There’s lots of great advice going around about the importance of communication right now in this coronavirus time. We need to be communicating more with our staff, our customers and our suppliers. We need to let people know what to expect right now in terms of delivery of our product or service, steps we’ve taken to ensure that delivery to our business of supplies can be done safely, and keep in touch with our teams whether furloughed, working from home or working in a safe environment in the office or factory.
But what are you basing your communication on?
The foundation of all of our communication must be our VMC, the Vision, Mission and Culture statements that our business is built on. This is very often the thing that’s overlooked when building a business. But it’s crucial and will make many aspects of your business so much easier when everyone’s clear about your VMC.
It’s what will:
- attract the right people to your team;
- attract and retain your ideal customers to your business; and
- form the basis of your systems.
Everything flows from your VMC. So what is it and how do you create it?
Your vision is the purpose of your business: it’s big and bold and something inspirational to aim for. It could be something as simple as “We aim to be the best [manufacturer of widgets] in [town]/[country].” It’s the top of the mountain where you’re heading.
Having a clear vision of where you’re taking your business will help you attract people who buy into that vision – employees, customers and suppliers who are inspired by it. It’s still relevant in this time of Coronavirus – even more so to help keep your people focused in uncertain times.
Your mission sets out briefly how you’re going to achieve your vision, or get to the top of the mountain. For example, “We do this by … [listening to what our customers want and always delivering the best quality on time and within budget … ]
Your employees’ roles and responsibilities will be based on your mission statement, your ideal customers know what to expect from you and your suppliers want to be part of that mission.
Your culture statements set out who you and your people have to be in order to get to the top of the mountain. These are the values everyone working in your business needs to demonstrate every day for your business to be able to deliver your vision. And people will do business with you because they share your values – people who don’t share your values (who are not your ideal customer) will go elsewhere which is what you want.
Your business values will also inform the behaviours you expect from your team: behaviours are the visible demonstration of your business values. For example, if one of your values is “highly professional”, what behaviours do you expect from your people that demonstrate they are ‘doing’ this value?
How to create your VMC
If you’ve gone ahead with your business without a vision, mission and culture statement, now would be a good idea to get it documented. You can do this yourself of course or get your team to help you to ensure you get their buy-in. It needs to be written up and visible so that people are reminded of it on a daily basis. Then be sure to use it in your job advertisements, your marketing material, including your website, and your sales process.
When everyone in your business is fully committed to your VMC, everyone will be actively pulling together helping you towards achieving the vision for your business. When they’re not committed, they’ll be disengaged, non-productive and possibly sabotaging your business.
So when you’re communicating with your people, remember to keep them focused every day on your VMC, your vision, mission and culture statements. This is even more important now if you don’t see them every day. Remind them in your daily virtual huddle and your weekly team briefing – and get them to remind each other. Before you know it, you might actually get to the top of the mountain AND enjoy the climb!
Take a look here at a great case study about the difference a VMC made to one of my clients.
If you’d like a chat about how to develop your vision, mission, culture statement, just get in touch. It would be lovely to hear from you.
For guidance on communication with furloughed employees, have a read of this article from Grounded HR.