May 03

How Employers Can Go Beyond Their Mission Statement to Create a Diverse Culture and Attract Talent

If you’re at a party, you want to spend time with interesting individuals. Individuals who tell meaningful and exciting stories, discuss their passions and dreams, and even their hopes for the world around them. Today, employers must strive to do the same. They need to share some of their own stories, passions, and reasons for existing in order to entertain others and attract talent to join them in their vision.

The companies who do this best, while simultaneously taking action beyond their mission statement, will ultimately stand out from the crowd, and foster a diverse group of employees, backgrounds, and interests for the world to see and admire.

As much as companies want to make a positive, significant impact on their culture and industry, it can be challenging to know where to start. How can companies take their mission statement, and make it come to life? How do “people-centered” companies relate to employee engagement? What does diversity actually look like in order to drive meaningful change?

From spreading optimism and connecting people across the globe, to employee quirkiness and charity-focused initiatives, the businesses that invest time and resources into their mission statement are positioning themselves to make greater change than ever before, and here are some of the ways companies are finding success.

Employees want to know what their company’s mission represents, and in a survey of 25,000 employees, respondents overwhelmingly wanted “leaders who clearly communicate the company’s goals” to be present throughout the organization. Without these leaders, it’s difficult for employees to join the journey and achieve specific goals while contributing their own diverse set of opinions and decision-making skills.

Companies must do more than just establish a mission statement and hold one or two group discussions on what it means. To drive true change and foster diversity, there needs to be more formal measures in place. For example, Apple employees are required to visit Apple stores to see how customers interact with the products.

The fast-casual restaurant, sweetgreen, serves simple, seasonal, healthy food, and their underlying mission is to connect people. The company extends this mission beyond employees through “their sweetlife music festival which attracts 20,000 like-minded people every year who come together to listen to music, eat healthy food, and give back to FoodCorps, their own charity to help schools in need.” Not only does the event promote diversity through tens of thousands of unique individuals attending, but it also attracts people to want to work for sweetgreen and join in on their mission.

Another example comes from apparel and accessories company, Life is Good, which strives to spread the power of optimism with everything they do. Their “Life is Good Tour” supports and connects with communities across the country. From donating musical instruments in New Orleans, building a basketball court in Long Beach, to participating in local fundraisers, Life is Good creates programs like this to assist people who need help the most, and attract people to their global mission.

If your company lacks a formal mission statement, or wants to improve upon the ways you attract talent and foster diversity among the team, focus on the “actions” you can take, rather than the results. Think about what you stand for, as well as why others should agree and be eager to spend their time and money with your business. Mission statements must be compelling, aspirational, and realistic so that individuals can understand what it is that you’re doing, and why it’s an important endeavor to be involved with.

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