Having a clear vision for your company is incredibly important, and should be seen as a foundational business document. A vision statement shows what an organisation most hopes to be and achieve in the long term. As opposed to a mission statement that talks about what the company is doing at present, a vision statement looks toward the future.
A clear vision statement works as a guide to help the organisation make decisions that align with its philosophy and declared set of goals. As your business grows, employees and business leaders can look back to the mission statement as a guide for actions and how they should progress. This is where defining your core values will come in very useful, as the vision statement has to align with these too.
It’s very easy for us all to get bogged down in the day to day running of the business, so the vision statement can give you some much needed perspective on planning your business long term. Defining a vision statement has several benefits:
- Guiding business decisionsbusiness leaders can sometimes become too focused in the company’s present when making decisions, having a clear company vision to keep in mind means all decisions will be made thinking of the future.
- Motivate employeesemployees who are aware and aligned with the company’s goals, are more inclined to be motivated now that they feel included in the company’s vision. A clear vision will also help to guide any decisions made by employees.
- Drive new talent potential candidates want to work at a business with a clear vision and plan for the future. A vision statement shows a company is aspirational, and new talent will want to grow with you. Furthermore, hiring new talent who share your vision will ensure employee retention.
How do we create a company vision?
Now we know the importance of a vision statement, how should you go about creating one? Depending on the size of your company, you should get either the whole company together, or form a committee of employees of all different levels to discuss the vision statement. The first thing to do is agree on your goals as a business. You should think about what inspired you to start your business, and which core values and principles are important to you.
The key question we are answering with a vision statement is ‘where are we going?’. The ‘how’ will be dealt with in a mission statement, so your vision should be inspirational and your final goal.
Your vision statement should be inspired by aspects of your business such as:
- Service quality standards
There is no template for writing a vision statement, they can be as long or as short as you like, but we recommend 2 or 3 lines at the most. Here are our some of our top tips to start writing:
- Be concise - the vision statement needs to be succinct, simple, easy to read and memorise. So only include essentials for a really powerful vision.
- Be clear - you should focus on one primary goal rather than many, one goal will also be easier to focus on and achieve for your employees.
- Have a time frame
you need to have a time in mind by which you will have achieved your vision statement.
- Make it future-oriented - the vision statement is not about the present, but about where your company plans to be in future.
- Be stable - set long term goals that ideally would not be affected by technological or market changes.
- Be challenging - although we want the statements to be stable, a vision statement must be aspirational. The objective shouldn’t be too easy to achieve, but also not completely unrealistic. Challenge yourself with the goals.
- Be abstract - the vision statement should be broad enough to capture the organisation’s interests and strategic direction rather than a very specific mission statement.
- Be inspiring - you are, ultimately, creating a vision. So create something that will motivate your employees, something inspiring and encouraging for everyone.
Vision statement examples
Here are some examples of vision statements from highly successful businesses:
- IKEA - To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Google - To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Amazon - To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Tesla - To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Nike - Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- TED - Spread ideas.
Ecruit’s vision statement is: A world where businesses are empowered to grow great teams without using recruitment agencies.
What is your company’s vision statement? Please leave us a comment and let us know!