Your company values are the foundation, core, lifeblood, fuel, and heart of your company culture. Without them, it’s virtually impossible to maintain a consistent and healthy culture and bring on new people.
Company core values are like pants: it’s important to have them, but it’s just as important to make sure they fit reasonably well, or you’re going to look silly with them on. 😀
In this guide, you’ll discover how to develop and communicate your own core values. The best time to start this process was yesterday, but it’s never too late to begin.
What are company values?
In simple words, company values are the beliefs and principles that support the company’s vision and thus, shape culture.
Roope Heinila, CEO at Smarp, defined it clearly:
“Your company values are your company’s DNA, and they help you differentiate your business from the competition. That’s why you can’t make any important decisions without having them in mind. You have to truly honor your company values in everything you do and set the right example for your employees. It’s the only way you can build trust in the workplace.”
Having clear company values helps you ensure that all your employees are working towards the same goals. And it also plays a critical role in talent acquisition. 46% of job seekers cite company culture as very important when choosing to apply to a company.
Whether your company values are single words or short phrases, they should help everyone in your organization answer one question: Does this decision or behavior reflect our values?
Why are company values important?
More than 50% of leaders say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, and growth rate.
In simple terms, your core values are your company’s DNA, which differentiates you from the competition. Company values drive your business and help your people reach the goals you’ve set for the company.
Some organizations don’t prioritize company culture and company values because they don’t see the point. Creating values is not just a nice idea on paper, but your values must make a difference in the day-to-day operations.
Clearly defining and communicating your values eliminates uncertainties. Your employees don’t have to guess what the company culture is—they just know.
Here are some quick benefits of having core values:
- Having a clear set of values helps your employees understand what you stand for and help them achieve their goals.
- Adopting strong core values gives your people a sense of security that helps you retain your top talent.
- They help improve communication at the workplace and avoid confusion.
- Clear company values help boost employee morale and engagement.
- Explain to your clients what your company stands for. It will lead to customer satisfaction.
- They help you attract top talent. They want to work with an organization with a clear vision.
How to Create Company Values
Wondering how you can create your own company core values?
It doesn’t require any special talent, budget, or magic words. You just need the right attitude, dedicated time, and level of commitment. Simply follow these three simple steps to create great company values.
Step 1: Evaluate
Before you sit down with your team to brainstorm ideas for company values, you need to take some time to evaluate the current state of your company. Evaluate what cultural changes you need to make.
- Write down all the aspects of your company’s culture that you would like to keep, enhance, and further develop.
- Write down all the aspects of your company’s culture that you would like to eliminate and leave behind.
- Write down all the aspects you would like to add to your organization’s culture – that would make your culture even better if adopted and developed.
This exercise will help you and your team identify the values already present in your culture, and perhaps those that should be present.
Step #2: Define
Now it’s time to put your core values into words. You may use a single word or short phrases. Try to keep things simple and understandable.
Don’t use jargon. Use REAL words that people can understand easily.
Provide a deeper explanation of your values to help your employees understand how they can apply them in their day-to-day work.
Keep evolving your values alongside your culture without losing their core meaning.
Step #3: Communicate
Many organizations have core values, yet few use them to their full potential. If you already have a set of core values, make sure you’re effectively communicating them.
- Invite your people to find out what values are most important to them and how they believe these values should apply to the workplace.
- As a leader, set an example. Leaders need to embrace and live the company values. It will encourage employees to understand and embrace them, as well.
- Incorporate the values into your reward and recognition program. It shows that the values are truly important to your company, which will motivate your team to try to live up to those values.
Company Values: Real-life Examples
Here are five companies with inspiring values:
Take Your Core Company Values to the Next Level Through EngageWith
EngageWith is an employee recognition and rewards platform that enriches your company culture. Employees can recognize peers, juniors, or managers by giving them Kudos or Shoutouts for a job well done. It can also be used to celebrate and reward/gift employees on their birthdays and milestones like work anniversaries.
Looking for an easy way to improve the effectiveness of your company’s core values?
Try implementing peer-to-peer recognition with EngageWith. Every recognition given through EngageWith is tied to one of your company’s core values.
This is how it looks like:
By highlighting values in your messages, you’ll be able to identify individuals that uphold these values and are leading your team in the right direction.
We’ve added a nifty new dropdown to EngageWith to showcase the company values:
Use the command “/engagewith” to start an appreciation, and then this window will appear. Here, you’ll see the option company value highlighted:
In the drop-down, you’ll see some of your company values.
Unlocking Custom Company Values
You can add your organization’s core values under the ‘Values’ section of the Dashboard. You can also edit these values at any time.
You can also keep track of how many ‘kudos’ and ‘shoutouts’ have been given with an organizational value you set up. This will help you understand which values your team upholds while appreciating their teammates.
Once you’ve added the values, your team can include these values along with their message of appreciation.
Create your own core values and make it fun and easy to connect employee recognition to your values and gather insights into how your values are being lived.
Do you want to help your employees celebrate and live your company values?