Mythical ad man Don Draper once said, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” When Lloyd Pest Control decided its longtime mission statement needed a refresh, it changed the “conversation” with the help of its team members.

Jamie Ogle, Lloyd president and CEO, said the San Diego-based company had wanted to come up with a mission statement that resonated with employees, but was also easy to remember.

“We wanted something succinct and that could fit on the back of ballcap,” said Ogle. “If I couldn’t remember it, and I’ve been here 30 years, most employees probably wouldn’t either.”

Ogle and Marketing Manager James Spring launched a company-wide survey and conducted internal focus groups asking, “What does Lloyd stand for?” They were seeking open, honest feedback and that’s exactly what they received.

Team members expressed how much they valued the family feel of the company and the sense of trust and fairness that was part of the culture.

For Ogle, whose grandfather and father preceded him in leading Lloyd, it reinforced what he had always valued about the company: That you will always be treated fairly and if you do the job right, you can have a fulfilling career with the company for a long time.

“We take it for granted that all companies operate the same way but that’s not the case,” said Ogle. “We wanted to make sure the new statement reflected the qualities that make Lloyd unique to our team.”

STATEMENT WITH A TWIST. Ogle and Spring took the feedback they received from employees and fine-tuned it. The result was a succinct message with a twist: [ Family + Security + Care ]².

The addition of the squared symbol represented that each word carried a dual meaning. This was done to better explain Lloyd’s mission and values, which include:

  • We are a family business, and we treat our customers and employees like family.
  • We provide job security for our employees and security from pests for our customers.
  • We care. We care about our employees, our customers and our communities.
Each word in Lloyd Pest Control’s new mission statement has a dual meaning.

“It reflects the way we go about our business every day,” said Ogle. “It’s what we lean on when making decisions regarding coworkers and customers.”

With a new statement in hand, Ogle told employees how valuable their contributions were to the process. “We wanted to be able to say we listened to what was important to them and that we are rolling this out together,” said Ogle.

What was the reaction to the new statement? Ogle said in the first week the company noticed several technicians adding the new statement to service slips without b

eing prompted. For now, Lloyd is only using the new statement for internal purposes, but that could change down the road.

REIMAGINING. The process of creating or changing a mission statement isn’t a quick process. It took Lloyd several months of research and sifting through what they learned to arrive at a finished product. It also took a commitment from Ogle and management to resist the temptation to simply create a new statement and say, “We’re going with this. Make it work.”

Putting the effort into creating a mission statement that reflects a company’s core values can be beneficial in explaining to new employees what your company stands for and how they fit in. It also can help with recruiting. “All companies want their teams aligned and working in the same direction,” said Ogle. “And when people have a hand in creating a mission statement, the buy-in is much greater.”

The author is a frequent contributor to PCT.