbiage? Less than 50 percent of the nation’s workers feel motivated by their employers’ core value statements. And that disconnect between what workers need and what they get is causing a catastrophic drop in team accountability.
The people who are most important to your business’s success deserve a mission statement that’s more than a snappy sound bite. Your core values must resonate at every level, providing dependable anchors on which personnel can rely. What’s the secret to achieving a troop-unifying mission? It’s not magic, overpaid consultants, or Shakespearean prose. It’s a willingness to re-examine your corporate mission to raise productivity, lower turnover and slay the competition.
Why Accountability Dies on the Vine
Complete team accountability — or the assurance that every team member understands, accepts, and enjoys his or her role in the business — sometimes feels like an unattainable goal. Day after day, we get caught up in the Whirlwind, a term borrowed from the 4 Disciplines of Execution.
You’ve no doubt experienced the Whirlwind of never-ending urgent tasks. Its presence keeps us from focusing on one-on-one assessments, team management, formal and informal trainings, and more. How can you make a dent in accountability when you’re surrounded by an all-consuming swirl of priorities?
This isn’t to suggest the Whirlwind is bad; it’s necessary. If you didn’t have constant responsibilities, you’d be without a job. However, if you ignore accountability among your team members in favor of the Whirlwind’s unending call, you’ll be doomed to keep your organization from scaling.
To balance the needs of the Whirlwind with the need for accountable employees, put aside time to work on an updated mission and core values statement. A clear mission statement — void of buzzwords or one-size-fits-all mantras — will trickle into all facets of your daily operations. You can remain somewhat loyal to the Whirlwind, knowing your mission statement always serves as a guide for everyone on the team, including when you’re in the eye of a storm.
The Rocksauce Method of Team Accountability
At Rocksauce, we’ve put a huge emphasis on accountability, driven by our core values of happiness, honesty, empathy, loyalty and passion. We see these seemingly simple words as powerful; after all, the team developed the values together. As a result, all Rocksauce employees’ personal core values match up with the corporate ones. Through this alignment, we’ve removed barriers to accountability.
Because we brought our team into the process of core value creation, every employee knows and accepts our road map. Team members uphold our mission statement personally, whether as contributors, leaders, business development experts, or operations personnel. No one dangerously veers onto rocky paths; instead, they use our mission statement like an internal GPS for constant guidance.
No matter your industry, you can effectively create a core value-driven mission statement to empower your team. Leap toward complete core value alignment across all departments and employees with these three steps:
Insert Core Values Into Annual and Semiannual Reviews
No matter what companies say about the death of the annual review, not every company has made the switch to an alternative. Make sure your reviews include core value measurements and opportunities. Bring everything back to your company’s mission, so you’re all moving in the same direction and not at cross-purposes. A 2013 Research Journal of Recent Sciences study showed employees who shared their organizations’ values felt more in tune and happy. Not surprisingly, this improved efficiency.
Call Out Values During Team Recognition Moments
We all deserve reminders at times to solidify company core values in our hearts and minds. When you recognize teams or individual employees, explain how their actions and attitudes upheld a corporate value. At Rocksauce, we use a peer recognition program to highlight when people showcase core values. Recipients appreciate the notice from co-workers, instilling in them a stronger sense of pride and morale.
Practice Exhibiting the Core Values You Want Teams to Demonstrate
Without a doubt, the best way to encourage people is to lead by example. The more you live and breathe your core values, the more others will respond similarly. Top talent is hard-pressed to fall out of line if you hold yourself to the same expectations. And even new employees should be able to pick up on your core values soon after joining the team, just by observing leadership’s behavior.
At the end of the day, team accountability is essential to success, requiring a team of satisfied, motivated workers. Want everyone to work responsibly and in tandem? Scrap empty core value statements, and replace them with meaningful guiding directives everyone can get behind.