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HR Mission Statements: How to Create Your Own

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    An HR mission statement is a declaration of an HR department’s goals, values and purpose. These statements provide invaluable guidance to the department and clear, thoughtful direction. But not every HR team has the same goals and writing one that speaks to your unique group may seem daunting. Read about the pieces of an HR statement and how to create one that speaks to and inspires your colleagues.

    In an evolving business world, a well-crafted HR mission statement can be a guiding light, steering the strategic directions of a company’s human resources initiatives and, by extension, the organization as a whole.

    But what does a strong HR mission statement look like? And how can you craft one for your business?

    Don’t worry. In fact, it’s our mission to explain everything you need to know about HR mission statements — what they are, who should write them, where to post them and more.

    Let’s get started.

    What is an HR mission statement?

    An HR mission statement is a concise declaration of the purpose, goals and values of a human resources department, outlining the strategic direction and guiding principles for the team’s operations and initiatives. The statement serves as a road map that aligns the department’s functions with the company’s broader objectives, emphasizing a commitment to:

    What do HR mission statements communicate?

    HR mission statements communicate several key messages about both the department and the company as a whole, including:

    1. Core purpose. The fundamental reason for HR’s existence, beyond just its day-to-day tasks.
    2. Goals and objectives. The specific things that HR seeks to achieve.
    3. Values. The core principles and beliefs that guide HR’s actions and decision-making processes.
    4. Strategic direction. How HR plans to achieve its goals and fulfill its purpose.
    5. Role in the organization. The specific HR initiatives that support both the workforce and broader organizational objectives.

    By making these intents known, HR mission statements provide a clear, inspiring vision of what HR stands for and how it contributes to the company’s success.

    How does an HR mission statement differ from a corporate mission statement?

    Though they’re inextricably linked, HR mission statements differ from corporate mission statements in both focus and scope.

    A corporate mission statement serves as a broad, overarching articulation of the business’s fundamental purpose, strategic objectives and core values. It’s intended to guide the company’s direction at the highest level, communicating its identity, commitment and goals — an outward-facing statement designed to resonate with a diverse audience. A corporate mission statement (aka a company vision) captures the essence of what a business stands for and what they want to achieve.

    An HR mission statement, on the other hand, narrows its focus down to just the department, outlining the purpose, values and objectives guiding its internal operations. While the corporate mission provides the framework within which the company operates, the HR mission statement zeroes in on how HR supports and enhances business goals through effective people management.

    So, though it’s usually aligned with the corporate mission, the HR mission statement offers a more focused lens, emphasizing the role of HR in achieving organizational objectives.

    Where does an HR mission statement belong?

    Because of its significance in guiding HR’s strategic direction and actions, HR mission statements should be prominently placed in multiple locations, ensuring it’s visible and accessible to everyone in the organization.

    Here are a few places where you’ll typically see HR mission statements:

    1. HR documentation. The mission statement should be included in all fundamental HR documents — including policy manuals, employee handbooks and onboarding materials — so both new and existing employees can familiarize themselves with it.
    2. Company website. Highlighting the HR mission statement on a company’s website, particularly on the Careers or About Us page, communicates to the public (including potential applicants) the business’s values and commitment to its employees.
    3. Internal communication platforms. Posting the HR mission statement on internal communication platforms — such as intranets, employee newsletters or bulletin boards — keeps the department’s goals and values at the forefront of employees’ minds.
    4. Recruiting materials. Incorporating the HR mission statement into job listings and other recruiting materials can help attract candidates with similar goals and values.
    5. HR and corporate presentations. Including the HR mission statement in presentations — especially corporate meetings and employee training sessions — reinforces its importance and ensures that it’s communicated across all levels of the business.

    The importance of an HR mission statement

    An HR mission statement plays a critical role in guiding and shaping the strategic direction and practices of an HR department.

    Here are some of the many reasons why an HR mission statement is so vital:

    1. Defines purpose and direction. An HR mission statement succinctly states the purpose and objectives of HR, providing a clear direction for the team and helping HR professionals understand their role in the company’s success.
    2. Guides HR policies and practices. The mission statement serves as a foundation for developing HR policies and strategies, ensuring that they’re consistent and aligned with the department’s mission.
    3. Enhances organizational culture. HR mission statements reflect the values and principles that the department upholds. By embodying these values in its mission, HR plays a central role in cultivating a positive organizational culture.
    4. Communicates commitment to employees. A well-crafted HR mission statement conveys the organization’s commitment to its employees, highlighting the importance of development, fair treatment and creating a supportive work environment.
    5. Attracts and retains talent. By clearly articulating HR’s goals and values, the mission statement can attract job candidates who share similar values and are aligned with the company’s vision. It also helps retain top talent by reinforcing the organization’s commitment to employee development and satisfaction.
    6. Supports strategic alignment. HR mission statements facilitate alignment between departmental initiatives and the company’s mission, vision and values, ensuring a cohesive approach to achieving business objectives.
    7. Provides a basis for measurement and accountability. Clear mission statements provide a benchmark for measuring progress and effectiveness, enabling the evaluation of HR initiatives and policies to ensure they contribute to the achievement of the stated mission.

    How to create an HR mission statement

    Creating an HR mission statement is a strategic process that involves reflection, collaboration, and a deep understanding of the organization’s goals and values. The process can be broken down into four key steps.

    1. Find and involve key stakeholders

    Include important stakeholders in the process — HR professionals, senior management, representatives from different departments and even employees themselves — so the statement reflects the diverse perspectives and needs within the organization.

    2. Frame the ‘current state’ of the department

    Assess the department’s strengths, challenges and the impact of its work on the organization’s overall success. Understanding where the department stands today provides a realistic foundation for communicating its mission.

    3. Identify the ideal state and core purpose of the HR team

    Envision what you want HR to achieve. Think about the department’s purpose and ultimate role in the organization — the values it upholds, its contributions to creating a positive work environment and how it supports the company’s goals.

    4. Set goals to get from the current state to the ideal state

    Based on your understanding of the current state of HR and its ideal future state, define the specific, actionable goals and objectives you need to achieve. Be sure to address how to bridge the gap between the current and desired states.

    How to write an HR mission statement

    To write an effective HR mission statement, you have to distill the purpose, values and goals of HR into a concise and impactful message. Ultimately, the statement should be instructive for HR pros and informational to the wider organization.

    Consider these steps for crafting a compelling HR mission statement:

    1. Reflect on the department’s core purpose. Start by considering the fundamental reason HR exists within the organization. What is its primary function? How does it contribute to the overall success of the company? The core purpose should encompass the department’s role in fostering a productive, positive work environment and supporting business objectives through people management.
    2. Identify key values. Determine the values that underpin the HR department’s approach to its work. These should align with the broader corporate values, fostering a sense of unity and integrity across the organization.
    3. Establish clear objectives. What specific goals does the HR department want to achieve? These objectives should align with the department’s core purpose and values, providing a clear direction for its efforts.
    4. Be clear and concise. An effective HR mission statement is succinct and easy for employees and stakeholders to understand and remember. Aim for clarity and simplicity and avoid jargon or overly complex language.
    5. Incorporate inspirational elements. While the statement should be grounded in the realities of the HR department’s role, it should also inspire and motivate. Consider how the HR department makes a difference in the lives of employees and the success of the organization.
    6. Make it actionable. An HR mission statement should do more than define the department’s purpose and values — it should also encourage action. The statement should guide the department’s daily operations and strategic planning — the foundation upon which decisions are made and priorities are set.
    7. Solicit feedback. Before you finalize it, be sure to share the mission statement with all the key stakeholders, both within the department and across the organization. A diverse range of perspectives and feedback can help refine the statement, making sure it accurately reflects the department’s role and aspirations.
    8. Review and revise regularly. The HR mission statement should be a living document, subject to review and revision as the business evolves. Regularly revisiting the statement helps it stay relevant and aligned with changing goals and priorities.

    Examples of effective HR mission statements

    The best HR mission statements clearly communicate the department’s purpose, values and goals and do it in a way that inspires both the HR team and the broader organization to work toward a shared vision.
    Here are a few examples of effective HR mission statements:

    “To empower our organization by fostering a culture of innovation, diversity and inclusion, where every employee feels valued and driven to excel. We commit to developing talent, enhancing employee well-being and creating a workspace where everyone can thrive.”

    This statement emphasizes the HR department’s role in creating an inclusive and innovative culture, highlighting its commitment to diversity, talent development and employee happiness.

    “Our mission is to be strategic partners in driving organizational excellence and innovation. We aim to attract, develop and retain top talent, fostering a culture of performance and continuous improvement that aligns with the company’s goals and values.”

    Here, the focus is on strategic partnership, talent management and a performance-oriented culture, clearly linking HR activities to the organization’s broader objectives.

    “To create a work environment where employees are inspired to be their best, through strategic HR practices that support personal and professional growth, operational excellence and the success of our collective goals.”

    With a focus on inspiration and excellence, this mission statement underscores HR’s role in facilitating personal and professional growth — and doing it in a way that aligns with broader organizational goals.

    HR mission statements: FAQ

    Do all HR departments have mission statements?

    Not all HR departments have formal mission statements. Although many organizations recognize the importance of articulating a clear purpose and set of objectives for their HR departments, the practice varies widely depending on the company’s size, culture and strategic priorities. In some cases, HR’s mission may be implicit within the broader corporate mission, without the need for a separate, explicitly defined statement. However, having an HR-specific mission statement can significantly enhance the department’s focus, strategic alignment and contribution to the business.

    Is it worth my time to craft an HR mission statement?

    Crafting a mission statement for the HR department is a valuable use of time for any organization. Doing so will establish a clear strategic direction for the HR team and align its goals with the business as a whole — which, in turn, enhances its effectiveness. A clearly defined HR mission statement effectively communicates the department’s values and priorities, which can boost employee engagement and improve the culture overall.

    Should I include goals in an HR mission statement?

    It can be helpful for an HR mission statement to include overarching goals, which can provide a clear direction and purpose for the department’s initiatives. However, it’s important to remember that the mission statement should primarily focus on the department’s core purpose and values, as specific goals should be outlined in more detailed strategic planning documents. This will keep the mission statement succinct and inspirational.

    Where should I post my HR mission statement?

    To make sure your HR mission statement is known and understood by all employees, it’s important to display it in multiple accessible locations — whether it’s the companywide intranet, employee onboarding materials or the careers section of the company website. You can also reinforce its visibility and significance by incorporating it into internal newsletters and displaying it in common areas within the office.

    Should I revisit or review my mission statement once it’s written?

    It’s imperative to periodically revisit and review your HR mission statement so it remains relevant and aligned with the evolving goals and priorities of your organization. As your company grows and changes, the mission statement might need to be updated to reflect new strategic directions, organizational values or changes in the workforce.

    Who is responsible for creating an HR mission statement?

    Typically, HR mission statements are assigned to senior HR leaders who work in collaboration with key stakeholders from different departments in the organization. Involving a diverse group of people in the creation process will ensure that the mission statement is comprehensive, representative and widely supported within the company.

    How can Paycom help me communicate and maintain an effective HR mission statement?

    Paycom helps HR departments communicate and maintain effective mission statements by streamlining internal communications and ensuring consistent messaging across the organization.

    With self-service tools for learning management and document distribution, Paycom allows for the seamless distribution of the HR mission statement to all employees in a way that fosters alignment and encourages engagement. What’s more, our powerful survey tool give HR teams the ability to gather extensive employee insights, which can help refine and adapt the mission statement as your organization grows and adapts.

    Explore Paycom’s resources to learn more about HR strategy, purpose and more!

    DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.