Establishing core values at your company is important for many reasons. Your values are what shape your vision for the business. They help promote company culture and create a sense of unity amongst the team. They will guide your leadership through important decisions in times of change or hardship. And most importantly they will define your goals for the future. Keep reading for everything you need to know about establishing core values at your company.
What are Core Values?
The traditional definition defines core values as a system of beliefs that helps people tell the difference between right and wrong. However, they can also be seen as more of a mantra or words to live by. The two most common types of core values are personal and professional. Personal core values help guide the person’s choices by allowing them to decide if an action is justified or not. This makes it easier to navigate people, actions and events on a daily basis.
Businesses have used core values to help establish company culture for decades. Similar to personal values, company values are important to guide the company in decision making. Let’s take a further look at core values in a business environment.
What are Core Values in Business?
The core values in a business should be a collective determination of how people on the team think and behave. They should be a set of shared values and reference how the collective reacts to internal and external stimuli. Company culture is heavily involved in the establishment of core values. Consider these values to be the guiding principles behind decisions that go on in your company.
These values are a concise explanation of why your company exists and how the decisions on all levels of the company are made, so establishing them early on is key. If you have any doubts, here are some of the reasons having core values is important in a business.
The Importance of Having Core Values
The leaders in the company should lean on the values of the organization in all areas of their jobs. Using core values to drive performance in times of growth or change is something that skilled managers are already doing. Check out the Kevin Miller podcast for a detailed discussion of the importance of core values.
The core values you establish at your company need to not only be authentic, but they also need to be specific enough to resonate with the team. Vague terms like ‘teamwork” or “perseverance” are too generic to spark any inspiration and can be applied to just about any company that exists. Let’s look at some of some ways that you can identify a set of values that truly resonates with your team.
How to Identify Organizational Values?
To identify your company’s core values, you will want to take a serious look inward and start having conversations with your team. Evaluate employees from each department and at all levels of seniority. Have conversations with them about what working at the company means to them, and what type of values they personally bring into the workplace each day. If you end up having a team that shares a lot of the same personal values, then those personal values could become core company values. Your team is the most important part of the company so don’t ignore what they have to say if you are looking to establish impactful values.
Another thing you can do to help identify your companies’ values is to look at the reasons the business was founded. If you founded your own business, then you should be able to come up with values based around the reasons you established your company. Also consider what goals your company has and see if you can find core values in the way you plan to pursue them.
Don’t forget to consider the type of environment you would like to create amongst your staff. If having a close-knit team is important to you, then write that into your values. If you want to encourage upward mobility and possibility of promotion, then encourage that through your values as well.
Once you come up with a set of values that you are happy with, don’t forget to share them with your staff before finalizing them. This is the best way to make sure you are not establishing values that are meaningless and don’t resonate with most of your staff.
Examples of Core Values
If you cannot come up with any specific words that embody your company culture, here are some examples to help spark inspiration.
If you haven’t taken time to establish a few core values for your company, take this as your sign to go ahead and do so. Core values have the power to motivate, inspire and further growth amongst employees. So don’t take them lightly!