By now, everyone knows employee morale is vital for the success of a business - and that happy employees are 12% more productive than others. While generous benefits and a competitive salary are obvious choices when it comes to retention and productivity, there’s another part of a business that also makes a difference — the company mission.

 Many times, establishing a mission statement is core to launching a business because it summarizes the values the entire culture is built upon. A compelling company mission that is lived out through the business culture can resonate with employees and keep them dedicated to the business objectives.

I’m a perfect example of this. I started working with 120WaterAudit as a software engineer in 2017 when I watched the company rapidly grow around me. However, being born and raised in Indiana, I had the itch to move away from the familiarity of my Indiana zip code, so I left 120WaterAudit to find the fresh taste of adventure. Fast forward six months and I was making my way back to Indiana to re-engage with the compelling mission of protecting public health by transforming how water programs are managed. No matter how exciting moving away was, I just couldn’t get the career fulfillment that I found through the company’s mission elsewhere.

Here’s a more in-depth look at why a compelling company mission can positively impact employee retention:

Allow employees to make a difference

Everyone wants to make a true difference. A crucial part of why I love working at 120WaterAudit is that our company is helping keep people safe, especially children. Knowing that our kits and software allow for better management of water quality is incredible motivation. When employees fall in love with the company mission, they often feel more connected to the entire work experience, which leads to higher engagement, productivity and loyalty. In fact, mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay with a company for five years and are also 30% more likely to become high performers.

Prevent employee burnout

According to a recent study, 77% of employees have been plagued by burnout at some point during their careers. Employee burnout is a huge factor in company turnover and other productivity issues. However, when an employee feels tied to a company mission, even the challenging days feel worth it. For me, one of the biggest challenges is the need to continually learn. The industry moves so quickly that staying up-to-date on the new ways of doing things and finding the time to learn new skills can be difficult. However, when I have our strong company mission in mind, it makes it easier to avoid burnout because I know I’m impacting millions of lives by taking the time to upskill myself.

A meaningful company mission is vital for the success of a business. Everything from the foundation of company culture to helping employees make an impact and feel valued can be created through a compelling mission. Founders should keep this in mind when brainstorming their next big idea. Don’t just focus on what’s going to serve you; focus on what’s going to impact lives and employees will have your back every step of the way.

Keenan Jaenicke is the Engineering Manager at 120WaterAudit, the industry-leading cloud-based water software platform.