Organizations of all sizes use a mission statement to direct the efforts of their organization and employees. A mission statement states the purpose of an organization, explains who the organization serves and expresses the manner in which the organization will carry out that purpose. Organizations also use their mission statement to explain their purpose to those outside the organization. A well-written mission statement makes an organization more effective and inspires those involved to help it succeed.

The leader of an organization can write a mission statement. However, a team of people can often create a more powerful mission statement. Leaders are usually involved with every aspect of the organization and may find it difficult to view things objectively enough to develop an effective mission statement. An organization benefits when all members suggest ways everyone can contribute.

An effective mission statement addresses four basic concepts. First, a mission statement for an organization communicates who you are and your type of business. Both non-profit and other business organizations can determine an answer to this initial question. As an example, EverClean Pants designs and manufactures baseball pants for youth baseball players.

The second step in creating a mission statement involves stating the products or services of your organization or how you’ll reach your organization’s goal. The goal of a non-profit organization might talk about the type of people in their local community they hope to help. For EverClean Pants, they plan to produce pants made of material that resists stains. Parents can put the baseball pants in the washer after a game and they always come out clean, without the use of special cleaning products.

Now the organization should determine who will be served by their efforts or products. Who are the organization’s “customers”? With a non-profit organization, their customers could be people who will benefit from their educational efforts in the community. For EverClean Pants, their customers will be parents seeking baseball pants for their children that are easy to keep clean.

The last step to create a mission statement involves stating the values of the organization. The values for a non-profit organization might be related to the benefits their efforts offer for the community. EverClean Pants seeks to make life easier for parents with kids in youth baseball by making sure their baseball pants are simple to keep clean and easy to purchase in local stores around the country.

After creating a response for each of the four concepts, combine them into a complete mission statement for your organization. Take the time to consider other points of view or language to use in creating an easy-to-understand mission statement. The EverClean Pants mission statement might read something like this: EverClean Pants designs and manufactures baseball pants for youth baseball players that resist stains. Our pants come out of the washer clean, without the use of special cleaning products. EverClean Pants seeks to make life easier for parents with kids in youth baseball by making sure our baseball pants are simple to keep clean and easy to purchase in local stores throughout the United States.

To enhance the effectiveness of a mission statement in larger organizations, each team or department can create a related mission statement linked to the primary one. This helps define the specific role of various departments and groups in helping the organization achieve success. Here’s a mission statement the Human Resources Department at EverClean Pants might use: The Human Resources Department at EverClean Pants commits to hiring a superior, seasonal sewing staff to create enough baseball pants for shipment to local stores throughout the United States by December, in time for parents to purchase pants for their children before baseball season begins.

An organization’s mission statement should be brief, with an ideal length of a few sentences to no more than a few paragraphs. An effective mission statement expresses in words the greater purpose and reasons an organization exists. A mission statement should define what a company aspires to be and include room for the organization to grow and achieve. When an organization creates a mission statement, decisions about goals and actions become easier to determine and set. Create an effective mission statement to help propel your organization forward toward success.