How to Turn Your Employees into Partners

Do all your employees understand what they have to do with your Mission?

Mission as it relates to Employee EngagementI have often marveled at the endless hours and thousands of dollars an organization will spend on crafting a mission statement that even the CEO can’t recite from memory.

If you are an executive leader you should be able to recite the Mission Statement if woken up from a dead sleep and asked to do so. If you cannot, your organization is in deeper trouble than you can imagine.

Years ago I read Peak Performers, a book by Dr. Charles Garfield inspired by what he witnessed while working on the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon. Garfield saw mediocre workers turn into extraordinary ones because the mission ignited them. He also saw them return to mediocrity when the mission was accomplished.

Intrigued, Garfield set about on his own 20-year mission: to discover what separates peak performers from everyone else. He found 6 unique characteristics. Today we will discuss the first:


What is your organization’s Mission? Don’t know? Look it up on the Internet. I’ll bet it’s there on your fancy website! Is that how your employees need to find it? Do they need to dig for it?

It is critical that every single one of your employees, you, and the Directors on your Board know the Mission Statement. Ideally, every meeting would start with a recitation of the Mission Statement. Every strategy and every project plan would clearly delineate how it helps to accomplish the Mission. Every company email would have the Mission Statement at the bottom. To quote master coach Tony Robbins, “Repetition is the mother of mastery.”

The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. It is imperative that every team member is regularly focused on your Mission.

If you want more employee engagement, if you want your employees to partner with you the next step is for them to clearly identify and be able to articulate what role they play in achieving the Mission. Does the receptionist think he is only there to answer phones? Does the mailroom clerk think she’s only delivering mail? Or do they clearly understand, because it has been repeatedly reinforced, that without their contribution, the Mission could not be accomplished?

Although this would all work best if it were being modeled from the top down, it doesn’t need to be. If you are a manager or supervisor, you can begin this work in your own department. Start with your role and what it has to do with accomplishing the Mission. Then work with your team to identify the same for themselves. Then make the organization’s Mission central to your department’s culture. Make sure each team member understands that his or her contribution means something.

Apollo 11 from NASA websiteCountless hours and significant dollars were spent developing your company’s Mission Statement because it is important for every one on board to know what it is you are attempting to accomplish.

Remember the Apollo 11 Mission. Even if your company is not out to achieve something quite that exciting, what you do is important and when each team member fully understands his role in achieving it you will find Employee Engagement will increase.

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