As humans, our parents inculcated in us certain values that have and will continue to help us live our lives in a certain manner. Values shape our personality, help us differentiate between right and wrong, and above all, assist us to thrive.
Similarly, every organization also has a set of values. Without values, an organization will be chaotic where nobody would know what to achieve and most importantly how to achieve it.
So, company values are integral to any company culture. In this article, we will explore the elements, importance, and examples of company values. We will wrap it up with some of the best examples of the company values of certain organizations.
Hopefully, by the end, you would be able to figure out what values you want your workplace to go by.
What Are Company Values?
Company values are guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that inspire employees to work collaboratively and cohesively with each other. They are important because they help in running a business smoothly and help employees achieve their own and the organization’s goals.
Company values are also called core values or corporate values and are found in a company’s mission statement.
Every company must have a set of company values because they represent a company and are a summary of its purpose of existence.
A business cannot function well without company values. Because without them, you cannot foster innovation, build great teams, or deliver great customer service.
This brings us to the importance of company values. Let’s look at some of the reasons for having them in the workplace.
Why Have Company Values?
Every successful company has a set of values that employees work by. Most employees want to work with businesses whose values match their own. In order for a company to achieve its mission, it has to have a set of values that support goal accomplishment.
Below are some of the reasons for having company values. Let’s have a look.
Helps in Decision Making
Having a clear set of values helps employees better understand what your company stands for. Values are a guiding light for employees and help them differentiate between right and wrong actions or decisions. Every task and project in the company should stand the value test. Values make employees consciously weigh their decisions. They also give them a sense of security.
With company values in place, employees believe in your brand and understand your purpose of existence. Consequently, they are able to make informed decisions.
Improve Employee Communication
Communication plays a vital role in developing a better culture, increasing employee engagement, and improving job satisfaction. When company values are not in place, communication across organizations is ambiguous and inconsistent.
So having company values allows employees to communicate efficiently because they know what values and protocols to follow when working.
Boosts Motivation and Employee Engagement
When your company values are clear, employees understand company goals better and will work in line with the values. When company goals are clear, employees have clear guidance on how to achieve them. This naturally motivates employees to perform better.
Moreover, employees engage better and more than before. Engaged employees feel strongly about company values and believe in them.
Hire the Right People
Company values play a crucial role in attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people for an organization. As mentioned earlier, employees connect with a company that has values similar to their own. If a company operates by the right set of values, employees tend to stay longer with that organization. And there is nothing better than retaining tenured employees.
Attracts clients with similar vaAttracts Clients With Similar Valueslues
Clients are equally important as employees. While employees run your company, clients give you business. As a for-profit company, your aim would be to build sustainable relationships with your clients.
Working with clients that have a similar set of values as your company is a plus. That both the parties will be able to understand each other better. Your clients will trust your brand and will continue to give you monetary and non-monetary benefits.
For any business, it is essential to have consistency between internal and external communication. For that, your marketing and internal communications team must know the company values in and out. So, when the marketing team sends out a message, it should resonate well with your audience.
If your audience can relate well to your values, there is a better chance for them to convert to leads and eventually customers.
Elements of Company Values
Lead With Vision
A vision statement is an impact and value that a company wants to add to the world. And company values support in fulfilling the vision. But before you develop company values, you need to have a clear picture of the company’s vision.
Have Unique Values
We often hear of big terms like “think big” or “be curious” from several giants such as Netflix and Amazon. We also know that smaller companies take inspiration from big companies when developing their values. And although there is nothing wrong with it, some distinction is necessary.
It is advisable that you do you. Set values that fit your business model and experience. There is no point in having values that do not apply to you. So be mindful when setting company values because eventually, you will want to hire employees that have the ability to think the same way as you.
Set Values That Are Easy to Understand
Again, your values will serve no purpose if they are hard to understand and recall. Present your values in bullets or short sentences. This way, employees will understand them and also act by them.
Keep Evolving Your Values Over Time
As your business grows, you need to revisit or update your values. The values that you came up with early on may not seem relevant as your business dynamics change and the team grows.
Also, it is a good idea to get feedback from existing employees on how relevant the current values are.
How to Define and Implement Company Values?
If you’re a small company, verbally communicating your values might suffice. But what happens when you start hiring more people? With more employees in an organization, there is a need to maintain consistency in communication.
So, how do you define the values then?
We have compiled a series of steps below for your ease.
Speak With Individual Co-Founders
The step first is to speak to all co-founders in groups and individually. In a group, you can have an informal chat and discuss all the things and aspects you like and respect about working with each other. Next, have a one-on-meeting with each partner.
A one-on-one strikes a balance. In a group conversation, some people prefer to listen while some participate more. And naturally, the conversation steers towards the direction of more dominant speakers. Hence, one-on-one meetings are vital to avoid this. At the end of the day, you would want to have values that are balanced and reflect each of the founders’ personalities.
Take Inspiration From Others but With Caution
If you feel that certain values such as speed are integral to your business, then you should read up extensively on why is it so? You can also do your research on how you can foster a culture that is positive and transparent.
But besides all this, you may also look up to other companies that are operating by some amazing values. But, keep in mind that these companies may be huge and are in the business for many years. If you are a small to mid-size company, you will have to carefully craft your values. Because values that work for bigger organizations may not work for a small one.
Having fancy values may look good on paper but not in practicality. Set in those values that your employees can really work and live by.
Bring Your Research Together
As you chat with cofounders and do your research, make sure to note them down. Once you have everything in one place, you can shortlist all the values that resonate with you and your business.
Soon, you can start hiring people and expanding your business. But this doesn’t stop here. while recruiting, you can evaluate if potential candidates demonstrate any of the company values. You can check this by assigning them a certain task.
Once hired, keep running quarterly reviews. Rate every employee on a scale of 1-5 on how well they incorporate them in their work.
Survey the Team
An important point here is that as your business expands exponentially, you might feel that values that were crucial in the early years may not be as important now. In that case, you must consult your employees on what values describe the company best. You can either conduct this survey yourself or hire a consultant.
Present the Results and Get Feedback
Once you have the survey results with you, share them with the team and note down their feedback. You may find yourself in a situation where half of the company agrees with the new values and another half may not. Again, you will have to work around to see which values resonate with the majority.
Re-Own the Process
Now that you have everyone’s feedback, go back to your leadership and executive team and discuss what really is important for the company. Although the process may take longer, you will be able to carve out values that are crucial to your business.
Embed the Values
Finally, you need to formally introduce these values in the company. You can do so by using employees to launch a video that explains our values in a unique and creative way.
Companies With Inspiring Values
- Focus on the user
- Do one thing but really well
- Look for more information
- You can demonstrate seriousness without a suit
- Make money without doing evil
- Fast is better than slow
- Invent and simplify
- Think big
- Produce results
- We persevere
- We build globally, we live locally
- Celebrate differences
- Supplier Responsibility
- Trustworthy Computing
- Diversity and inclusion
- Corporate social responsibility
- Lead by example
- Work together
- Respect each other
- Seek facts and provide insights
- Honesty and openness in communication
- Commitment to the communities
- Act with integrity
- Pursue excellence
- Serve the world
- Embrace change
- Prioritize people
- Create a culture of warmth where everyone feels welcome
- Act with courage
- Challenge the status quo
- Find new ways to grow
- Connect with dignity, respect, and transparency
- Hold yourself accountable
- Deliver the best results
Time to Reflect on Your Company Values
Values are critical to building a robust company culture. They align the teams and help them make the right decisions. But how you execute and implement them is equally important.
Live by the company values and encourage others as well. Always put them before profit and don’t compromise on them.
Also, appreciate your employees for embracing the values. By doing so, other employees will follow which will create a healthy and long-lasting organization.