There are many companies that struggle to find and define their mission, vision and values. Sometimes they organize brainstorm sessions and then a mission is put up on the intranet or announced with pride during a staff meeting only to be soon forgotten in the next months or so. And after a while no one seems to even remember it.
When I entered my last job as an employee I asked the team leader and operational manager what the vision (where do we want to be in the future) and the mission (who are we now, what defines us and makes us stand out) of the company was. What was the value they had most had at heart with every decision they made. I got the answer as mentioned above. Ah well, yes we had a brainstorm about it and it was put somewhere down, uhm ….well not sure where, but why do you want to know?
I wanted to know it, because I entered a company that I did not know. In a market I was not even familiar with but the main reason was; I wanted to know the core soul of their business. What was always true, what was their value that in any case would be the mirror to hold any idea or decision against? Where did the company long to go?
And you, do you have a brand identity? Do you have your vision and do your co-workers or employees know about this? You might think that for a shop it is very different then office based companies. Or that your shop is way too small and you see each other almost every day no?
When brands come into your shop and their representatives tell you how beautiful their jewelry is made. And why you should buy it, you’ll start to ask a lot of questions. You want to find out if this is something for your shop, why it might be, how things are financially arranged, how much they will invest in you with marketing and how their after-sale service is organized. You want to know who you are dealing with, right?
That’s the same thing your customers would like to do. Only, they can’t come in and ask you these direct questions. It would be a little odd if they did, but they want to trust you. They want to make sure that if they would buy at your store, they have made the best decision. They want to be sure that if they have a problem, they can come back to you.
So, you might now moan a little and whisper that your service is excellent and that clients are of course always welcome in case of problems that occur. But is that true? And why is that true? Can you give yourself 10 examples why this is true? And your employees, can they give you and each other examples of this?
So what about your beautiful, well looked after jewelry shop? What would be YOUR rule, the rule that is always true? Most shops I dealt with were slightly reluctant about this idea of putting this on paper and discuss about it with their employees. But what do you have to lose? (time) what do you have to gain (a much brighter communication? )Get insight about how your employees perceive their working place and attitude? Maybe happier customers or….employees that might feel more enabled to make their decisions, because the mission gives them now a backup on how they treat customers, even in the most challenging situation.
That could even result in a happier staff, staff that feels they have responsibilities and can act in a more independent way, knowing exactly what they are allowed to decide without asking you, the owner, is a much happier staff. How would your clients perceive much happier staff you think? :-)
Now it may not be easy to establish a good mission that feels right so I tried to put 10 missions down. You can use these but you might take them as an inspiration to create your own mission, feel free, but do try it. It will be worth the effort. I promise.
Some ideas for a mission for a jeweler:
Happy and confident staff creates a very good atmosphere in your store! *
Of course these missions could work just as well for jewelry brands!
Happier staff also feels much more committed to everything that comes with running a jewelry store and will treat clients much more like their own. Feeling ensured by knowing the mission and vision of the store. *
It’s essential for the mission to be mentioned as much as possible. Remind each other of it. Learn about situations that occurred in the last week and reflect in a small meeting with each other, how you resolved it. And why you did it like you did and how this was in harmony with the mission of the company. Energy goes where attention flows. It will give you a sense of direction (you may even want to create a vision (where will our company be going in the next years) by now ;-) And your customers will respond to it. Try it; really, there is nothing to lose!
*Pictures of staff have been taken from the internet, if there should be any problem please contact me. Should you want your store name mentioned, I am happy to do so.
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