Having company values helps to ensure that everyone on your team is working towards the same goal. They remind you that you share a bigger purpose.
Businesses often take cues from each other when it comes to refining their values, habits, and ideas into a set of core values. If companies want to keep expanding, they need a shared goal that their entire team can get on board with and comprehend.
What are company values?
It is important to keep the shared values of the company in mind when making decisions in order to stay true to the company vision.
Why are company values important?
Core company values give employees purpose. Purpose is undeniably critical for employee satisfaction. A survey from McKinsey & Company showed that 70% of respondents felt that their sense of purpose was defined by their work. However, only 15% of non-executive participants said they were living their purpose at work.
It is important for your core values to be embraced by everyone in the company, not just by the executive team. The purpose of a business goes beyond simply improving employee satisfaction, it also affects the bottom line positively and builds trust with customers.
According to Professor and author Ranjay Gulati, in order to have a successful purpose, leaders must not only change the way they execute it, but also the way they think of and relate to it. This process, which Gulati calls deep purpose, involves looking more deeply into an organization’s reason for existing.
Core values are important if you want to create a successful and motivating work environment that will last.
The following is a list of great company values to help give your business direction and inspiration, or to help refresh your company’s values. We will examine how some companies act in ways that align with their stated values.
How to Implement Core Values
Now that you have seen examples of core values from other companies, you may be wondering how you can create and implement your own values for your company. There are a few simple steps that can help you develop your own core values.
1. Check in with your team.
One way to get started quickly is to ask your founders or executive team for help. The company will likely already have a mission statement or a vision for the company values.
You may want to set up a few brainstorming sessions with your team if you haven’t already. Your company’s values can become apparent as your team works together to solve problems. To document your business journey, make a note of ideas as they occur and keep them in a place that is simple to reference. If you have a go-to source for inspiration, it will be easy for you to find ideas when you can’t think of any or when you get stuck.
After you establish a foundation, you can develop your organization’s core values.
2. Solicit feedback.
This project requires continuous feedback in order to be successful. Even though it may feel good to hear the responses to a question like “Why do you love working here?”, they may not be specific or honest enough to base your core values on.
You will need to ask difficult questions and get into the specifics. This will help you collect constructive criticism. It will also help you understand the culture of your business. The most effective way to establish a lasting company culture is to build it upon your existing values.
3. Implement feedback.
Creating a set of company values is not complete unless employees adopt those values. If gathering feedback is important, the next step is to take action based on that feedback.
It’s important to be open to all feedback, even if it’s not useful. As you review updates from your team, you should compare these insights and look for patterns. Make a list of the changes you want to make, and then figure out what needs to be done to make those changes happen.
Share your plan with your team and thank them for their input.
4. Make your core values unique to your brand.
These phrases or jargon can be catchy and central to your business. However, those phrases are not likely the most effective means of conveying the distinctive values of your brand.
Your company values are the foundation for what your business does and what your employees believe in. What separates your team from the others?
5. Continue to evolve when necessary.
Change is the only constant. Your business will change over time. Societal norms, values, and trends will change too. If you want to keep your company culture up to date, you should review your values regularly.
First, spend some time with your core values. These will often stay the same. Although these values haven’t changed, the way your business uses or interprets them may have.
Value those who are part of your culture, and take away value from those who are not. Be thoughtful about the updates you make and get a group of employees who are invested in the company to give you feedback.
When the group is done with your updates, share them with everyone else on the team for more feedback. It is important to keep your team engaged by staying open throughout the process.
Here are some great examples of core values in the workplace exhibited by successful companies that articulate and circulate their values openly and frequently:
Infusionsoft is a company that provides sales and marketing automation services to small to medium-sized businesses. I remember attending training event at the headquarters of a company in Arizona. The event’s keynote speaker was the company’s CEO, Clate Mask. Appearing to speak without preparation, he quoted their company values Fluently and passionately from memory.
You can read them all here. Honestly, it was hard to not be impressed. Goldman Sachs invested $54 million in Infusionsoft to help make it a market leader. It would be interesting to know if Infusionsoft’s core values were a factor in Goldman Sachs’ decision to make this investment.
There is little surprise that Infusionsoft has been so successful. I’ve stayed a loyal customer for all these years because they are passionate about communicating their values and sticking to them, even as the market for automation has gotten very competitive. I make it a point to attend the ICON event each year because I think it is important. The 2017 keynote speaker is Marcus Lemonis, who is very successful. Would Marcus Lemonis speak at their conference if he was unaware of and didn’t value Infusionsoft’s core values?
Digital Marketer is an education company that desires to help 10,000 companies double the size of their business in the next 5 years. How do I know that? It’s on their About page. This organization shares their beliefs on this page, which are a reflection of their values. However, these beliefs are not written. instead of having one person share their beliefs, they have different team members share in this engaging video.
I like that they are willing to be daring while still making their video funny and humble. On their website, they have a page with fun photos of themselves in their office. I think that their recent success is due to their values and beliefs, which is why many successful marketers and entrepreneurs go to their Traffic and Conversion Summit each spring.
If you recorded your team sharing your company’s values and beliefs, what would happen? Would creating a stronger team culture and allowing more synergy help? Of course, it would. You don’t need to go through the hassle of professionally producing a video to get started, but hopefully, it inspires you to begin the journey to create your own.
GetUWired is a company that specializes in helping small businesses succeed with internet marketing. They have won various awards for their work in this field. I know the company’s core values because they are listed in the mission statement at the top of the “Core Values” page on their website. The site’s About page features friendly-professional photos of each “Tribe” member along with a fun or playful pose when you hover over their image.
GetUWired has won prestigious awards like making Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures List for Small Businesses in 2015 and 2017 and hitting Georgia Trend Magazine’s Best Places to Work in Georgia list in 2016. These awards could be due to their commitment to company values.
As eClincher gains popularity in the social media realm, it becomes apparent that its social media management and marketing dashboard, which integrates with all major social networks including Instagram, is both comprehensive and intuitive.
eClincher is a company that focuses on being transparent, communicating well, and creating value for their customers. I can confirm that every employee of theirs lives by these three values on a daily basis, based on my previous experience working with them.
Three benefits of creating, articulating and circulating your own company values:
USP and Competitive Advantage
When I talk to potential new clients, I always ask them what their Unique Selling Proposition is and how they are better or different from the competition. Usually, they give me a canned response like “We offer the best product in the marketplace” or “We offer the best customer care in the industry.”
Do these brief, clever statements convey any real meaning or true value? Instead, here’s a powerful and meaningful answer…
It’s you, your values and your company’s values! Your values are a reflection of who you are as a person and as a business. They communicate your authenticity and uniqueness. Telling people what your company believes in will make you stand out from other businesses. Creating a strong relationship with your customers will make them more likely to buy from you and continue to do business with you in the future.
The price of your product and your ability to sell your product is directly related to how much the consumer values it. Would you ever be willing to spend more on a product or service if you knew that the company’s values or social mission was aligned with your own? If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, why should anyone else?
Attracting talented employees.
One of the biggest challenges facing every entrepreneur is finding the right talent to help them grow their company. I recently created a system that filters out lazy, unmotivated people.
It’s important to have people around you who share your values, or at least respect them. You don’t want everyone to be yes-men, but it’s important to be surrounded by people who agree with you on some level. If you want to attract employees who align with your company’s values, be sure to include those values in your job postings. The simplicity of the technique is why it works.
Curating company culture.
Would you like your team to feel more passionate about your company? Here’s a great team building exercise. It would be best to invite them to a meeting in a location that is not in your office, so it creates a more relaxed atmosphere. Begin the conversation by asking your friends or family about their personal values. This will help you connect with them on a deeper level and get them to open up and talk freely. If you wait to ask for suggestions on your company values, they may be more accurate.
As employees share their personal values, ask them to contribute to the company’s value statements. This will help ensure that the company’s values reflect the beliefs of its employees. I hope that by including them in the process, they will feel a sense of purpose and ownership. It is ideal if most of your team is inspired and can improve your company culture. If some of your employees are indifferent, it is a good indicator of their current morale and whether they are truly committed to their future at your company.
This exercise should be done at least once a year to keep your company growing and your team evolving. When your team understands and agrees with the company’s values, they are able to make decisions more quickly and confidently. By delegating some of your work to others, you will have more time to be productive and this will also help develop leadership skills in those you delegate to.
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