If you’re trying to breathe new life into your training programme, the first thing you need to do is to focus on how you’re going to engage your learners. To get their buy-in, you’ll need to make them feel like they’re working towards a worthy goal.
Your company’s mission statement defines that goal. It’s your battle cry and your reason for being and without it, the company is a rudderless vessel on an ocean of uncertainty. If you’re creating an online learning solution, uncertainty is one thing you can’t afford.
Not to worry – your friends at GEHQ are only too happy to help out! Here are a few questions to help you craft a mission statement that’s sure to get your learners pumped and ready to take on any learning challenge!
What’s your origin story?
The best place to start, they say, is at the beginning. Ask yourself why the company was created in the first place. Your business might have come a long way since its birth, but in all likelihood, the reasons for its creation are the same now as they’ve always been.
What do you actually do?
Different business sectors will have different requirements. Some of them will demand a lot of customer interaction, others will have a greater focus on manufacturing. Try to define what your main business activities are and how they relate to each other.
Why should any customer choose your business over your competitors? Similarly, why should your employees be working there instead of somewhere else? Your mission statement will have more power if you can state what makes the company special.
What’s the battle plan?
Your mission will just be a pipe dream if you don’t have an inkling about how you’re going to succeed. Take a look at your current business strategy and note how the company is using its resources and processes to move forward.
How do you want to be remembered?
Whenever anyone interacts with your company, what kind of impression do you think they leave with? This should let you know whether you’re rallying your allies to your company’s flag, or just creating more enemies to vanquish!
How do you relate to your customers?
You can tell a lot about a business by who their customers are and how those customers are treated. The extent to which you’re willing to bend over backwards to accommodate your customers will give you an idea of their importance in the grand scheme of things. If your training will have a large customer service element, this is a question that can’t be ignored.
How do you relate to your employees?
L&D departments exist to give these employees all of the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to the mission. You shouldn’t need us to tell you that your employees are the driving force behind your business but it’s all too easy to take them for granted. When answering this question, try to think of ways that you can improve the business/employee dynamic and create a greater sense of ownership.
How do you encourage leadership?
You can usually spot a healthy company by the quality of its leaders. By growing great leaders, you ensure that your mission is ingrained at all levels. True leadership isn’t about higher pay grades – it’s about embodying the company’s values and transmitting them to everyone else. If it’s effective training you’re looking for, a culture that encourages leadership unlocks countless opportunities to capitalise on informal learning.
What values are guiding all of these answers?
Finally, ask yourself what the common thread is in all of your answers up until now. You should be able to identify a set of values that underpin everything your company does. Take these values and have them chiselled onto a stone tablet because they are the beating heart of your organisation and the key to an effective training programme.
By the time you’ve answered these questions, you should have a better idea of what your company is trying to achieve and, more importantly, how your training programme can help. There’s every chance you will have uncovered other areas for improvement, but that’s an article for another day!
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The art of crafting a mission statement is essential to building a truly engaging and effective learning experience. This is however, just the fuel that keeps your engagement engine running. To find out what else you need, download our Engagement Engine Workbook.