Let’s face it — in this day and age, many people are jaded to the notion of mission and vision statements. And not without reason. Companies large and small have developed ridiculous sounding mission and vision statements, from the verbose and pompous to the shallow and unrealistic.
Where the disconnect really occurs, however, is when a company (or a bank or credit union, for that matter) simply fails to live up to the promises made in its mission and vision statements. So, why should your bank or credit union even bother with a mission or vision statement?
To begin this process, give some thought to the mission and vision statements you already have (if you have them). Are they simply framed documents hanging on a meeting room wall, gathering dust? Can anybody at your bank or credit union recite them, or even parts of them? If this is the way you handle your vision and mission statements, you may as well pull them down off the wall and free up the space for something else.
Mission and vision statements are still important for a variety of reasons. However, for those reasons to hold water, employees must be held accountable for living the mission and vision statements. It’s simply not enough to see them hanging on the wall everyday (or even to be able to recite them). Your staff, from the president to the back office and front-line staff, must actually live out the promises you make to consumers in your vision and mission statements, every day. Without actually living up to its promise, any vision statement is hollow and falls flat.
What are some ways you can help your staff live up to the promises found in your vision and mission statements?
- Use every opportunity to review the vision and mission statements. Every time you have a staff meeting, department meeting or other get together, make sure you go over the vision and mission statements. Ask employees who can recite them by heart, and reward that effort. Ensure that staff are exposed to the vision and mission statements, every day.
- When you see a staff member living the vision and mission statements with a consumer, reward that effort. It could be something as simple as making eye contact and greeting them by their name with a smile. However the employee lives out the vision and mission statements, it is important that that person is recognized in front of his or her peers for having done an excellent job in furthering your bank or credit union brand.
- Mystery shop yourself. Using an unknown outsider, review your branch facilities to see whether or not employees are actually living out the vision and mission statements beyond the walls of a meeting room. Hopefully, all your hard work in promoting your bank or credit union vision and mission statements is actually seeing the light of day in front of consumers. If your mystery shop reveals otherwise, at least you know and can begin the correction process right away.
Yes, many vision and mission statements have become fodder for late-night comedians. And honestly, too many banks and credit unions have done a poor job crafting and delivering on the promise of vision and mission statements. However, they are still an important part of your bank or credit union branding efforts and should be lived by your staff every day.