Employees Feel Disconnected From Their Organization's Vision and Mission: New Research From McLean & Company

Published: 11 Sep 2023

A new resource from McLean & Company highlights how vision and mission statements present an opportunity to engage employees. The firm's research shows that those who identify with their organization's statements are 3.71 times more likely to be engaged than those who do not. However, engagement survey data also shows that approximately one in three respondents do not believe their organization's stated vision and mission are reflected in the day-to-day activities of the organization, creating a significant gap between the potential for engaged employees and the reality of an organization's level of engagement. To help organizational and HR leaders bridge that gap, the global research and advisory firm has released the Vision and Mission Guide.

The new guide explains that organizations are missing opportunities to engage employees with out-of-date or unrealistic statements, with more than one-fifth of respondents indicating they do not identify with the organization's vision and mission. This can be particularly concerning for organizations when considering that these statements drive success by guiding decision making, increasing morale, and providing purpose and direction.

"Refreshing the vision and mission statements requires careful thought and intention," says Kelly Berte, director of HR Research & Advisory Services at McLean & Company. "Strong vision and mission statements stand the test of time but are not evergreen. Reviewing organizational data and observing the impact of broader organizational change will offer indicators for when it is time to recalibrate one or both statements to better align with the future of the organization."

In the resource, organizational and HR leaders can find a four-step process to guide them through drafting a vision and mission statement that will resonate with their stakeholders. The process is outlined below:

1. Collect organizational information relevant for creating the vision and mission statements. In this step, leaders consider the organization's current state of how the vision and mission are perceived. This consideration can include information from engagement survey data, employee handbook, reviews on recruitment websites, and articles referencing the organization.

2. Solicit contributor input on the direction and purpose of the organization. The second step is to ask contributors for thoughts on the direction and purpose of the organization. This input is integral to drafting vision and mission statements that do not contradict the lived experience of stakeholders.

3. Determine if aspects of the current statements will be kept or if the process will start from scratch. Step three requires assessing the statements to comprehend where they need to be improved. Leaders may consider questions like: "Are the statements impactful to stakeholders?" "Do they contain relevant content?" and "Are they structurally sound?"

4. Hold a meeting with facilitators and participants dedicated to writing the statements. The fourth and final step requires organizational and HR leaders to craft each statement to ensure its positive impact and dedicate time to focus on the vision and the mission statements separately.

McLean & Company advises that strong vision and mission statements focus decision making across the organization on the achievement of a unified goal, which allows stakeholders to direct efforts toward strategic priorities. The firm also recommends that HR leaders use vision and mission statements to inform HR functions and processes, such as performance management, talent acquisition, and talent management.

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