Why mission statements, core values, KRAs and performance indicators?

The Chronicle

Talking Strategy

With Dr Julius Tapera

AFTER successfully crafting a clear vision statement, which paints the organisation’s preferred future, articulating the markets and products and/or services that the organisation intends to compete in, it is important to also craft a mission statement, core values, key result areas and key performance indicators. These critical components of the strategy formulation process are briefly explained below.

Mission Statement

An organisation’s mission statement outlines what the entity intends to do in its operations in order to achieve  set objectives and attain the vision. What are the critical interventions that need to be implemented in order to realise the vision? The mission statement saves a number of functions for the organisation, some of which include inspiring innovation and cooperation amongst organisational members, motivating for organisational growth and development, orientation towards stability and sustainability, and demonstration of concern for stakeholders.

A mission statement emphasises an organisation’s uniqueness and identity and should be a valuable guide for the actions of both management and employees in implementing interventions that significantly contribute towards the achievement of the organisation’s vision. In other words, an effective mission statement should help individuals within the organisation to accomplish their jobs, contributing towards team and organisational objectives. Some examples of well-crafted mission statements include:

  1. “To apply research-based knowledge to develop communities through teaching and learning, community engagement, innovation and industrialisation.” 
  2. “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
  3. “To bring enjoyment and refreshment to our consumers by nurturing our brands and growing our business sustainably for the betterment of our employees and communities…”

 Core Values

Core values are guiding principles that mould the members’ norms, behaviours and general conduct, shaping an organisation’s culture. These organisational cultures have an impact on strategic planning success or otherwise; what makes a difference is the extent to which an organisation translates values into attitudes and behaviours that positively influence organisational performance.

Some of the cultural factors that have been identified include supportive attitude, encouragement and persuasion of staff to implement strategic planning, sharing the strategy with others, creating incentives, encouraging forward-thinking, observing ethical standards, alignment of employees’ beliefs and values to strategic planning. Higher innovation orientation has also been proved to significantly impact organisational performance in a positive manner; measured by such variables as profitability and customer satisfaction.

Levels of formalization or informality, centralization and decentralization are some of the cultural factors that have a bearing on strategy success or otherwise, guided by the organisation’s core values. These core values are designed to shape the conduct of organisational members in a way that ensures that their conduct in their execution of duties and responsibilities is in consonance with the achievement of the organisation’s objectives. Some of the common core values adopted by some organisations include; professionalism, teamwork, integrity, diversity, transparency, accountability, honesty, innovativeness, diligence, and so on.

What is also important is to have a shared meaning of these core values amongst all organisational members so that there is a common understanding and interpretation of these values.

That shared meaning and understand is very critical for creating cohesion amongst the organisational members, which in turn contributes to effective implementation of strategy.

Key Result Areas (KRAs)

These are the strategic internal or external sectors in which the business endeavours to realise strong positive outcomes to achieve its development goals and move towards fulfilling its vision. These are critical areas of performance, whose results have a significant bearing on the overall performance of the organisation and contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives and attainment of the vision.

Each work component may be broken into three to five critical tasks on which employees, departments and, organisations need to focus on, which become the key result areas. These tasks or key result areas do not generate equal returns to the organisation and as such they need prioritisation in terms on resource allocation and focus depending on the perceived value or return on investment to the organisation.

The more important KRAs would ideally demand more to the resources, greater expertise, and more time allocation. Setting clear KRAs in important for a number of reasons. Thy ensure focus, concentration and boost productivity, they align with individual and organisational goals, assure systematic division of work, motivate people to perform and help track performance.

Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are those signs, insignia or evidence that indeed the set key result areas have been achieved. KPIs are metrics, usually with numeric values, that are used to assess an individual, department, or organisation’s progress inorganization’sult areas (KRAs). After the key result areas have been identified, there is need to devote enough time to implementing the requisite interventions around those key result areas and keeping track of the progress, through the KPIs.

Where the KPIs are indicating good performance, there is need for reinforcement of those behaviours that are contributing to the good performance. However, in the event that the KPIs are reflecting poor performance, then there will be need to identify the causes for the poor performance and implement corrective action so that the individual, team or organisation is back on track, ensuring productivity, sustainability of operations and high organisational performance.

Dr Julius Tapera holds a PhD in Strategic Management and is currently the Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor at Lupane State University. He is a Strategic Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker & Author. He is contactable on Mobile:  +263773586037; Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Article Source: The Chronicle

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