Mission possibleBest Practices: Creating a meaningful mission statement can be as simple as a single sentence
A mission statement is the philosophy and goals of a business, communicated to and through each and every one of the business' employees. It is the blueprint, or roadmap, if you will, that is followed when interacting with each and every patron. It serves to keep all of the team members on track.
Having defined goals is of paramount importance to the success of every business. It should go without saying that, in general, every business wants to make a profit and serve its patrons well. With profitability and delivering excellent guest service as the defined goals, each employee then knows what those goals are and how to accomplish them through a good mission statement.
Having said that, which of the following would you think is a successful mission statement?
"This 'Hotel Casino' is one of the world's leading and most respected resorts and casino gaming companies. Our mission is to build on our strengths by developing, building and operating an unmatched collection of employees providing unsurpassed service and amenities to our guests. We believe that fostering diversity in all aspects of our company is a business imperative, which is critical to our continued success and growth. By being the best at what we do, we will provide opportunities for our diverse group of employees, serve the communities in which we operate and maximize value for our shareholders."
Fine, but how about this instead: "We will create every player's paradise here at the Atlantis."
Short and to the pointWhich do you think is more effective at communicating the property's vision? The paragraph of hyperbole is similar to what another Hotel Casino had printed, laminated and asked that each employee carry with them. Those employees have no idea what it says.
On the other hand, if you call the casino that is creating paradise, and ask any employee what their mission statement is, it can be recited verbatim. Every employee at the Atlantis knows that their job is to "create every player's paradise;" doing whatever it takes to attain that goal. The best part is that while each employee is creating that paradise, the company's goals of providing great service and making a profit are being met. In my mind, it is hands-down the one liner that gets the job done.
Every phone call to a successful locals Reno casino is answered with: "Service is how the west was won," thus their mission statement is conveyed to every caller. On the other hand, if you call another very large casino hotel property and ask an employee what their mission statement is, you get transferred to someone in administration that wants to know who you are and why you want to know. Asking their employees for their mission statement is an exercise in futility-they have no idea if there is one, and, incidentally, it is rumored that the future of the property is in doubt.
Additional benefitsOf course, the success of a property doesn't hinge upon a mission statement. There are many variables that lead to success. One of those variables is communication-the better the communication, the greater the success.
A recent survey of 1,000 American workers by the Stamford, Conn.-based firm Towers Perrin revealed that less than half the respondents believe their employer is completely open and honest in communicating with employees about key issues such as corporate strategy, financial results and the competition. As a result, many companies may be falling short when it comes to creating a clear line of sight between employees and the business-a key ingredient in organizational efforts to enhance performance and results.
With that in mind, establishing a company-wide mission statement, by which the company communicates its vision that also maintains consistency with the company's values, could be invaluable in assisting the company with communications validity.
For example, Mark Goodwin, director of human resources for the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno said, "Our mission statement was created in order to give our team members a simple, easy to remember summary of what our company is all about and what their role is in continuing to improve guest service."
Additionally, John Farahi, Atlantis general manager, said, "That is who we are and what we do. We create every player's paradise, here at the Atlantis."
And the mission statement is not just limited to a catch phrase spoken by employees.
"We also communicate its vision through our marketing and the very design of the property. We use the theme in radio, television, print and billboard advertising so every time a team member hears or sees advertising for the property, they are reminded of the mission statement," Goodwin said. "The very simplicity of the statement allows it to be readily remembered and applied to situations that may not have been specifically covered in a training class. Ultimately, there is a direct and positive contribution to the bottom line."
Back to the drawing boardSo, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to craft a mission statement for your company.
"The mission statement must have true meaning to the company and not be written just for the sake of having one. An effective mission statement can only be written if the creators have a grasp of 'who we are, where we come from, where we are and where we are going,'" said Goodwin.
So, make sure yours is one sentence that summarizes the company's direction and what the employees need to do in order to contribute to the success of your property. Compose a picture in words that creates every employee's vision of your mission-one that won't self-destruct in sixty seconds. CJ
Char Coburn is the director of Human Resources for the Bonanza Casino in Reno, Nev. She has been at the casino for the past 20 years, and is a human resources generalist who wears many hats. She can be reached at email@example.com.