Staffing Industry Analysts has connected with some of the most innovative contingent workforce management programs across the ecosystem. Leaders of these CW management initiatives can quickly detail their programs’ strengths and weaknesses. They know their programs’ performance capabilities in-depth and, more important, how they got to that stage and where their management will be focused in the future. And nearly all have an established mission statement that guides the program, helping it meet its current objectives as well as mature and improve in a designed and purposeful manner.
While any reasonably experienced program manager can describe — with five hundred words — what they are trying to do with their programs, too often, the program’s purpose is all over the place and the focus is undefined, almost opportunistic, in nature. This leads to uneven program management performance, which in turn results in low stakeholder satisfaction.
An effective mission statement is a precise declaration of what the program does and ultimately can do — and how. It is clear, concise and, most important, useful — useful in terms of giving the program structure and guidance as an organizational resource. A CW program can do and be many things, but its maturity level will dictate its performance limits. A mission statement or charter protects its strategic focus so that it can achieve its core objectives.
An effective mission statement crystalizes attention and motivation of the CW program’s management activities and initiatives, which executes the optimization of the resources it can engage. Equally important is what the CW program will not focus on at any present timeframe.
A well-written CW program mission statement can deliver the following tangible benefits:
- Strategic Focus. In any fiscal year, resources and empowerment will be limited to certain degrees of circumstances, hence, published statements defining the breadth of a program’s focus allows for fair-minded, judgment of the program’s efforts. Performance satisfaction is a function of actual performance levels matched against the expectation setting of that performance.
- Protection from Mission Creep. An effective CW program performance will be called upon by various stakeholders to create value beyond its capabilities. This is a natural occurrence and to some reasonable degree a successful program has to protect its focus or it will be stretched beyond its means. An annually reviewed Mission Statement is a tool/capability that can create an empowered discipline to protect the program’s focus/agenda.
- Strength in Purpose. Of course, an effective mission statement will define a CW program’s purpose clearly and definitively. But it will also empower the program team, partners and stakeholders to rally around a set of define program values and objectives that will be adhered to, strived for and continuously improved. It rallies all members of the supply chain to be marching in the same, focused direction.
- Alignment with Organizational Goals. No CW program stands alone. It is chartered in some fashion to support the overall goals and objectives of the organization with which it resides. Some organizations overall values focus on safety, or cost-effective competitiveness, or talent/skill set quality as top primary elements of their marketplace competitive advantage. The program will need to integrate its purpose and execution in supporting the organization’s competitive advantage in whatever manner it can. An effective mission statement can offer a capability alignment check to one’s overall organizational goals.
From Mission to Vision
Where a mission statement is a precise declaration of what the CW program does and ultimately can do, a vision statement pronounces the desired future position of the program’s performance capability. The following examples from three well-known organizations offer insight to the comparative mission and vision statement formulation.
Mission: “Spread ideas.”
Vision: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.”
Mission: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
Vision: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Mission: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
Vision: “To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
Elements of mission and vision statements can offer an excellent combined view to provide a comprehensive statement of the CW program’s purposes, goals and values. A vision statement can be a very supportive addition to an effectively concise mission statement. The combination of both provide an inspirational purpose to what the CW program is trying to achieve.