A mission and vision statement should be an integral part of any company’s strategy because they summarize where the company is and where it wants to be. While these two statements are often interchanged, they actually refer to two separate aspects to help a company reach its goals.
- A mission statement describes what a company wants to do now
- A vision statement outlines what a company wants to be in the future
Time for new statements
“Lakeland’s mission was established over a decade ago, but based on our growth and how advanced technology has changed the way we conduct business we felt it was time to consider a new one for 2021 and beyond,” said Thomas Shara, President and CEO of Lakeland.
Compared to today, Lakeland Bank was a very different company in 2010:
- total assets were $2.8 billion, today it’s over $7.7 billion
- total deposits were $2.2 billion, today it’s over $6.5 billion
- total loans were $2 billion, today it’s over $6.0 billion
- the Bank has expanded into New York as well as central and southern New Jersey
- its products, services and delivery channels have evolved to better serve customers
Why mission and vision statements are important
The mission statement focuses more on where the company is at the present time and identifies its day-to-day objectives. And, the vision statement looks to the future and provides the direction in which a company aspires to go.
A company mission statement is important for the following reasons:
- it defines the company’s purpose
- it aligns the behaviors of associates
- it encourages critical thinking
- it strengthens relationships
While the mission is a more tactical statement, the vision statement looks to provide the overall direction a company aims to go. Together with the mission, it lays a foundation to achieve a company’s overall strategy and is a key element to help:
- identify the core reason for the company’s existence
- aid in making long-term decisions
- attract and maintain a diverse, motivated and talented workforce
- make work meaningful and rewarding
- create a positive workplace culture
“We think of these combined statements as a compass which we can use to keep everyone moving in the same direction,” said Ron Schwarz, Senior EVP and Chief Operating Officer.
Developing statements that reflect our culture
The decision to establish new mission and vision statements was made shortly after the Bank’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2019. The timing complemented the rollout of the Bank’s digital strategy and the process for this endeavor was conducted to be reflective of the workplace culture the Company strives to achieve.
The Bank’s new statements and values are a result of a six-month project completed by a team of about 20 associates participating in the Bank’s Leader Engagement and Development (LEAD) program. LEAD participants are selected based on their potential to be influential and effective future leaders. After the team presented the project results in early 2020 to the Executive Management Team and Board of Directors, it was unanimously agreed to adopt the new ideologies which truly represent the voice of the associates.
Due to the events of 2020, the Bank delayed announcing the new statements until recently. A company-wide virtual event with associates was held on May 26 to announce the new mission and vision statements. The highlight of the meeting was the video below which features LEAD Team participants who set the stage for sharing the important news.
New Mission, Vision and Core Values
“It is hard to believe that these new statements were developed and approved before the economic and social challenges of 2020 disrupted our lives,” said Shara. “Over the last year, we learned how resilient, innovative and caring our Lakeland family could be and I am extremely proud that the message of these statements delicately, yet notably, expresses how we aim to address these issues and support the communities we serve.”
To inspire and enable the communities we serve to achieve financial stability and success. With a passion for excellence, we strive to exceed the expectations of our customers, associates, and shareholders.
We will empower our customers to succeed in every aspect of their financial lives. Our community driven culture and ongoing commitment to superior service, innovative connectivity and intuitive technology will expand our relationships for generations to come.
CARES Core Values
“C” for Community – We are proud to invest in and contribute to the communities we serve.
“A” for Associates – We attract and cultivate a diverse talent pool by providing an inclusive atmosphere that fosters growth and prosperous careers.
“R” for Relationships – We believe relationships are more than a series of transactions. We become partners in addressing our customers’ needs.
“E” for Experience – We provide best in class service and a personal experience to our customers in helping them to reach their financial goals.
“S” for Shareholders – Through our reputation and exceptional performance, we deliver consistent returns to our shareholders.
“I find it incredible that these new statements were developed and approved before the economic and social challenges of 2020 disrupted our lives,” said Shara. “We learned how resilient, innovative and caring our Lakeland family could be and I am extremely proud that the message of these statements delicately, yet notably, expresses how we aim to address these issues and support the communities we serve.”