Your company’s core values define it—what your organization stands for, what its employees value and how it contributes to the community. Described in a Fortune® article as the “fabric that guide(s) employee behaviour and company decisions and actions”—as well as what gives a company “soul”—core business values are an important piece of company culture.
When defining your company’s core values, it may be tempting to identify several ideal norms and behaviours. However, experts recommend narrowing your list to just two or three to exemplify the real “meaning and power” behind your core business values. A company that values work/life balance, for instance, may rethink requiring mandatory overtime or impromptu weekend work. Keep your values in sight by referencing them any time a decision is made. Employee reviews, one-on-one sessions and staff meetings are excellent times to reflect on and discuss how your company and its employees hold true to its core values.
The importance of creating company values
In addition to guiding company behaviours and actions, core business values:
- Differentiate your company: A company’s core values define its identity. Your values are what make you unique and set your business apart from others in the same industry or field. Educate customers and would-be customers about your company’s core values—imprint them on business cards, presentation folders, USB drives and any other materials you hand out to customers or prospects.
- Influence employee behaviour: Chances are your core business values are what drove your employees to join the team in the first place. Keep those values top of mind, and remind employees of the driving force behind the company by imprinting your values on mouse pads, magnets, Table Tents and banners.
- Aid recruitment efforts: A company’s core values tell would-be hires what it’s like to work for your company—they describe your organization’s culture, behaviours, beliefs and more. Use your company’s core values as a recruitment tool to attract good candidates and weed out those who may not be a cultural fit. Post values on your company’s website and social media platforms and imprint them on job fair giveaways, like pens and notepads.
Your core business values are more than just a list of words. They describe your people, your business and its purpose. For best results, communicate them early and often.