Mission & Values: More Than Words on a Wall
Thanks to an increasing body of research, we’re learning a lot about what it takes to build and maintain a high-performance culture within an organization. For example, we know that high-performance cultures focus on culture over perks. They also empower their employees with communication and collaboration and avoid information silos. But one thing you might not know is that high-performance cultures also capitalize on a mission-focused concept called Commander’s Intent?
Commander’s Intent is a military term that refers to an understanding of what leadership would do if the leadership wasn’t there. It’s a life-saving concept for soldiers in the field when Plan A and Plan B go awry. But it’s also immensely helpful for employees trying to navigate change, an unexpected outcome, or everyday decisions. If you’re interested in Commander’s Intent, check out how Russ Laraway applies this concept in his First Round Review conversation.
At CultureIQ, this concept is very closely related to the culture quality of Mission and Values Alignment. And through both experience and research, we’ve come to see the deep connection between high-performance cultures and cultures in which employees understand and apply their organization’s mission and values.
Still not convinced that your company’s mission and values are important? A recent CultureIQ study found that Mission and Value Alignment is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement, out of 10 culture qualities.
Mission and value alignment helps employees make decisions
Very few organizations want to micromanage their employees. It damages morale, builds mistrust, and limits your organization’s ability to grow. But if you don’t have confidence in your team’s ability to make good decisions, micromanaging often seems like the only answer.
And that’s exactly where Commander’s Intent, or Mission and Value Alignment, comes into play in a high-performance culture. When employees have a deep understanding of a company’s goals, values, and style, they’re empowered to make responsible, relevant decisions even when they don’t have access to their boss. This translates into a business environment in which every employee is capable of assessing the situation, making a decision, and taking responsibility for the outcome. Which is to say, every employee can be trusted to make a good decision without being micromanaged, freeing your leadership team to work at the strategic level.
Good decision-making boosts innovation, collaboration & communication
The benefits of Mission and Value Alignment reach deeply into a high-performance culture and cause a powerful ripple effect. Not only are employees able to make decisions without constant supervision, but the quality of their decision-making improves. Employees who are authorized to make decisions (and who do so confidently) are naturally more open to diverse opinions and more comfortable taking risks. The result is a culture of empowered employees who can bring an assertive and entrepreneurial character to their work while moving the organization closer to achieving its goals in the way it wants to achieve them.
Mission and Value Alignment allows employees to be proactive in taking action, even in the absence of direct managerial input. If you want to encourage more responsible, innovative, and efficient behaviors in your workplace, focus on engaging your employees with your organization’s mission and values.